From the mind of a mild mannered maniac

The Bread zone


ElinorD kneading bread dough

ElinorD kneading bread dough (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yeast bread dough, ready for proving

Yeast bread dough, ready for proving (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I’m not blogging or writing songs one of my very favorite activities is baking. When I have enough time I like to bake bread by hand. Kneading the dough can be a very visceral and sensual thing.

I start by measuring and combining the ingredients. Then I pour the contents of my mixing bowl onto a sparkling clean and well floured counter top.

The mixture starts out crude and course, but as I begin to knead and combine the contents into an even consistency, it slowly forms into a smooth dough, The texture goes from sticky and gritty to sensual and silky to the touch, and as I work, the days tensions slowly melt away, and the motion of my fingers and palms all gelling and meshing in unison becomes almost hypnotic. My mind is free to run wild and free, often dreaming up a new blog post, or just mulling over the days events. The movements become practiced and automatic, the motions like a bizarre rhythmic gymnastic routine. I’m so thoroughly in the moment, lost in thought and like a well oiled machine, the right side of my brain kicks in and sets the creative synapses in motion. Before long the bread dough is becoming soft and pliable, and then gradually as the gluten develops an elasticity, I can start to feel an almost electrical impulse coursing through my hands. As if the dough has taken on a life of it’s own. Which in retrospect it sort of has.

Then the kneading gets tougher, and my mind retraces its path out from its self imposed revelry and back into the here and now. The dough needs to rest for a while before the bizarre ballet can begin again.

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Yeast bread dough after proving for 40 minutes

Yeast bread dough after proving for 40 minutes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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