How can one not be comforted by the aroma of freshly baked bread in the oven? Every time I drive by Rockland Bakery, the smell permeates the surroundings reassuring me that all is well when the baking of bread has not lost its timely rhythm. The crusty artisan breads I would buy from lower Manhattan can make a mundane meal into something extra special. Those meals with extra gravy and sauce call for a thick slice cut from a loaf to mop up all that deliciousness. There is something about freshly baked bread that reminds one of home, providing comfort and satiation.
I love to bake but this area of making yeast breads intimdates me. There is no problem making flat breads or putting together quick breads like banana nut bread or cranberry orange bread. It is the breads that require yeast that make me hesitate to start the process. One reason is probably my impatience and the time it takes to knead and wait for the bread to rise. Fortunately, there are wonderful books that encourage me not to be overwhelmed. Titles like the ones listed below make it seem feasible and easy. I guess good things require one to be patient and should not be hurried. I can see this bread making process as therapeutic; the kneading to get out any frustration and stress, and the waiting to teach us to appreciate being still amidst the rush to observe a creation “rise” to its completion.
Breaking bread together is a way of bonding as we gather for a meal with those for whom we care. Let’s remember Thanksgiving as a time to be grateful and appreciate our family and friends who are a constant in our lives during the good times and times of hardship. Happy Thanksgiving!
Bread in Half the Time by Linda West Eckhardt
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois
My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method by Jim Lahey
Baking Artisan Pastries & Breads by Ciril Hitz
Artisan Breads Every Day: Fast and Easy Recipes for World-Class Breads by Peter Reinhart