500: breaking rules, baking bread

For a Sunday, we were up early–one of the perks of having a baby. Before eating breakfast, I decided it’d be nice to make a sweet bread of some sort, something quick, a little sugary and a lot tastey. Baking isn’t unusual for me. Neither is baking bread nor baking something for the first time.

During my first tour of grad school, banana bread was my thing. I even made it vegan, back before vegan was a badge of honor. It meant one less ingredient and the ability to leave the finished product out on the kitchen counter for a day or two. Who likes cold bread?

I knew my recipe so well that for months, I no longer had to read the directions, which resonated with me quite nicely–I’m all about not reading directions.

😳

I know, right. Sounds rebellious and unpastoral. It’s true, though, I don’t like reading directions. This isn’t to be confused with not doing what I’m told. I can be quite obedient especially when I’m completely new to something. But baking bread isn’t something I’m completely new to…so I prefer to chart my own course. I like to think of it as being creative. 

I’d made a quick cheese bread on Saturday to accompany our pasta lunch. The recipe was so simple that I figured I could modify it, turn it into a sweet bread. So I tried.

Effort is just about everything. I almost didn’t bake the cheese bread on Saturday because it seemed as if the timing would be off. Would it be ready when our guests arrived? It’s certainly not something you’d care to eat after lunch.

I did a quick assessment of the recipe and a few things became clear–I had all the ingredients, the recipe would be easy to follow, there were very few steps. And most importantly, my prior baking experience would make it possible for me to knock this bread out in no time. If anything, our guests would arrive while it’s still baking and it would be ready just a little bit after we begin eating.

So I tried.

And I tried again on Sunday. The success that comes after effort builds confidence, a particularly strong variety. A few modifications later, I soon placed an apple bread batter into the oven and I did so without fear. I don’t remember being certain that it would be amazing but it’s striking to me that I have no memory of thinking it would be a flop. And while it baked, I decided to find another recipe. For some reason, I’d greased two loaf pans. I didn’t want the second greasing to go to waste, so the search for more yummy Sunday morning goodness commenced.

I found one and, once again, I didn’t follow it perfectly. This round yielded a really nice banana apple bread, so moist, so good.

If I always stick with what fits perfectly into a particular box/method/tradition, there are some thing’s I’ll never get to enjoy–like baked yummies on a Sunday morning while baby naps. 

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