And So I've Learned to Make My Own Bread

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I can't start this post without thanking my friend Allie for not only inspiring me to learn how to make bread dough and bake my own bread, but for making it sound so easy, answering my e-mails and phone calls, and recommending Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. I've been wanting to do this for awhile, and I must say, because I used to laugh at scenes in "Sex and the City" like this . . .

Miranda: Do you have a rolling pin?
Carrie: On me?
Miranda: In your kitchen.

Carrie: Are you kidding me? I use my oven for storage.

. . . and laughed because I completely related, I'm starting to feel pretty darn domestic these days.

I am appreciating the value of spending time working to prepare what our family eats. Eating whole grain every night has completely changed the way I feel for the better. My Mom used to say that she couldn't function if she didn't take her vitamins every day. I never took vitamins, but eating food packed full of vitamins and health benefits has given a boost to my energy levels, both physically and mentally. I feel so foolish for only just now, at age 32, starting a daily diet of whole grains, which is the foundation of the old food pyramid and such an important part of nutrition and health. Thinking about whole grains got me to thinking about making my own bread, but what mostly motivated me to start doing this was the desire to control what is going into what I eat, save money while doing it, and have an end result that is better quality and better-tasting.

Tomorrow is a busy day as I'm hosting a potluck with some other moms, but this weekend I plan to try my hand at whole wheat sandwich bread. Eventually, I'd like to use sprouted grains in the bread I make. I know I sound like such a beginner here, and I am! I would appreciate any tips some of you more experienced bakers feel inspired to share with me.

Finally, life at home has slowed enough to allow small windows of time here and there for learning new things and enriching my life now completely submerged in domesticity. Looking back, I went straight from my college years into my childbearing years, getting pregnant with Sam my last term at PSU, so now begins the work of creating the home my children will grow up in . . . the home I want them to grow up in . . . a home with freshly baked bread, a sewing machine, a recycling center, healthy dinners with organic and local ingredients, the summer harvest preserved on pantry shelves, a thriving garden with ornamental and edible plants and herbs (and more native plants than non-native ones), compost bins, musical instruments, and happy memories. Life is a journey, and lately I've been reminding myself to find joy in the journey instead of constantly looking ahead to the end result (though I must admit, the loaf of boule I made this afternoon was pretty darn good!).


Anonymous said...

Good for you, Karli! I don't have the slightest clue how you do all of this with two young children (I really don't!)...but impressed, I am! I have a breadmaker that I was thinking of adding to our garage sale items (oooof, our garage is getting full of garage sale items!) But, maybe I'll try using it one more time and see if I really want to let it go.

Anonymous said...

ooops, meant to put my name after my above was me, Stefanie! :-)

Beetles and Bees said...

Hi Stefanie, I think the kids like me in the kitchen. I turn on Pandora on my lap-top, and they come and go. Juniper hangs out in there more than Sam. She seems to like to watch me work. Sam likes to come in when there's something he can do to help. Speaking of helping, his first official chore besides helping to pick up his toys is setting the table, and he does a great job! I put everything on the kitchen counter for him and he carries it into the dining room one by one.

Anonymous said...

You ROCK! Good for you for giving him helper-duties! --Stefanie

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