Nothing special really. Actually, it is.
Every time. No matter how many times or how often.
Always. It is the same, but different.
It is always new, always exciting, always fills me with happiness.
Yes, I love baking bread. My joy is indescribable in simple words and discreet sentences.
If you catch me at the moment, I, perhaps, may turn lyrical.
The thing about it is not so much the making of it, as the sharing it. A loaf is not a solitary activity. You are never really alone.
It is thinking about the ones you love as your knead the dough, by hand.
It is anticipating how their eyes will light up when you share this magical crumb, sliced warm and generously buttered.
It is relishing their content smiles as they bite into the crust and savor its crunch and flavor.
Bread is a beautiful tradition.
And, on this glorious Valentine's day, dear reader, I want to break bread with you....
Whole Wheat Boule
450g + 50g whole wheat flour
7g instant yeast
375 ml warm milk
2 T olive oil or melted butter
Place the dough in a oiled metal bowl, cover with cloth and place in a warm, draft free spot and let rise for atleast an hour until doubled in size. Gently punch dough down and shaped in to a boule and place in a bread bowl (if you have one) or on the pan you are going to use for baking. Let proof again for another hour.
Preheat oven to 425F. If you used a bread bowl, transfer to pan. Using a very sharp knife, slash the top of the bread about a 1/4 inch deep to allow the bread to breathe while it bakes. Bake at 425 F for about 20 minutes. Lower heat to 350 F, turn the baking pan around and continue baking for another 20 minutes until the bread sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
Cool completely on rack before slicing.