Alexandra Duncan

Science Fiction. Fantasy. Feminism.


I love fall. It makes me want to bake pies and brew tea. It's also the season when my husband and I first fell in love, so every year I look forward to putting on sweaters and eating apples while the leaves fall.

There was a nip in the air earlier this week, and the sudden urge to bake struck me. In the past, I've made various pies, cookies, cakes, and cornbread, but I've never made BREAD bread. You know, the kind you slice and slather jam all over. Today, I decided to change that.
Dough after 2 1/2 hours rising

I knew that bread took a long time to rise, but I wasn't prepared for quite how long that process would take. In retrospect, after reading several other bread recipes, I think the one I followed called for an excessive amount of kneading, rising, kneading, rising, kneading again, and rising again, all before it could go in the oven. During the hours-long periods when I was waiting for the dough to rise, I decided to learn how to make an origami crane.

Or four. This is also something I had been meaning to learn to do for a long time, but I didn't expect to have quite so much time to practice it.

Still, in the end, what I pulled out of the oven both looked, and tasted, like bread. This is a whole wheat batard with rosemary and lavender from our garden.

A close-up
And these are whole wheat rounds with rosemary and olive oil.

 They turned out dense and slightly sour with yeast, in a pleasant way. Jeremy suggested they would be good with soup or stew, when colder weather comes, and I suspect he's right. Until then, I think I'll try to make lighter, simple white breads, because the whole experience was so satisfying. I loved everything about today: the sensation of kneading dough, the warm smell of bread permeating the house, the act of folding beautiful paper while I waited, and the satisfaction of holding something I made in my hands. Today was one of the best days I've had in a long time.

Powered by Squarespace. Background image by Stocktrek Images.