When I was growing up we bought our daily bread at the corner dairy, but for a school holiday treat my mother would often make a plaited loaf. The whole process fascinated me with its range of delightful smells and sensory experiences. The yeast had a penetrating savoury aroma and the rising bread dough was lively, springy and sweet smelling. I loved watching my mother plait the long rolls of dough and then my sisters and I would sit on the floor of the kitchen watching through the glass oven door as the bread rose and turned a wonderful golden brown. All the while the smells filling the kitchen and spiralling out through the house were almost intoxicating. Eating the bread with lots of butter was the heavenly finale.
I make bread often and those childhood sensations still affect me - the delicious smells, the miracle of the rising dough, the crackling sound of the crust as the bread cools and the utter beauty of a well made loaf. All I can say is: Don't miss out on all these pleasures - make some bread soon!
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