Today began what I hope will become a regular occurrence around here. After we had eaten our breakfast, which, slightly ironically perhaps, was toasted grocery store bread with butter and cinnamon, Simon and I made our very first bread dough together.
For quite a long time now, I have had the goal of learning to make bread. I like the idea of avoiding unnecessary additives without the extra cost, and I also think it could become a comforting home ritual. I think bread making, as with any cooking and baking, is a wonderful skill for my little guy to learn, as well as a great springboard for many other lessons in math, science, etc.
However, baking bread seemed like some kind of mysterious alchemy that one could only achieve by having a live-in great-grandmother, or through intensive culinary training. I put it on a pedestal, and thought I could never achieve it. I am not a confident cook, and I considered myself much too scatterbrained for bread. Putting cheese between two slices and melting it sure, but actually making it from scratch? I’d have to be The Little Red Hen for that.
I have come to know several people now who bake their own bread, and they have all called it “easy”, and reassured me that it requires no advance science degree. I also came upon this recipe, and after reading it I thought: “That actually does seem very simple.”
So, last night before bed, I set out all of the ingredients, measuring cups and spoons, and a big yellow bowl on the kitchen table. This morning, when Simon and I came into the kitchen he excitedly asked me what the stuff was for, and I told him: “You and Mumma are going to make bread today.” He was pleased.
He was a terrific little helper, and the whole process took about five minutes, even taking into account that I was guiding a toddler through the steps. (I suppose it would be more accurate to say that I was the helper.)
Right now the dough sits, nice and comfy in the big bowl, waiting while the yeast work their burpy magic overnight. Tomorrow morning it will go into the oven and I will get to find out for sure if the entire experience is as easy as it currently seems. If so, we will be bread converts, and you’ll find us baking lots and lots of bread around here.