I made scones for lunch the other day. I did it the old-fashioned way with a sifter, a pastry cutter and my hands. No machines. Don’t get me wrong. I love my bread maker, but I miss the experience of working the dough. There is something eminently satisfying about kneading bread. I love how the dough changes from sticky and formless into a smooth, round ball as I work it. I love the gentle movement of pressing the heel of my palm into the dough, flipping and turning it. I like the way this timeless activity connects me to my foremothers. Generations of women have performed this same task, turning flour, fat and yeast into tasty food for a family.
This photo of my grandmother, at an advanced age, baking bread at the kitchen table evokes feelings of warmth, and family, and connection. You can’t see it in the photo, but all around her, her daughters and granddaughters are preparing Christmas dinner. It’s one of my favourite memories.
In my wip, the heroine has devoted herself to making a home for her sister. She succeeds, but her success is hollow when she realizes that she had provided shelter, but not “home.” I think I’ll have her make bread. The kneading will connect her to the place. The smell of fresh bread will put heart in her hearth.
Any other fans of kneading out there?