There's something good about baking bread.
Isn't it amazing that different proportions and quantities of the same few ingredients can give you so many different things? Flour + water + yeast + salt = many, many different types of bread. Incredible.
Bread makes you wait. It encourages delayed gratification. It's a science and an art all at the same time. It's delicious and wholesome. And there's something satisfying about mastering kneading, folding and shaping techniques.
My love for bread making began on a trip to Chicago when Kyle and I had been married for less than a year. I was stuck in traffic and the radio was on an AM talk station. Normally I would have changed it, but I just wasn't paying attention.
The interview was with a woman named Rose Levy Beranbaum, author of The Bread Bible. I shifted into park on I-90, waiting for traffic to start moving again and listened to her talk about baking bread as if it were a type of therapy. Kyle bought me The Bread Bible for Christmas and he still says it was one of the best investments he's ever made.
I made bread way more before we had kids than I do now, for all of the obvious reasons. I made two loaves of cinnamon swirl bread two weeks ago, and my love for it came rushing back. Now, however, I have to barricade the work area of my kitchen so that I don't have any little people reaching for things on the counter or touching hot pans.
Several people have asked me for the recipe, but it's 7 pages long. I found a condensed version of the recipe on this post (scroll a little bit down the page).