Posted by: oneyearbook | November 19, 2009

In which I ruminate about baking and writing

My Bread

My Bread

These here (in the photo) are slices from the first official loaf of bread I have ever made. It is 100% whole wheat, I got the recipe off the back of the whole wheat flour bag, and it’s … well, kind of dense, actually, quite chewy, but flavourably satisfying. Making it was harder than I expected – the dough required a huge amount of kneading, and when my hands got tired after ten minutes I switched to pummeling it with my elbows, like a sort of deep-tissue massage.

Now, this is not to say that I’ve never made a bread product before – I’ve made focaccia many times before (and it’s really good) and I make a mean pizza dough. It’s fantastic. Thin crust, 25% whole wheat, great flavour and crunch, stands up well to the ingredients, etc. The first time I made those two, they didn’t turn out perfectly – yet now, I find them quite easy.  I can only imagine making loaves will get easier, and tastier, with repeated attempts.

Yes, my friends, you have found the first of my baking/writing metaphor crossovers – the more you do it, the easier it should theoretically get. And yet! I have heard that even on their fifth or fifteenth book, writers are often faced with the feeling that they have absolutely no idea what to do and should probably not have become writers in the first place. I imagine this not true of bakers. I hope it is not, for the sake of bakers, because they bake a lot more loaves than any writer writes books. (Except James Patterson. He’s got the writing equivalent of a stand mixer, or maybe even a bread machine, at home to help him pump them out.)

Also problematic: baking provides us with both a recipe and (via the grocery store) the basic ingredients. With writing I’ve got to grow everything from scratch, and then mill the wheat, and then come up with a recipe that I think will form up under heat. Complicated!

But it does give me an idea for a product:

$9.95 for a package

$9.95 for a package

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Responses

  1. ah my daughter the bread baker. It looks like a great loaf! Now you appreciate all the bread I used to bake for you and you would just scarf it down. It’s a lot of work!
    I will try to remember to send you my recipe. It’s even more work!


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