A great joy in my life is making bread. I know baking, particularly with yeast, is scary for a lot of people, but it’s always been instinctual for me. I learned from my mom, who keeps recipes in her head. The only packaged cookies we ever had in the house were Girl Guide cookies.
Bread, though, we ate so much, my mom couldn’t make it fast enough. So we ate store-bought mostly. Then we got a bread maker.
Bread makers in the early nineties were an all-in-one machine. You filled the vertical pan with all the ingredients, closed the lid, and set the timer. The machine mixed, proofed, and baked. We used that machine so much we wore it out and had to buy another.
But once I had that basic recipe in my head, it wasn’t hard to take it out of the machine. Now I can do it by hand, making bread in all kinds of shapes, not only that odd vertical mushroom loaf with the hole in the bottom where it bakes around the mixer.
Now, I make my bread dough in a stand mixer, because I have one and because I don’t have a lot of counter space. This morning, I started the yeast while I was boiling water for my coffee. Then I kneaded the dough after I got out of the shower. I walked up to the grocery store during the brief moment of sunshine and picked out my favourite topping.
When I got home, I made pizza in a cast iron pan with puréed pineapple, chopped ham, chives, garlic scapes, and, of course, mozzarella cheese.
A great joy in my life is making exactly what I want exactly when I crave it.