Yesterday, Joe asked me, "Mama, what is inside bread?"
I took this as a challenge, of course. Never let it be said that I don't teach my children important life skills.
Yes, Joe was still wearing his pajamas from the night before (plus a random thread on his sleeve). That's just how we roll at my house.
You gotta put your back into it, kid.
Joe and I talked about how the yeast likes warm water, and eats
flour, and poops/farts out air that makes the bread rise and get fluffy. Steve
said he may never eat bread again.
At one point, when I took over and started kneading, Joe said, "Wait! Leave me some to squash, mama!" Oh, honey. Don't worry. You can knead as much as you like. It may be theoretically possible to overknead whole wheat bread, but I've never seen it happen (we only started hand kneading after the dough got too stiff for the stand mixer's dough hook).
I remember my mom used to tell me that well-kneaded bread dough should feel smooth and taut and plump, like a baby's bottom. Baking bread connects me to my forebears. An almost unbroken line between Joe, and me, and a band of hunter-gatherers living around the Mediterranean many millennia ago.
The bread (a 100% whole wheat bread from this book) turned out beautifully. Brown and nutty, but not too dense.
Things that you've made
from scratch always taste best. Especially if yeast farts are involved.
I love these two. Even better, they love each other.