Thursday, February 25, 2010


Yesterday, I made a wheat bread to go with veggie soup I had in the freezer. For those of you who make bread, I don't have to explain how spiritual it is to go through the process of kneading dough and watching it raise in a warm place, then punching it back down and forming loaves that miraculously raise again for baking. My first attempts at making bread were laughable. My friend, Jenny, told me I wasn't "loving" the dough enough. The first loaves of bread that came out of my oven were deformed, the texture like eating a piece of cardboard. My dog even turned up his nose at it. But I didn't give up. I practiced until finally becoming almost one with the dough, taking a sort of primitive delight in watching the yeast bubble up before mixing it with the flour mixture. A deli owner from Cleveland told me to add a tsp. of sugar to the yeast granules and warm water. The result was an overflow of yeast, as if, by itself, it could jump into the flour mixture and start "working." There are meditative values in making bread, a sense of letting go and becoming lost in the preparation process. The intoxicating smell of fermentation (escaping alcohol and carbon dioxide), and then the wholesome baking smell of bread makes me feel humble and appreciative of the all the little things in my life. Do you suppose if we gathered all the world leaders in one big kitchen and made them bake bread together, we might have a better world for it? Maybe. (I took this photo in a colonial kitchen in Williamsburg, Virginia)

1 comment:

  1. You know how much I love making and eating bread. I can just smell it baking now. The photo a perfect addition to the piece.