Baking Bread

When someone asked Nick, my son, what his father did, he said, “Well, he bakes bread.”

At least I’m good for something.

Except lately, I’ve been so busy; working weekends, coming home late and exhausted – I haven’t been able to keep my dough going. We’ve been eating bread from the store. What’s left of my fifty pound bag of Costco flour is now buried deep in the chest freezer under tubs of ice cream and boxes of Healthy Choice frozen dinners. The plastic shoe containers that I use to make dough in are washed and stacked in the garage. My copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day lies dusty and unread on a counter somewhere.

My margarine tub of sourdough starter has been fermenting away in the fridge for so long I’m afraid to look at it.

I miss it.

Maybe a life is constant struggle between loss and renewal. There are so many poles with spinning plates on them, important things get away from you. Unimportant too. You have to pick up the pieces and dab a little super glue. You have to get back up on the horse.

So tonight I dragged my exhausted ass up off of the couch and measured out some water, flour, and yeast into my plastic container and set it aside to rise. Candy said, “I was going to ask you to make a pizza this weekend.” I can use the dough for that, for sure, and get a couple loaves out of it too

Pizza Crust

When the weather is so awful hot, I like to cook pizza on a stone on our grill outside. Here's the crust on a pizza peel and the stone, warming up.


The stuff ready to go - sauce, sundried tomatoes, herbs, cheese.

The pizza and stone, grilling away.

Yeah, I think I'll have to make one of these bad boys this weeked.

Maybe I can gin up enough courage to look in on that sourdough starter.

An interesting TED lecture on bread. Actually, I found it browsing lectures with the subject tag of “Chemistry.” It’s a more sophisticated approach than my “throw a bunch of flour, water, and yeast into the oven and see what comes out,” – but maybe I can learn something.

4 responses to “Baking Bread

  1. I love bread-making, but it’s another thing that I had to give up when I was diagnosed with diabetes, dammit. I miss the smell and the ceremonial eating of the first slice slathered with butter… well, maybe not ceremonial, I just stuff it into my mouth. If I were to make a loaf today I would eat it all within an hour, I’m sure, and diabetes be damned.

  2. Ooh, another baker! I have this book and love this bread! My problem is that as an empty nester, I just don’t need much bread in my house…my husband tries to limit carbs, although I have never met a carb I didn’t like, particularly those dressed as bread! I’ve tried making it and taking it into work, but after a while that isn’t so good either…people loved it, but didn’t want the temptation of yummy bread! What to do, what to do?! I’ve just about given up baking it. ~ Sheila

  3. I love the idea of bread making, but I’ve only made it a few times using the bread making machine. The bread was good but not great. I guess I liked the idea of having made it myself better than the actual bread. I do make pizza dough though. My partner and I really love homemade pizza (great pizza photos Bill), and luckily none of us needs to limit carbs (at least not yet).

    • I’ve found the bread I make at home to be better than anything from the store – mostly because of the freshness. I used to have a machine, but never liked it. I find making it by hand is actually easier than using the machine, when cleaning and storage is included.

      Unfortunately, in the time since I’ve written these entries, I’ve had to stop making bread an pizza – trying to lose weight. Maybe in a year or so I can start again, in a controlled way.

      Thanks for the comment.

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