Bread baking is in my DNA. My mom was known for her breads and buns back in her nursing school days. She still makes home made bread for us. Her buns are the best. I like them with butter and summer sausage. My boys have been spoiled on her cinnamon bread…mm…mm..mm.
The Biker Chef got me started on sourdough bread, and I’ve been baking it once a week ever since. To make a basic sourdough starter, combine one package active dry yeast, 2 cups of water, 2 cups of flour, and about 3 Tablespoons of honey for sweetener. Keep feeding it every few days with flour and water, more often if you keep it on the counter, less if it’s stored in the fridge. I add a splash of real Maple syrup now and then. When you’re ready to bake bread, you use one cup of the starter with your recipe. In my recipe it calls for five cups of flour, but I substitute one cup of oatmeal and add a Tablespoon of molasses. It is the best bread I’ve ever eaten!
One day, I had the dough rising on the counter during piano lessons. It was time to punch it down and form the loaves, and I thought a couple of sisters might be interested in helping me as a warm up to their lesson. Their mom took the pictures and we dug our strong piano fingers into the dough.
Peyton said, “I didn’t know piano lessons could be so fun!” We talked about the dough and how to work it and found a rhythm as we lifted, folded, and pressed in with the heels of our hands.
Of course, home made bread is better for you and better tasting. Plus, the act of baking bread is therapy. As you prepare the dough, you get your hands into the process, sometimes working out frustrations, always pressing through the thoughts of your day. You need patience as it rises, and time to let it sit, then rework it. I’ve written about this before because it is like any creative work. As writers, we know that we have to keep working at something to make it just right. The girls, too, know that being a good piano player means you have to keep working at it, keep pushing yourself to do better and be stronger, and the results will be worth sharing with the world.
I shared one of their small loaves with my sister and saved the larger loaf for me and my boys. I tucked one in the freezer for the girls to take home next week after their piano lesson. And, the bonus – my house has that homey aroma of fresh-baked bread to go along with the lovely strains of piano music.Chef’s tip for bread: Put a pan of water in the oven while baking the bread and it will form a crispy outer shell. Mary’s tip: Rhythm, technique, patience and practice equal success!
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I love it how you combined the piano lessons with bread making! It sure looks fun! 🙂
Thanks. This family is filled with fun.
I love this post! I had forgotten that my mom used to make sourdough bread, and shared the coveted “starter”with her friends. Delicious! Very nice.
Thanks, Amanda. Some “starters” have been around for many, many years.
Please come live with me (if only on the weekends) and bake me bread.
Tell Chef, I love the tip.
Send me directions. I’ll bring my sour dough starter, and the Biker Chef. If it’s a nice day, we’ll ride in on the motorcycle.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE homemade bread! I just wish I had the time to do it more often! My mom made bread quite a bit. I could see just how you can take those frustrations of your day out! My mom would smack that bread, punch it down, and beat the heck out of it. Guess I really made her mad LOL
And the smell of fresh baked bread….mmmmm I’m so hungry now!
Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
http://writebackwards.we3dements.com – My A to Z
http://caringforaveteran.wordpress.com – Caring for My Veteran
Thanks, Jamie. I always feel better after beating up the bread dough! And, the smell….nothing better.
I love homemade bread. My mother used to make it, but hasn’t in years. I guess I could learn, but I’m not much of a backer.
Sydney Aaliyah Michelle
2014 A to Z Challenge
Nicole’s #atozchallenge Mighty Minion
It’s worth the effort, and patience, and really not that hard.
I love your look at making bread as so much fun and how you likened it to piano playing with your family!
Thanks, Easter Ellen!
There’s nothing better than sharing a fresh loaf of bread with someone special! Thanks for bringing it over.
I love home made bread. I am just too lazy to bake it..LOL
When you do find the time, you’ll enjoy treating yourself, Cheryl.