In an effort to be frugal, I've decided to start baking my own bread. I used the recipe for the bread that my mother baked when I was growing up. Of course, I didn't appreciate it then...I wanted my sandwich on wonderbread like every other kid...I had no idea how fortunate I was. Luckily our kids not only appreciate it...they think it's cool.
As you can see, Oliver wanted to help, and had a good time doing so. I don't remember ever having helped my mother bake bread, but I do remember the smell (if
only we could have "click and smell"). Once I started kneading the dough the aroma was heavenly. Following my mother's recipe, I continued, and there was something almost primordial about it. I know I'm being silly...it's just bread, but baking bread is something that women have been doing since the beginning of time, and aside from the few times I've made it in my bread machine (cop out), I've just never had this experience. The smell has got my mind turned back 35 years. I can taste the cheese sandwich brought to school in my Partridge Family lunchbox, and see my brothers smushing the bread into thin wafers and using it while playing "church" in the basement. The recipe calls for Wheat Germ, and of course every time I see that jar, if I close my eyes, I can hear my dad mixing up a batch of whiskey sours. Heused the empty Wheat Germ jar to do so, and it had a very distinct sound...if you ask my other siblings, they'll have the very same memory.
After removing the loaves from the oven, I cut into one almost immediately. I wanted to see the steam rise, and the butter melt.