Thoughts on life and bagels. (Adventures in Bread)

When you are sitting up late at night writing a paper or studying for a test, do you ever dream about being a bread baker? I do. I would happily go to sleep at 8pm and wake up before the sun to head into my friendly little bakery to start preparing fresh delicious breads for my amazing local customers. Spending dark quiet mornings surrounded by rising dough and the smell of yeast… What? You don’t have that fantasy? Hmm… well, you obviously have never made bagels. I’m telling you, the magical experience of actually creating your own homemade bagels is enough to make you want to put down your pen and put on an apron.

Rewind a few months. As graduation inched (flew, really) towards me, I began to feel more and more burned out on all the time spent on my computer, analyzing and fact checking and researching. I didn’t bake for weeks. I just needed to get my hands covered in flour and heat up my oven. There is something so grounding about the process of bread-making, and let me tell you, I needed some solid ground! And while I didn’t have control over the type of security that might come with, say, a job prospect for the future (and still don’t..eeek!), I do have control over my hands and the ingredients in my kitchen. And really, if all it takes is a little kneading, shaping, boiling, and baking to make me feel like I’ve got a handle on things, I’m a pretty lucky girl.

These bagels… well, they were just bagels. But I made them with my own two hands, and I’ll take pride in that, thank you very much!  I hope that, in the midst of whatever is stressing you out these days, you can find a Saturday morning to give these a try.

Take your time.

Get messy.

Knead until your arms hurt.

Be patient.

Savor the taste.

Don’t worry about life, just make bagels.

 

(Where are the directions you ask? The recipe I used was from my trusty Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart. This book is too beautiful to smash all over the internet, so I suggest you hit the library or bookstore and get a copy!)

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