Bread, Poetry, Neruda, Joy

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.

In Clarity

I wish
most mornings.

From all the imposed noise
that distorts my inner.

I wish
to remain
most mornings.

In clarity
of freed heart.

Here’s to the freed and peaceful heart of it for any of us, in the dough and in the words.

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