Saturday, April 21, 2012

Grandma's Bread

Fresh bread warm from the baking is a treat for both the taste buds and the nose. I have a bread machine that makes baking a loaf of bread very simple, but the best bread I ever ate was the bread my grandma made.

On baking day Grandma's house was filled with the aroma of fresh, hot bread. Living without electricity or natural gas meant that all of Grandma's cooking was done on a coal or wood fired kitchen range. She could not set an automatic control and have her oven heat to just the right temperature. Nevertheless, she was a world-class baker. The aroma alone was enough to set one's saliva flowing and stomach growling. As good as the homemade bread was, my favorite thing was her light bread biscuits (as distinguished from ordinary baking powder biscuits). These yeast rolls came out of the oven with a light, crisp crust on the outside and a fluffy, tender inside. Add home churned butter and they were melt-in-the mouth treats.

Grandma could, I believe, bake anything. She made a delicious date nut loaf for special occasions, and I've never tasted lemon meringue pie as good as hers (all made from scratch, of course). But it is the memory of her light bread biscuits and the smell of her bread baking that takes me back to her home and her kitchen.

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