Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Hearth of my Home: Bread

A hearth was the huge fireplace in the kitchen, place of bountiful cakes, stews, roasted meat, and bread. You could warm up there, dry wet clothes, pull up a chair, and ruminate as you stared into the fire.

I have no fireplace or even wood stove, but in my daily life, my bread is the hearth of our home. I bake our daily bread.

Why I bake my family's bread:

1. The scent of bread baking is beyond compare.

2. It's the only healthy AND cheap AND delicious bread I know ($.97 a loaf for mostly organic, mostly whole wheat sourdough bread).

3. My grandmothers baked bread and I've been doing it for almost 10 years now. I do love me a good tradition.

4. I feel like a goddess-provider, clever and competent.

Now that I've explained why I do it, tomorrow I'll tell you how. And if you're still interested, I'll relate some of my trials and experiments before arriving at my present recipe and method. And I don't think my bread journey is finished - I recently started talking sourdough with two different experienced bakers from my church. I have a lot to learn.

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