“It does not cost much. It is pleasant: one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with peace, and the house filled with one of the world’s sweetest smells. But it takes a lot of time. If you can find that, the rest is easy. And if you cannot rightly find it, make it, for probably there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread.”
– M.F.K. Fisher, The Art of Eating: 50th Anniversary Edition
There is nothing like the aroma of rising yeasted bread. It’s a smell of a new beginning. And the act of bread making, kneading, mixing, patiently waiting, centers my soul. After a long hiatus, I made two loaves and introduced Rivers to the art. No touching yet, just wafting and watching mama with a furrowed brow. Unlike most oven-baked productions from our kitchen, I don’t steer too far from a basic recipe. I follow the yeasted bread recipe from The Tassajara Bread Book by Edward Espe Brown, just as I did several years ago when I first started. It’s been my dream to work through the entire collection and develop the ability to create a loaf based on intuition and weather rather than a list of steps. Maybe this autumn and winter will be convenient. We’ll see…
It’s been a somewhat trying week. We’re fighting a cold, teething and resting from a serious accident. Finding time to make bread wasn’t convenient, but we made it. Once the bread was baked, we made time again for a thanksgiving, our first family picnic. When the world seems like it may just cave in, it’s time to return to the basics.