Happiness is Homemade Focaccia

Every once in a while I get an interview request with the question, “Tell us something nobody knows about you.”  Well, of course, if nobody knows something, there’s an awfully good reason, isn’t there?  And how likely am I to divulge deep, dark secrets to people I’ve never met?

Foccacia cropped.jpgBut here’s something most people don’t know.  I am an obsessive bread baker.  For the past eighteen months, I haven’t bought a single loaf of bread.  Pepperidge Farm and Schwebels, eat your heart out–or your signature 7 grain sourdough.  I’m busy eating my own, thank you.

When my children were little, I always baked our bread.  Only whole grains, of course, and five loaves at a time.  I’d like to take a bow for that kind of dedication, but let’s just say that the first time our children attended a Passover Seder, they felt right at home with the matzoh.  They were used to unleavened bread.  To this day they turn a peculiar shade of green when confronted with whole wheat.  Wonder bread was the ultimate childhood treat.

Back then I tried everything to make my bread rise.  Now I’m certain my yeast wasn’t good or my water was too hot.  But after too many years of doorstop loaves and grousing teenagers, I gave up my struggle.

Then two birthdays ago my husband gave me a KitchenAid mixer, and the bread baking began again in earnest. 

Now that I’m more successful, from time to time I’ll be sharing my favorite recipes right here .  After all, if we’re going to be talking about the keys to happiness, homemade bread is surely one of them.  Try a loaf and see what it does to your personal happiness threshold.

Right this minute, though, I have focaccia rising in my kitchen, and I have to tend to it.  When it’s ready to go into the oven, I’ll drizzle olive oil mixed with rosemary and chopped garlic on the top, then tear into it the moment it’s finished.  I wish you were here to share, but stay tuned for the recipe in my next blog.  Like the loaf in my oven, I hope it will be worth waiting for.

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