Baking Bread and Other Things!

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So, I had finally conquered bread making 101 and was progressing to level 2 when the unimaginable happened! My beautiful Kitchen Aid Ultra Power Mixer had enough! I was so engrossed in what flavor I could whip up next that I don’t think I even heard the warning sounds my mixer was sending me. I had made a very yummy Salted Sweet Basil Bread and was feverously working on a Garlic Butter Bread when it all happened, the hook stood still and the clicking began. I stood there in disbelief, I wasn’t done yet, now what do I do? I was only about one minute into the kneading process when this event occurred and I needed about four more minutes before my dough would be ready to pop into the greased pans that were ready and waiting.

I knew what I would do; I would give the mixer a rest and try it again. Needless to say that was not what it needed; the hook still stood still and the clicking almost sounded like a persistent “NO, NO, NO!”

I was at a loss when I figured out that the only real tool I needed was right there attached to the end of my flailing arms, my own two hands. The way my father used to make bread, and the way my mother still to this day makes bread. I was quite frightened by this whole idea of going it alone with out good ‘ole Mabel (the mixer). Like I said before this is a task that has long eluded me due to failure. Had I actually come this far and had success to have it all just slip away so quickly? There was only one way to find out, I’d have to give it a try.

I grabbed a handful of flour, dusted my counter top, slipped the dough off of the silent still hook and began kneading. It felt right, like I was doing it correctly and the way my mom had always shown me. I continued for exactly five minutes, per the recipe, split the dough in half and placed them in their respectful loaf pans. Now all there was to do but wait and pray! Well, after forty minutes they were touching the rim of their pans!

I had succeeded, now I just had to bake them and give them a taste. They baked up very nicely, and I have to say they were the best I had made yet. I guess I just needed an excuse to make it the “real old fashioned” way, and although I am deeply saddened that my mixer has bit the dust, I am so very happy that I was able to make that bread 100 percent by hand, and I will continue to make it that way from now on!