Baking Bread is an almost sacred ritual to me. I think there are few things I handle with such care or so specifically. The careful shaking off of cups of flour. Temping the water to a perfect 110 degrees for the yeast. Everything is timed: 10 minutes for the yeast, five minutes in the mixer, five minutes on the board, one hour to rest, one to rise, forty five minutes to bake...limited peeking please!
The kneading of the dough connects me to a time before I existed. Before bright shiny plastic bags under grocery store lights. This bread I make lives in a paper bag on a wooden cutting board on the counter directly in front of the toaster. A place of honor with my housemate’s best bread knife there at the ready.
Spending a morning with my bread resting, rising, be kneaded, listening to bubbles pop and breathe like watching a baby sleep. This is so satisfying. Second only to hot slices cut fresh and slathered with butter and preserves. Mmmmm.