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Friday, September 7, 2012

Bread, I Said

Trent and I had some fun with baking today. Thanks to a recipe from Rhiannon, daughter of Marie, and member of our Wednesday Club, we made bread today. Bread-baking can be a very intimidating thing. That's probably why I don't make it without the assistance of a bread maker. If you make bread the old-fashioned way, you have to do all the mixing and then the rising of the dough. This is followed by something called punching down, which I think sounds barbaric. Why would anyone want to punch bread dough? What has it ever done to you but make you work hard to create it? Aha, question answered. Amidst the punching and rising, there is the kneading. This is a workout for the hands and often results in flour scattered all over counters, on your clothes, and in your hair. What my Grammie would eloquently refer to as a mess from Hell to breakfast.

A few weeks ago during our Wednesday Club chat, Rhiannon excused herself to put a loaf of bread in the oven. Surprisingly, she was back in a flash. She had found a recipe that didn't require any kneading. Or punching! Just rising, shaping, and baking. A few days later, Marie made some and it was delicious. What a joy to walk into someone's home and smell bread baking, and then eat a loaf of beautiful artisan-style bread. And Marie was kind enough to send a loaf home with us.

I decided I wanted to make the bread today, and Trent was eager to help. It was fun to work on it together, and not really feel like it was work at all. The hardest part was waiting for the bread to cool. We were not able to wait more than ten minutes to start eating one of the five small round loaves. It was heavenly. And of course I had to text Marie and let her know I had baked. When I asked if she would like a loaf, there was absolutely no hesitation. The loaf was consumed in short order, and it made us happy to see the joy it spread.

We have all heard the saying that man cannot live by bread alone. But I learned today that we could make some bread that would certainly tempt us to try. And, like Rhiannon, we may go a long time before we need to buy bread again. When it is this easy and delicious (and inexpensive) who wants to buy it at a store?