I absolutely love bread. I’ve often told people that if I ever have to come up with a last meal it will be bread, cheese, and Mountain Dew. (Mountain Dew is horrible for you, which is why it’s fitting in a last meal). Lets hope I never have to figure out the details such as what type of bread or cheese. I think i already them in mind, but seems odd to put that out on the internet.
I can’t tell you the first time I had bread but I can tell you the first homemade bread I ever had was made by my grandmother. My mom isn’t much of a bread baker and left that department to my grandmother. Ever Sunday for years the family would gather at my grandparents house for a family meal. All seven of us sitting around the table, or sort of. I had a permanent position at the counter next to the table. It’s still my spot when I go home for holiday meals even thought the family has gotten a lot larger with more family visiting from around the county. My grandmother was known for her bread and even when she gave the recipe to people it never tasted the same. I still believe it had something t do with the fireplace she set the bread next to during the winter or the garage during the summer. The more likely story is she had just made so much bread over the years that what was written on paper wasn’t exactly what went into the bread. I’ve personally made enough bread at this point in my life that I’m starting to pickup on some of those small changes you make on the fly without thinking about them.
At this point I make a good portion of the bread that I eat in a regular month. I’ve read book on it and have come to the conclusion that as long as you like what you’re making it doesn’t really matter how you shape the bread or what it should be combined with. Homemade will always be homemade in the end.
I look at bread now as therapy. How often do you get to do something that you don’t have to think or worry about? Twice in most cases you get to do this when you make bread. The kneading stage of bread is almost like a trap that you start to look forward too. You start kneading and the phone rings, the thought of answering quickly disappears when you realize you have dough and flour all over your hands. Someone asks you to get them a glass of water, but you can’t because your kneading. You have roughly 10 minutes to yourself to think about whatever you want to think about. I personally crank up some 80’s hair bands and rock out while kneading. I’m sure they didn’t expect that while writing those songs. It’s not exactly sex drugs and rock and roll, but I guess it fits.