Back to Bread

I didn't mean it to be, consciously, but the word back is a double entendre! I've been holed in hibernating for--can it be--6 long weeks--recovering from a bad disc problem in my back. Physical therapy and exercise have helped enormously and it now seems like a miracle that i'm entirely free of pain. But it is only tonight that I realized how full my recovery is because I was faced with a decision of whether or not to BUY bread! I haven't bought bread in several years, since I started working on the Bread Bible. But tomorrow night I want to make a "Cuban Sandwich" with some left-over pork shoulder roast and actually went as far as putting Italian Bread on my shopping list when I realized that I HAD to make the bread myself. There are five essential reasons why I feel this way: 1) A very beautiful note on g-mail from a woman called Mary Ellen who wrote: After many failed attempts, I decided I'd best leave bread baking to professional bakers. After browsing through the Bread Bible at a local Borders, I thought I'd give it one more try. Thank you for giving me the guidance I need to make great bread! I'm so happy as I bake bread. I feel so peaceful. I want to express my thanks for really explaining all the details and directions on making great bread. My life will never be the same. It reminded me of how I feel about bread. 2) It will be so much more delicious to make my own Basic Hearth Loaf and shape it into 6 long rolls. 3) Harvest King, the new flour from Gold Medal with my recipe for Basic Hearth Loaf on the back has just appeared in my supermarket down the street. 4) It only took 5 minutes to mix the dough and won't take much longer to knead, shape and bake it. 5) Baking bread is the most grounding activity I know and the only way I really feel like my old self again! In a few days I will post all the tips that go along with the recipe on the bag which include how to vary it to make it a multi-grain bread, and how to make rolls with soft or crisp crust. Meantime, watch your backs--it's no fun when they rebel and as a doctor I once worked for told me many years ago: "human beings weren't meant to stand erect." Now I'm wondering why they don't teach standing, walking, bending, and lifting correctly in grade-school gym instead of useless things like how to climb a rope or assume a cross-legged seating position without support (yes I can still do that, the question is should I--or should anyone!. P.S. It was pretty bad but couldn't have been that bad because I never lost my sense of humor!