I'll stop before I have us all crying.
The other thing would be the smell of bread. It exists in our house like air does. Ever since I was little, bread was always being made and baked by mama's hands. I remember- when I was four or so- being allowed to have a small piece of dough to roll and roll to my heart's content- just like mama. When we went to nana's house, you could just expect to have fresh baked bread with dinner.
When I got to be around 12, I began learning the art of breadmaking. Don't use too much flour... There is such a thing as overkneading and overrising your dough. Don't forget the yeast! The lighter the bread, the better the bread. Rising is essential- just don't overdo it! And for goodness sake child wear your apron! Thus began my love affair with bread.
This week was one of those weeks where a person just yearned for the taste of hot bread in their mouth. So I made some one morning and thought I'd share the recipe with y'all.
maple syrup oat Loaf
1 cup + 2 tablespoons lukewarm water
¼ cup unsalted butter, diced
1 ½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats, ground for 30 seconds in a blender or food processor
¾ cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
Combine all the dough ingredients, and mix and knead them until you have a soft, smooth dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or 8-cup measure (the measure lets you track the dough's progress as it rises), and let it rise until nearly doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan.
Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a 9" log. Place it in the prepared pan. Cover the pan and let the bread rise until it crowns about 1 ½" over the rim of the pan, 1 ½ to 2 ½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F Uncover the bread, and bake it for 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven, and after about a minute turn out onto a rack to cool.
Yield: one 9" x 5" loaf