Baking Bread the Groovy Way
Harvesting is underway right now. The fields are alive with the sound of tractors humming deep into the night. Billows of dust indicate combines making their way up and down golden fields. Our very own Action Figure Pete is busy digging his fields. What is a girl to do on these fine autumn days while our local action figure is out digging?
I always have plenty to do, but today, I’ll do a little digging myself. Back into the 1970’s where I’ll grab a book about baking bread the groovy way, with my own naked hands. Let’s get elbow deep in dough. Yeah! Sounds like fun, right? Well, when you’re working with a book whose front cover features a doughy type face, you can be sure it’s going to be down right, back to the earth, funkadelic fun.
Pete bought me this book when we were first dating. I think he bought it at the Antique Mall. It’s copyright is 1976 which means it has about 60 more years to go before it is a true antique. By then, I will be a true antique as well! So I’m going to hold on to it and see who lasts the longest. Me or the doughy-font book. Anyway, I was still living in my tiny apartment in Chicago when doughy book came along. I was then just starting to practice a form of domesticity. I had a few bowls, I had a few baking implements. The dough book presented a challenge that the small kitchen and I were ready to meet. On its terms. In black and white.
It seemed to me a real throw back in time. But it also gave me a reason to stop time just for a day. Pulling that book out meant that I was checking out for the day, it’s just me and the dough making something happen in my lovely, dinky, downtown apartment kitchen. Gradually I learned to knead dough into some form of a basic bread, and finally into a Cinnamon Raisin Spiral bread. That seems eons ago. I haven’t pulled that book out since I’ve moved to Wisconsin and the farm. Finally today I stopped time again. Slowing the pace and saying halt. I’m not sweeping the barn today Pete. But you’re getting some fresh bread, from a funky book that you gave me that I’ll cherish, because you bought it for me. And I never knew I could bake bread like that, kneading with my own hands.
I know that there are online recipes and current bread-making books to be had, but this one is just special to me. Maybe because its simplicity is endearing, and actually it’s quite easy to follow. It even tells me when to clean my work space! I know when to clean up, but I appreciate that the book reminds me to do so without Siri chirping in my ear. The book is more quiet that way. A little unobtrusive and kindly. Thank you doughy book.
So while Action Figure Pete was out digging in the fields, me and doughy book stopped time this afternoon and made some bread. There is always the tense time when I wait for the dough to rise once, and then twice. And then there are the moments telling the cat to walk quietly so as not to disturb the rising while I bang away in and out the door forgetting my own admonitions. But finally, after about 6 hours of kneading, referencing dough book, rolling, waiting, wondering, there finally is a bread that has risen. Hurrah!!
So, this is my first Wisconsin-made bread using the wonderful, funky, 1976 doughy type font book. And it worked. Thank you doughy book for once again stopping time. I’ll pull you out when I “knead” you again!