Most of us have heard the saying, “That’s the best thing since sliced bread!” What do you think is actually the best thing since sliced bread?
Easy. Learning to make my own bread.
Slicing it is pure pleasure.
I’ve been making bread for 45 years. I learned by watching my mom bake bread for the years I was in high school, when she was a stay-at-home preacher’s wife living on a shoestring salary. She grew up during the Depression, and she still had all the skills of penny-stretching that she had learned as a kid.
Her bread filled the house with its perfume on baking day. I especially loved it when she took one batch of dough and turned it into sweet rolls instead of a loaf. Raisins, sugar, cinnamon and a light glaze for frosting. Hoo boy.
So when I got married, I started baking bread. Trial and error for sure, and Mom and Dad had moved away so I couldn’t tap into her experience. It wasn’t long before I was producing beautiful golden loaves, and I’ve been doing so ever since. When all four of our kids were home, I baked eight loaves every Saturday. By hand. Kneading it by hand was my only option, until once I hurt my back and couldn’t do it.
Terry stepped up in his manly- man way and said he’d do it. After that we went out and got a good mixer with a dough hook, and that’s what I’ve used for many years now. No bread machine, at least not yet.
Isn’t slicing it a pain? Good heavens NO. It takes a nanosecond, and the benefits are countless. Flavor, texture (it doesn’t rip apart when you spread peanut butter on it ) nutrition (count the chemicals in store-bought) because I use unbleached, unenriched flours. Variety, because I bake more than just your basic white bread. In fact, I rarely make white bread these days.
Sliced bread introduced an era of a soft, mooshy, bad-tasting product that doesn’t deserve to be called bread.
If we had tried to slice it at home, it would have smooshed down into a wad of dough.
You can slice the stuff I make without squashing it.
Isn’t that a better thing?