One, baking bread is a new hobby. Yup, I’m a bread lover. Particularly of this kind, quite crusty on the outside, and quite chewy on the inside. It’s a new shape each time. Takes me back to memories of my Granny Fern, known in part for her bread and baking.
The recipe is simple. 3 cups flour. 1 teaspoon salt. 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast. 1.5 cups water. Mix it all together. Cover it for 12-18 hours.
The waiting is part of the fun. The smell of the rising bread fills the house. I let mine rise over night so that I can bake it in the morning. I heat the baking bowl at 475 degrees. I turn the dough on the floured counter to reshape it to a ball. I put it in the hot baking bowl. I bake it 30 minutes with lid on. Then 15 minutes with the lid removed.
Two, I love the baking bowl. It comes from local potter Joe Bennion in Spring City. Of course, earthy. Comes from his hands. I have a few of his items, collected over the years, in my cupboards. Mugs, soup bowls, plates, a few baking dishes, tumblers, shot glasses.
Three, I love this line about poetry and bread from the Chilean Poet, Pablo Neruda — I got it from my friend Katharine Weinmann’s recent post — Neruda says, “Poetry is an act of peace. Peace goes into the making of a poet as flour goes into the making of bread.” Yup, I’m a poetry lover. With good crust. With chewy center.
Four, a poem. I included this one in Most Mornings. It’s called, In Clarity. I wrote it so as to remember and encourage a freed heart, a peaceful heart. Today I connect it to the simplicity of bread.
From all the imposed noise
that distorts my inner.
of freed heart.
Here’s to the freed and peaceful heart of it for any of us, in the dough and in the words.