How to Make Bread - a story and ratio recipe all in one

How to Make Bread

Let’s try something a little different. Please let me know if you enjoyed it, or thought it was completely bizarre.

Step One: Measure out 15 parts of flour and 9 parts of water. Add one teaspoon of yeast and 0.3 ounces of salt to the flour. Stir.

I was in separate pieces, once. When I was both a part of my mother and a part of my father. They had to decide to join so that my disparate pieces could be joined together. My soul took so many pieces from my mother and so many pieces from my father and spun them together.

Step Two: Gradually add the water to the flour while the kneading component of a stand mixer is going.

My separate pieces swirled together, coming neatly into a ball. Pieces came and went. Connections were formed. Bits and pieces, odds and ends, the things I would need later on, became parts of me as I swirled faster and faster into a neat and tidy ball.

Step Three: When the dough is smooth and elastic, after about 5-7 minutes of kneading, place in a warm location and let rise to double its size.

It took time for my pieces to mature, time for me to be ready. But I was ready, when the call of the sun, moon, and air reached out and said, “It is time.” I had grown and developed, become almost too large for my mother. So, I was ready. It was time, just as the voice had said. I was ready to make my entrance, ready to see what this thing called life had in store for me.

Step Four: Punch down, knead a few times by hand, and shape into a loaf.

This thing called life wasn’t easy. It was often down right hard. Why the voice thought I had been ready, I’m sure I’ll never know. There were tears and scrapes, mean faces and knock downs. But there were also smiles and gentle fingers, compliments and kisses. I still needed shaping, still needed forming. I would have to take the good and the bad in my search for becoming fully developed.

Step Five: Let rise in a warm location until about doubled in size.

Growing takes time. It took far longer than I expected. Every day, every month, every year, I found my body and mind growing, doubling, becoming more. I was maturing physically and developing emotionally and mentally. I was preparing for what life would throw at me next. Every day went on like this. Every day I added something new, rose a little more, grew a little more, matured a little more. Until it was time.

Step Six: Bake at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

I was alone and life was heating up. I was finally at the good parts, the parts where it was just me. Just me living my life and baking away. Maturing my body and mind. I was becoming solid and set. My boundaries were firm, but my heart soft. I was finally warming to this thing called life. And, boy, did it feel and smell good.

Step Seven: Check for doneness by tapping on the bottom. It should sound hollow.

Eventually, everything flees. The mind has matured too much, has soaked in too much. It’s all too much. It’s time to let go, to start to feel a little hollow, to pass on what I know to the beings who were once just pieces of me and their father. It is almost the end for me; I am nearly done. Life has said so.

Step Eight: Remove from pan and let cool on a rack. Cool completely before slicing for best results.

That’s it. It’s over. I am done. I can now lie in peace, knowing I have completed life’s mission for me. I have grown and matured, have passed on what I learned, and my life’s stories can now be savored while my body cools.

The best part is that this is an actual ratio recipe! This is exactly how I make my bread. Please let me know what you think of…whatever it is I did above.

For more recipes or my adventures in ratio baking, drop by the Kitchen.

 

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