Wednesday, September 28, 2011
A few months ago my bread machine committed a murder suicide when it set fire to not only itself but the innocent loaf of honey wheat within. I was devastated, as tragedies often make one. And, being on a heavily restricted budget I couldn't pop onto Amazon and order a replacement Breadman.
So, I began baking bread the old fashioned way, by hand. I was not keen on this at first. It was time consuming and physically exhausting I would bemoan to my hubby. I would make pleas for the extra funds needed to purchase the kitchen appliance of my dreams to no avail. After a visit with the in-laws we were awarded a hand me down Sunbeam since they had just purchased a new Cuisinart. I was stoked.
The day after traveling back to Texas I set to work on making a loaf. I was let down. The capacity was much smaller than what I was accustomed to working with. I ended up making bread every three days. It's not that we're Carb-O-Vors, it's that I have two small children with PBJs as their main stay from starvation.....that and we really are Carb-O-Vores. So, I found a recipe that would make two loaves at a time and got to know my gas stove really, really well. Now, I'm proud to say I've taken the bread maker off my Wish List.
I never knew I would so thoroughly enjoy the task of baking bread. It doesn't even sound fair to call it a task. From the proofing of the yeast to the kneading, followed by the multiple rises, it fills me with contentment, joy, and peace. I look forward to baking several different types several times a week. I bake two sourdough rustic rounds, two loaves of an old fashioned white, two loaves of honey wheat, rolls, buns, and most recently a lovely simple oat loaf.
I love the smell of the sourdough starter sitting on my countertop. I love that smell even more because I started that starter by catching the wild yeasties using pineapple juice. I love that my son was amazed the first time he realized that loaf bread was also sold at the grocery store. But, mostly I love the smells of bread baking that fill our house making it smell more like a living, breathing home than just our address.
It's hard to be in a foul mood when there's bread baking. But, if you are, might I suggest making another loaf or two? If punching and pulling the dough into submission doesn't set your grumps free, then a slice of hot buttered and jammed bread surely will.