I've shared this before, but bread-making has become a hobby of mine. I only bake once a week since my recipe makes two loaves, but I love the process. The goop...
Since I started baking, several friends have wondered why I don't buy a bread machine and save myself the work. I gladly use the washing machine to scrub laundry (Gift #652), so why not use a bread machine for bread?
I've never had a good answer to the question; usually I mumble something about exercising my forearms, fresh ingredients, the weather, or bubble gum. (I'm eloquent like that.)
Because to be perfectly honest . . . I really didn't know. I just had this this feeling:
When I mix and knead and wait wait wait for dough to rise, I think. Most times, I just think about life -- its many questions and few answers.
But other times, I get lost in stories of my grandma, who passed away when I was young. One of many testimonies about her life is how she baked for the family: my grandfather, my dad, his three big brothers and one little sister.
She baked bread not because she had some silly hobby. (Like me.) Or an aversion to paying $2.50 for a store-bought loaf. (Like me.) Or a child with dairy allergies. (Like me.)
She baked bread because her family ate bread. They didn't want to munch some low-carb lettuce wrap for lunch; they needed fresh bread!
And somehow, bread-making feels like a connection to her, to that legacy.
I like that, especially since I didn't have long to know her here. But maybe I've really known her my whole life -- in my dad, my uncles and aunts and cousins, my own kids. Myself.
But I think I know what's to love about dough in my hands, shaping something for family. I hope it would make my grandma Susie glad, knowing it's still happening in her family.
(And I also hope she wouldn't be upset about those ridiculous blue fingernails. Sorry, reader!)
**Oh, and since I'm a scatterbrain and didn't think of it earlier, here's a link to the recipe. I never use as much sugar as it calls for; you can get away with closer to a tablespoon if you just want a simple sandwich bread. Sometimes I use bread flour, and other times I just use plain ol' white flour. It turns out great and is super easy either way! If you want a whole-wheat alternative, I love Memo's Brown Bread. Enjoy!
Craving buttered bread,