In the olden days, bread baking was a daily routine. Many times a loaf of warm, fresh from the oven bread, with a topping of fresh-churned butter was a meal - in times of hardship, in times of scarcity.

Today, the food industry provides a mind-boggling array of bread products - your choice, to mix and match to your heart's content. They did, however, with all the magic of science, leave out "just a little." That little is the aroma or scent of fresh-baking bread, a hint of spice, and the texture of kneaded dough that provided not only sustenance but a form of "therapy" for the baker.

It wouldn't take much to take a step back in time and give your family and friends that old-fashioned, yet timely, welcoming aroma that just brings them to the kitchen, awakens even the most sluggish appetite, and the smiles - well, that is the true "icing" on the bread.

The convenience of electric mixers with dough hooks and even bread machines, frozen loaves of bread that just need to have that "finishing touch" - there is really no excuse not to bake bread, not because you have to - but because you want to.

Fall and all the upcoming holidays are an inspiration for your own creativity with spices, fruits, and other delights that give your loaf your "perfect touch." Bread baking - memory making - they just go together. Try it - and the rewards will just bring you back to the kitchen to bake "one more loaf."

©Arleen M. Kaptur, August, 2003
Author of books and articles on living a simple,
rustic lifestyle - and getting the most from each and
every day.