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Harold Offeh, Open House Artist in Residence 2017, collaborated with community partners throughout the year culminating in the Open House Gathering and Feast which took place in September.
As part of his research, Offeh was inspired by the history of agriculture and food production in North Cambridge from Roman settlers to Chivers Jams and Jellies. Offeh was keen to celebrate the diversity of skills and knowledge which resides in the community from bakers to allotment growers.
Offeh invited Anna Brownsted, Artist Facilitator, to help him to discover our local amateur bakers and support them to share their skills of bread recipes and there significance within their own cultural traditions.
Anna Brownsted attended meetings and events hosted by the Cambridge African Network, Asian Women’s Health group and the Reform Synagogue. Brownsted, who’s maternal family lived in North Ohio, in United States, shared her family’s Amish Friendship Bread recipe and starter with the people she met. Brownsted describes the Friendship Bread as a chain-letter style food exchange with some bread-starters being passed on for decades. Its ethos is to simply share what we have with others. Inspired by Brownsted’s sharing of her own recipes, other bakers shared their own recipes with Anna.
Joy from the Cambridge African Network, taught Brownsted to make Nigerian Puff Puff, a traditional deep fired dough which can be eaten sweet or savoury.
A group of Bangladeshi women from the Asian Women’s Health Network taught Anna to make Chapati, a flat bread which is often served at breakfast or with an evening meal.
Finally members of the Reform Synagogue who live in North Cambridge shared their recipe for Challah, a traditional Jewish plaited bread.
Brownsted then shared her new skills with visitors to the Open House Gathering and Feast who during the course of the day baked 24 small loaves of Challah bread which were shared with the community.
Anna Brownsted has created these wonderful bread recipe cards for you to try at home. You can download recipes for each bread through the links on the left. As with many recipes which are handed down between generations, Anna was taught by showing and doing. Many of the ingredients were measured by eye and so some amounts are approximate.