Wednesday, February 22, 2012

why i bake bread.

I love to bake bread. I love everything about it. In fact, I made bread this morning and decided whilst kneading the dough that I wanted to tell you all about it. So here I am. Telling you about it.

I love that baking bread appeals to every single one of my senses.

I love to watch the yeast get all foamy. I love to see dough when it gets to its proper consistency to rise. When a recipe says to knead your dough until it's satiny, you might not know what that means, but it's obvious when you get it there. I love to watch dough rise. I love to watch the crust turn golden brown in the oven. I love the way butter melts across a warm piece of bread when you just couldn't wait for it to cool before slicing into a loaf. That happened to me this morning.

I love the smell of bread baking, but what I love even more is the combination of holding a warm bread boule in my hands and putting the hole thing right in front of my face to inhale the aroma and the warmth, which are really like one glorious entity. It's pretty much like Heaven.

I love the sound of my mixer going round and round pulling dough together just enough for me to start getting my hands into the dough. Then I love to listen to my own quiet inner monologue for the five to ten minutes I hand knead it.

I love the feel of smooth, pliable bread dough under the heels of my hands. I love the ache in my triceps that comes from kneading a particularly dense dough for a particularly long time.

I love the taste of fresh bread. I love it with butter. I love it with cheese. I love it with tea. I love it always.

I love that baking bread takes time. I can't make it go any faster than it's going to go. Rushed bread is bad bread, and I'm too far along in the game to want to eat bad bread. Now, if you'll excuse me, I think I'll go have another slice of today's Honey Buttermilk Bread.

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