Susan of Food.Baby chose this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe--(a club dedicated to baking and blogging through her book Baking: From My Home to Yours)--and what a choice she made! (ok, let's face it, it's not like any of the Dorie recipes are bad choices...) I guess I always especially like the ones that make me feel connected to childhood/young adulthood spent in the kitchen.
Nothing does that for me--as I'm sure with so many others--than the smell of bread baking. I was excited to try this recipe--and it came together so easily!! I made the dough Saturday night...up to the 'freeze for 30 min' which is when I put it in the fridge to hang out for the night. I left it in a nicely shaped rectangle....
And Sunday morning I found this
Ya, that dough goiter hanging off the left side of it wasn't there the night before...but it rolled out nicely and after some shoving I got it into the pan!
I have made bread before, but never made raisin/cinnamon swirl! So festive...Here is where I admit I'm a raisin snob at times. In fact, I used less than half the raisins called for in the recipe--just enough to complement every piece cut, but not enough to overload it. (I'm always on the lookout for the ever elusive "cinnamon" bagel...no raisins, just cinnamon. I have only rarely found it!)
I froze half the loaf for making Father's Day French Toast! Dear Husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the rest..."this is awesome" was the exact phrase from DH..and our little one even had some, and from the flailing hands and feet from the high chair, and the hands opening and closing to beckon for more, I think it was a thumbs up!
It was a pleasure to make--and to bring the smell of my mom's kitchen into my kitchen, which I just love doing. Music and smells are what brings me back to a moment in time..how I measure my history. (Which is why I just emailed my high school reunion committee a whole playlist of songs from 1986-1990...our 20 yr reunion is this fall and they asked for song suggestions...I gave them everything from that era from B-52 Love Shack to Young MC It Takes Two to Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer..and everything in between (that means you Milli Vanilli, MC Hammer, Ton Loc, and Paula Abdul!) I hear some of these songs and I'm immediately in a car with my best friend from high school, and we are driving to football games...or basketball games.....or dancing at school or CYO dances ---looking for whomever was Crush Boy at the moment to make an appearance....and when I hear songs like The Lady in Red or Hold onto the Night, I have an urge to go blend into the wall or run off to the bathroom for fear that I'd be the loser without the dancing partner!)
And so with kitchen smells it's the same. As the bread was baking I was transported to the kitchen in our house I grew up in....Mom would make multiple loaves of bread usually at Thanksgiving and Christmas..she'd make enough to cover us through dinners, the leftover turkey sandwiches, morning toast (we so loved our toast in our house! Both French and good ol' toast-r-oven kind!) And any snacks in between. I love when I bake yeast recipes because I smell it, and Mom, who has been gone over 12 years now, seems to be no further away than just the other room...maybe in the dining room trying to find the "good tablecloth", or counting out silver, or in the Breakfast Room setting up the "kids table", and all the while singing along with Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby or Frank Sinatra or the Carpenters or show tunes....I hope one day my Littlest Baker smells bread baking and thinks "Home. Mom." I may not ever know about it, but I hope it's a connection made one day over time and space....(though I fear it won't be nice as the picture I have in my head ...My son will probably say something like, "I smell bread baking -- you know, that almost-burned smell--and I think of my mother...swearing that she left it in the oven too long..or not long enough...and in the background--I hear her singing along to bad 80's music....ahh, home. Mom..."