BAKE BREAD / BREAK BREAD: NOVEMBER 17TH IS HOMEMADE BREAD DAY
(PCM) According to the interwebs, November 17th is Homemade Bread Day. It’s not clear why this day, in particular, has been set aside to celebrate home bread baking, but it might have something to do with Thanksgiving being just around the corner. All over the country, holiday menus are starting to get written, and bread, in some form or another, is on most of them.
Sure, you could pick up a few bags of pre-baked dinner rolls; no fuss, no muss. You could even toss some quick-rise biscuits or loaves in the oven last minute; they smell nice and taste… fine, but why not gift your loved ones – and yourself – with the real deal this year?
Starting tonight, pick a bread recipe from your favorite cookbook, website, or family vault; gather what you need and set aside a few hours. They don’t even have to be dedicated, undivided hours – bread-making is mostly bread doing its own thing (proofing, rising, getting toasty in your oven, teasing you with that yummy fresh-baked smell). However, you’ll want to give yourself time to do each step right, especially if you’ve never made bread before. But even if you’re an old pro, allow yourself to slow down and enjoy it. This time of year can be particularly stressful, but the familiar, physical, meditative act of kneading and baking can be downright therapeutic.
If your bread comes out less than perfect, don’t despair! Consider some of the most common mistakes (Did you buy the right kind of yeast? Was it still in date? Did you let it get too hot or too cold, did you use too much or too little flour in your dough?) Consult one of the many books or websites on the art of bread-making to troubleshoot and fine-tune your craft, and then try, try again! It’s so worth it, and the beauty of Homemade Bread Day is that you still have a week or more before the main event.
With a little pre-planning and elbow grease (and a warm oven!), you too can soon be rolling out delicious bread to break with those you love.