"No yoga exercise, no meditation in a chapel filled with music will rid you of your blues better than the humble task of baking your own bread."
Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Art of Bread
I began baking bread last year out of a desire for quality bread and an aversion to the high prices they charge for it at the store. Since then it has developed into more of a passion. There is something to be said for the feel of the smooth dough between your hands as you knead it, watching it rise as it waits to go in the oven (at least, most of the time they rise, though I've learned there is never a guarantee!) and then the amazing smell that wafts through the house as its baking. I quite enjoy! And I am continually amazed at the massive variety of recipes to be tried. I'm afraid I shall never get through them all! My two latest interest have been sourdough-I made up a sourdough started a few weeks ago have since been experimenting with pleasing success-and more recently, artisan breads. What are artisan breads? Well, I'm not exactly sure but as far as I can tell they are pretty much anything that falls into the category of the beautiful (though not necessarily perfect-looking), often crusty, delicious breads that you get at quaint bakeries and restaurants. They seem to have much more of an art form to them than a typical recipe you might throw in the bread machine at the last minute. Not that I'm disregarding a regular loaf of bread, it's quite yummy and definitely has its place, but still, to be able to bake a loaf of bread with the crunchy crust and the soft airy filling, I don't know, it feels more gourmet, I guess. Perhaps that is the appeal. Well, as I write, my first loaf of "rustic bread" is waiting to be put in the oven so I shall close with this quote I read that sums things up nicely.