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Baking Bread, The Simple Pleasure

There is much wisdom being lost in our society. We live in an age of convenience and instant gratification. I can have a hot and delicious burrito in under three minutes from the time I remove it from my freezer. I can buy a tube of cookie dough and have fresh baked chocolate chip cookies in no time.

These are great time saving items. I use many convenience foods as someone who works full time and then spends most off hours writing. Free time is actually not even a term that applies to me anymore. Despite that, I still like to make things from scratch on the weekends.

I’m surprised by how many people have never baked a loaf of bread from scratch. I was recently visiting with a friend who was about to make her first loaf. I advised her to remember to bloom her yeast if she didn’t buy rapid rise. She had no idea what blooming meant.

Blooming or proofing yeast is a simple process where you add active dry yeast to warm water (around 110 degrees) and sugar. You let it stand undisturbed for 10 minutes. It will foam and smell a bit like beer. If it doesn’t foam within 10 minutes, it’s probably dead and you don’t want to use it.

I made a loaf of bread last Sunday. Nothing relaxes my over stimulated mind more than baking bread. It’s a lengthy process that takes me back to simpler times. Kneading the dough and then watching it rise gives me a sense of peace. The moment I take my piping hot bread from the oven is pure bliss. For perfection, I spread on a thick layer of creamy butter and watch melt into the steaming white surface.

There’s nothing wrong with using products that make your life easier. The convenience they offer give me the time I need to accomplish my goals. However, every once in a while I love doing things the old fashioned way. I would hate for such knowledge for the common person to be lost to history.

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