03 August 2022

Bread Therapy & Butter Thoughts

I don't know why baking bread is so calming and comforting. Or why eating even the simplest homemade bread--flour, yeast, salt, and water--feels like such a luxury. But it is, and it does. Does it tap into some ancient genetic memory? Surely no other food crosses time and culture like bread. When I was growing up, my mom always baked bread before a storm. Before typhoons when we were stationed in the tropics, before blizzards when we were stationed where it snows, before hurricanes when we were stationed in Texas. I'm sure that was mostly just preparation, but as an adult I now wonder if it was also some sort of self-soothing ritual: indulging in the calm and comfort of baking bread before everything goes sideways. There are all sorts of storms in life, some worse than others. Some are severe but pass quickly. Some batter us for months or even years. Maybe it's the simple things and the old ways that carry us through, just as they've carried our ancestors through for generations... putting our hands in the dirt and growing things... sitting down with a needle and thread... baking bread to nourish ourselves...

I found this recipe when I was looking for a low-effort homemade bread and I couldn't be more pleased with it. Mr. Wonderful loves it. It's as easy as falling off a log. I stir it up before I go to bed and then whenever I get around to it the next day, plop it onto a floured surface, shape it, and bake it. Ta-da! Fresh bread! So far I've only made the mini loaves, but I think I'll experiment with one large loaf or a couple of smaller ones. Lots of folks like their homemade bread with a crisp crust, which this has when just baked. I store mine in a plastic bag on the counter (which softens the crust to our liking) and even in a hot climate, it lasts almost a week, probably due to the salt content. You'll probably want to experiment with the amount, especially if you're eating it with salted butter (I use Kerrygold).

On the subject of butter, as long as we're being luxurious and making our own bread, we might as well have lovely soft, spreadable butter on hand. I'm not sure at what point, or for what reason, we decided that butter had to live in the fridge or we'd die from food poisoning, but it happened, and we've been depriving ourselves. I keep butter for baking and cooking in there, but for eating, there's nothing better than room temperature butter. I have a very pretty French butter crock, but it holds too much butter for us to get through in the few days required in this climate. I went looking for something to hold just a wee bit of butter and found this absolutely adorable little butter keeper in this Etsy shop. It lives on the counter by the bread, ready at a moment's notice for a quick snack of homemade bread, soft Irish butter, and strawberry jam. Now that's luxury.

I have more thoughts on why things that were once so common and necessary to daily life they were completely unremarkable have become modern day luxuries. But that's for another day. 

Happy Baking!



  1. I've always been scared to try breadmaking. Maybe I will give this a try!

    1. Oh, Linda, give it a go! It's a very forgiving recipe. Treat yourself!

  2. When my family were young I would make bread every day.
    Life now is very busy for us , and we would never eat it all.
    But I do love the smell of fresh bread .

  3. Thanks for the link.
    This sounds easy & delicious.
    I love the smell of yeast breads.

  4. What a thought-provoking post on bread and butter you shared, Honeybee! Thank you for the link for the ceramic butter dish. We keep butter on the counter for everyday use as well.

  5. Your comments on the efficacy and calming effect of old fashioned bread making filled
    me with solace.. quite true... especially the needle and thread part.. we need that slowing
    down of pace and memory-provokng aroma to remind us of what is essential to well being.
    Honeybee, you are a poet....

    1. How I loved your thoughts on Bread Therapy and Butter thoughts. I remember fresh bread as a child, warm and comforting. When no one was watching you could scoop out the middle and indulge in that wonderful taste. Then, have another slice, with fresh butter and so it went. These days My DH is Gluten free. He says I have a stock in the fridge of car tyres and rims.:( So no baking for me, no gluten type bread just doesn't do it for either of us . Thanks for the memories, I almost could taste the bread from way back last century. :):) Kay.

  6. Thank you for the link on the bread! I love to bake bread. :) And of course eat it!!