I am excited for the month of October. Cooler temperatures, vibrant leaves, snuggling under a blanket and the release of “Make the Bread, Buy the Butter,” by Jennifer Reese.
I first read an excerpt from the book in an issue of U.S. Airways magazine in June — you know, the magazine they put in the pocket of every seat in a hopeless attempt to distract you from the rumblings of takeoff? I fell immediately in love with not only Reese’s writing style but with the sheer premise of the book: For which foods does it make more sense to make them from scratch, and which foods are easier to just pick up at the store?
I struggle with this sometimes, especially with bread. I tried, more than once, to bake a delicious loaf of homemade bread. The first one (all-white flour) was dense and deflated, but pretty good for the first day or two. The second (an attempt at whole-wheat) was a dry, crumbly, dense mess. On the third loaf, I threw in the towel.
Somehow, I made great whole-wheat pizza dough. But bread eluded me, and so I went back to buying it at the store. The “artisan” breads are so crusty and chock full of grains and delicious, and even the bagged breads have gotten better over the years.
But I’m still enamored with the idea of making my own loaf, with using ingredients I can name and pronounce, with spending a lazy afternoon waiting for the bread to rise and bake. So secretly, in addition to validating my desire for baking my own bread, I’d also like this book to include a few tips on how succeed.
October never seemed so far away.