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Patty’s Ponderings: The Zen of Baking Bread

Bread rising in a bowl
Flickr

Ben and I were sitting in the studio today; we had a trivia question about the smell of bread baking making people kinder. Ben said it only makes sense, because, “who has ever wanted to punch the Pillsbury Doughboy?”. I raised my hand; so he continued, “I mean you might want to poke him, but you’d never punch him!”

Of course you want to poke and punch him. That is what you do with freshly raised bread dough! It is one of the great pleasures of bread baking. At least it has been in my life. I first learned of the magical power of punching down dough, at my mom’s side in the kitchen, when I was a kid. Believe me, that woman needed to punch something every once-in-a-while, (for reasons I won’t go into right now)!

As I may have mentioned before; my mom wasn’t much of a domestic goddess. She hated housework, (I guess that’s genetic), didn’t really like to cook and wasn’t particularly good at it. But, oh that woman could bake! We still use her bread recipe to this day.

You may think that this is a fairly meek form of stress relief. But if you bake bread, or rolls or even make homemade pizza dough very often, (bread machines don’t count) you have a great opportunity to punch, (poking is allowed, but not as much fun) a lot of stress away!

After being married to Ben for 30 years, you’d think Ben’s wife, Linda, would be baking bread and punching it down daily!

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