At the weekend and holidays I often begin a day by baking bread. I am not sure why I do this: baking bread is a huge commitment in terms of time. In fact now that I am experimenting with sourdough the whole process can spread out over two days from start to finish. Not that any of the steps take much more than 15 minutes, but they are relentless, and sometimes it means that you can’t leave the house for more than an hour or two at a time. Probably my fault for following Dan Lepard’s recipes, as recommended by Bakery Bits
i have gone for months, even years, without baking bread, but am always drawn back to it. There is something magical about the simplicity of the ingredients – flour, yeast and water – transforming into this wondeful stuff that is dough. When it goes well, and I have a good loaf – especially with a new recipe – I feel quietly warm with happiness. When it goes badly I could cry (and have). Whenever I catch sight of my sourdough pot quietly sitting there bubbling at the back of my fridge, I feel reassured that the world is fundamentally good and orderly. Since this is a week that seemed chaotic – trips to doctor’s appointments with my daughter that had to come out of working hours, and then to crown it all, the drama of another trip to accident and emergency at the end of the week – I baked bread to restore order to the world.