I got one of those ideas in my head a couple weeks ago. I wanted to make bread. 

I could see myself quietly kneading the dough, rolling in the yeast, slowly, methodically, rhythmically. Connecting with an ancient tradition. It seemed so lovely.

Josh told me we had yeast, which I didn’t think we had. It stressed me out a little to know that because that meant I really had no obstacles between me and the bread-making fantasy. 

Then I realized we had no flour because the weevils got to it. Which made me feel better.

Something about making things from scratch turns this girl a little nervous. I’m so afraid to mess it up. I’m afraid the moments in my head will turn into flour-covered disaster, with John careening through the house covered in white powder. And suddenly the walls and the furniture need to be cleaned. And the bread would be forgotten.

A moment made more tragic less by mess and more by disappointment.

So I went to the store and I bought more yeast. I told myself the old yeast might have gone bad. And I bought wheat flour since I believe that I am into that sort of thing, even though I drink Coke and eat candy bars. 

I put the molasses and the oil on the counter with the measuring cups. And then I waited some more. Bread-making required the perfect moment. I just needed to wait for it. 

Tonight my friends are coming for dinner. My friend who cooks with a Julia Child’s cookbook, who knows how to poach an egg.

It’s a good thing she is not judgmental. 

In my internet searchings, I found this short film from Kinfolk, the hipster crowd you secretly want to hang out with. They make everyday life look extravagantly beautiful with their aged film treatment and typography, the nearly-sedating music. It’s nearly impossible to be stressed while watching this film. I realize the unidentified star of this film doesn’t have a two year-old in the background who just lobbed his toothbrush into the toilet. 

But still, it’s so peaceful, so slow. You can’t rush, can’t hyperventilate. Please enjoy this beautiful film and reconnect with slowness. 

the art of making bread from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

After viewing this, I did make my own bread. How could I not? John was down for a nap, and the house went quiet. I tuned in to the Album Leaf station on Pandora, lit a candle, and gave myself the hours. Here is the recipe I used, which is a video from All Recipes. It’s pretty tranquil as well.

Here is the result of my process. I was proud. Not bad for a first-timer.

The recipe did make three loaves. I gave one way and gobbled up the rest with help from the boys. It’s something I will certainly do again soon.

2 thoughts on “Making bread and other tranquil things

  1. I love bread. I have a love-affair with bread. There I said it. I admitted it. The taste and texture — and there is no better air freshener than a new loaf of yeasty goodness rising in the warmth of your home oven. Ahhhhh…. it’s good stuff. Is it any wonder Jesus likened himself to bread? The Bread of Life. I’ll take some of that, please. And pass the butter.


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