A lot of people think that baking bread as to be a chore. This happens to the very best of us, seriously. Even if you’re a very big fan of baking bread machine recipes, eventually it will get to you. If you’ve been baking day after day, week after week, or month after month, eventually you each a point where you feel that if you’ve seen one loaf of bread, you’ve pretty much seen them all.
I really can’t blame you for thinking this way because a lot of people simply go through the motions. They think that baking bread is all a matter of looking at the list of ingredients, putting them together the right way, and either using the best bread machine or baking by hand, and out comes a home-made crusty loaf of bread.
In other words, there just going through the steps. They’re just taking a checklist and checking off each item in the process and expecting the bread to come out right. While it’s true that you can standardize the quality of the end product you produce, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have a crappy time going through that process. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be bored.
Unfortunately, a lot of people think that baking bread is a chore precisely because you have to go through this process. And as much as you would love to sink your teeth in that amazing loaf of bread, you still have to put the bread machine ingredients together, mix everything right, measure everything correctly, ensure that the dough rises properly and then finally, apply the right amount of heat. Put simply, you’ve stripped out all the soul and beauty out of baking.
Instead, you’ve replaced it with the same attitude as you would when you punch the clock at work. You just go in, you go out, day in, day out, week in, week out, and after enough years, you wake up and it’s time to retire. Talk about losing the love.
Make no mistake about it, like that classic movie “Like Water for Chocolate,” if you really want great food, and I’m including great bread in this, you have to have love. There is really no way around it. You have to love what you’re doing. You have to put love in the baking process. Otherwise, it’s anybody’s guess what the quality will be.
Now, don’t get me wrong. The quality will still be a minimal threshold, but the problem is you’re not shooting for a minimal threshold. You’re not shooting for just enough or barely passing. That’s not a great philosophy for life. That’s not a winning strategy. Unfortunately, for people who bake bread in big quantities, they can’t help but reach this level. They can’t help but feel bored. They can’t help but feel that there’s really no love in what they’re doing.
Well, instead of just basically dismissing all of this and just saying, well, that’s too bad, sometimes you have to take one for the team, you can turn things around. Baking bread doesn’t have to be boring. It doesn’t have to simply involve going through the motions. You don’t have to necessarily just go through the checklist and call it a day. Instead, you can turn it into a ritual. Look at each step and turn it into a ritual where you enjoy putting in the ingredients, mixing the ingredients, checking to see if the dough has risen properly, and then baking with the proper setting.
In other words, by adding a little bit of excitement in each step of the baking process, you bring back a lot of the love that you used to feel for baking and believe me, you will taste every gram of that love once you cut into that steaming loaf of bread. Love is what makes the world go round and it’s also what makes for amazing bread.
A little bit of passion goes a long. It truly does. How come? You are less likely to settle for ‘good enough.’ You come out swinging for the fences. You tackle baking looking to create something that is truly memorable.
How do you add a little bit of love into the baking process? Very simple. Adopt a ritual. Sing a song while you’re preparing the ingredients. Pay close attention to the dough and just really feel each step of the process and you’d be surprised as to how all of this, as seemingly restricted to an emotional level as it may all be, the end result speaks for itself. A little bit of love goes a long way.
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