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Friday, January 15, 2010

yeastie beasties

I used to make bread from scratch a lot. In the midst of raising four kids and volunteering many hours a week, the ritual of baking my own bread centered me. Then I drifted away from the practice. Then I used a bread machine once in a while.
Last night, Peter said he would like pizza for supper. He rarely has an opinion about supper, and is happy to eat whatever shows up on his plate. But my heart sank a bit, 'cause I am no fan of take out pizza. Then I's an opportunity to switch it up, bake from scratch, feed a wish!
I pulled out my battered copy of Vegetarian Cooking, by the editors of Sunset Books (which I bought at the Stanford Bookstore in October 1984...I write in my books) and turned to their recipe for whole wheat pizza crust.
Once the ingredients had a few minutes to sit together, I began to knead the dough. And the magical sensation came back to me. Those little yeasties are alive and they all start working together just because that's what they like to do! Then the dough had to sit for 45 minutes, waiting for the chance to rise.
I felt a simple delight,  knowing that I was in the middle of the ageless tradition of puttering in a kitchen, with dough rising close by.
I made a very simple and easy tomato sauce, and we sprinkled Kalamata olives and cheeses on top, too. Springy, chewy crust that's full of whole wheat goodness, and yummy toppings to add to the fun..yum!

Today I thought of all the other kinds of yeastie goodness we have in our lives. Quotes from wise thinkers that remind us of truths, all sorts of ideas that percolate (like the yeast) until they become actual and tangible projects, good friends who both challenge us and comfort us, difficult situations that we have to find our way through,  good fortune that inspires I am just rambling.

Ray Bradbury wrote,"Creativity is a continual surprise".

Here's hoping your day is full of yeastie surprises, be they real or figurative!


  1. that sounds like a perfect pizza.
    i don't think i've ever made bread from scratch.
    the yeasties scare me.
    hm, maybe i need to make that leap.
    great post.
    and back atcha!

  2. I'm a huge fan of homemade bread and often make my own. My problem is that it is too easy to sit there and eat a whole loaf straight from the oven. LOL

  3. Must be in the air. Today I'm making carrot soup, cheddar cheese bread, and lemon-almond cake. I never cook this much!

  4. In the air it is - Fridays are my new year's commitment to bread so I'll have goodies for family on the weekend. A Christmas gift book "Healthy Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day" helped me past that yeast fear - no kneading!

  5. Lucky P not only to get a pizza, but a homemade pizza! I used to bake bread almost every week when i was in grad school, and made homemade pizza a few times...the pizza was good, but since i lived in one of the best pizza making places in the world, it really wasn't worth it. Now my father has started baking bread again and it's turned out to be a lovely icebreaker for him.

  6. Oh you are making me hungry! I write in my books too; it feels so defiant! Baking bread is so lovely, feeling the yeast come alive in your hands, yes!