The art of baking a bread starts with knowing the flour. When you smell it, are you transported to wheat fields, to summer and soil? Can you feel the sun when the farmer decides it is time for the harvest? The best of the flours are those that are white, but if you look closely it carry the colors of summer, the yellow of fields, the green of the trees, and the blue of a wide-open sky.
And when you run it through your fingers, do you notice the traces of grindstone, the way it revolved a day in September? Do you hear the voice of the miller in the way the flour will sing when you press it gently together? If so, you are ready to bake.
When you have read the scriptures of flour it is time for the yeast and the water, The yeast like a human: it thrives when the water is perfect. It will grow if you are gentle and kind, but if you neglect it, your bread will be foreign, unkind.
If you have done it right when you knead it, the dough should be soft, like the cheek of a baby, and with patience you can bake it to bread. A loaf or a bun, it is your decision, but when it is ready, sit down and spread it with butter, and eat it with new-brewed tea from a pot.
wind-rippled wheat fields —
filling my kitchen in winter
breaking the bread
Today it’s the third Haibun Monday at dVerse, and the prompt is to use the painting by Vincent van Gogh as inspiration. We open as usually at 3 PM EST and the prompt is open for a week.
November 2, 2015