Bake Your Own Bread

Raise of hands: Who thinks they can’t make bread? Don’t worry, no one’s watching. Admit it, the thought of using yeast in baked goods scares you almost as much as the upcoming SpongeBob marathon on Nickelodeon.

I once thought I couldn’t make bread either. Turns out, it is all about the recipe. My good friend Melissa made this bread for me when she invited my family over for dinner one night. "I wish I could make bread like this," I told her. "You should try this recipe. It’s really easy," she said. Sure it is, I thought sarcastically. I didn’t believe her at all. Still, I dutifully copied down the recipe, fully intending to throw it away once I got home. But instead, decided to give it a try. I’ve been making loaves at least once a week ever since.

And the best part about making this bread is it’s a stress reliever. Seriously, follow me on this: Once the dough is mixed, you have to (or rather, get to) punch it down every 10 minutes. My middle child calls it "beater" bread. Now I’m no food science expert, so I’ve no idea why the punching makes this bread so good (probably has something to do with the two tablespoons of yeast in it), but I can tell you it does do wonders for the bread and your psyche. Give it a try: Even my brother-in-law made perfect loaves the first time with this recipe.

Ready for your house to smell like baking bread over the holidays? It’s good to the last crumb (if you can find one!).