Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Hot, homemade bread and real butter!
It's spitting snow outside but the house smells great! Butternut squash soup is simmering on the wood stove, and I'm all alone in the house with four small loaves of rye bread, just out of the oven! Maybe I should say I made only 3 loaves, because it's hard to resist temptation- hot bread and real butter is heavenly! In fact, I just sampled three slices to verify that statement. I never tried making rye bread, but I think it's easy enough. The recipe I followed emphasized not to knead the dough, and to use wet hands when mixing in the last of the flour, and later, when shaping the loaves. My Dad is truly the bread maker in our family. He started making homemade bread over sixty years ago, and has made it ever since. He makes a lot of wheat bread these days, and has experimented with beer breads (a little too dense for my taste), cottage cheese dill bread from a magazine recipe from skater, Peggy Fleming, (remember her?), anadama bread (a favorite of mine because of the molasses taste and the story behind it -I don't remember the exact story, but it involved an ice fisherman griping about his wife, and the punchline was "Anna, damn her!") I used to cringe at lunchtime in elementary school when I pulled Dad's sandwiches out of my lunch bag. I wanted to have soft, white Wonder bread sandwiches like everyone else had. Dad may have even conceded to my pleas for awhile and packed store-bought bread in my lunches. (Dad made all our lunches. He spent Sunday afternoons making several loaves of bread, slicing them, and assembling at least thirty PBJ sandwiches for the whole family to last the week, which he'd pop into the freezer and put into lunch bags each morning as he made breakfast. Dad and Mom taught at the same school where my three brothers went, so that's a lot of bag lunches! When the boys were hungry teens, Dad often packed double sandwiches in their bags. Nowadays, we aren't even allowed to pack peanut butter sandwiches because of the chance of exposing kids with nut allergies to peanut oil.) It's enjoyable to make bread- it tastes great, it's a nice way to connect with and honor my Dad, and it's also a great way to pound out anything bothering you, if you are making dough that requires kneading. The only downside is the possibility of gaining a couple hundred pounds by Winter's end!