There is something relaxing about making bread, once you get past the sticky dough stage. Maybe it is the kneading or the “oh-ah” transformation as it rises or perhaps just those wonderful memories brought on by the smell of fresh baked bread.
My grandmother Hazel (better known as Ho-Ho) was an excellent cook. I never once saw her use a recipe, everything worth cooking or baking she knew by heart. Raising five sons and a daughter on a dairy farm in the mid-twentieth century may have had something to do with that. Of all the things she made, I would say her sweet rolls and sticky buns were her claim to fame. Unfortunately she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s before anyone thought to get her mental recipes on paper. To this day, I have yet to recreate her mouthwatering breads. And I have tried endless attempts.
I don’t know. Maybe it is just that reality can never match sweet memories. What I do know though is that she gave me a deep soulful, pleasure in baking bread. Right now my favorite go-to bread is a rustic focaccia topped with fresh herbs and salt.