Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Blessed Bread

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.


Cheryl of said...

Love this, So true!

Anonymous said...

I use my bread machine to knead and raise the dough (mostly to make pizza dough) but I never bake with it.

I don't like the shape.

I just turn out the dough and make pizza, bread in pans, french bread, cinnamon rolls, etc.

Oh yeah! You can set your timer to have the dough for cinnamon rolls ready on Sunday morning. then you just assemble and bake while you enjoy your first cup of coffee! (Don't forget church!)