Bread

I’ve decided that I’m most thankful for bread.

Bread is the unsung hero of food — quietly supportive, letting others’ true flavors and colors shine through, always there to thanklessly scoop up the fallen…

And what could possibly be more comforting than a slice of freshly baked bread slathered with butter? Nada.

Because I’m a busy gal with a full-time job, I don’t really have time for multiple rising and resting cycles… the solution? King Arthur Flour’s foolproof hearth bread recipe.

You will need:

1 tablespoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 cups warm water (not too hot!)
5 1/2 to 6 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour — I used two cups of whole wheat!
cornmeal

Combine the first four ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (if you don’t have an electric mixer a regular bowl and wooden spoon will do fine!).

Wait until the yeast comes to life — it will bubble and froth a bit.

Then slowly add the flour until the dough becomes a semi-manageable ball and pulls away from the side of the bowl.

Turn it out onto a floured board and knead for about 5 minutes. Then put it in an oiled bowl to rest and rise for 1-2 hours or until it has about doubled in size.

Punch the dough down and shape it into one or two loaves, place them on an oiled baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal and bake at 400 for about 35-45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

As soon as you can bear to touch it, hack of a slice and slather it in butter.

Yum.

Annd who doesn’t like to wrap things up with a deep and meaningful poem:

Bread

By W. S. Merwin

Each face in the street is a slice of bread
wandering on
searching

somewhere in the light the true hunger
appears to be passing them by
they clutch

have they forgotten the pale caves
they dreamed of hiding in
their own caves
full of the waiting of their footprints
hung with the hollow marks of their groping
full of their sleep and their hiding

have they forgotten the ragged tunnels
they dreamed of following in out of the light
to hear step after step
the heart of bread
to be sustained by its dark breath
and emerge

to find themselves alone
before a wheat field
raising its radiance to the moon

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