Last week I was on a quest: to find the perfect recipe for home made bread. I had tried baking bread before and they never turned out right. I baked plenty a loaf in the breadmaker too, but I never really liked them very much. Definitely not as good as the bread from the bakery, which is probably cheaper anyway!
But last week I decided that I was not going to give up until I managed to bake the perfect loaf. I decided on letting the breadmaker doing the kneading, but give the baking job to the oven. I also made some no-knead breads. I made 6 loaves in 1 week. I was determined, I was not going to lose confidence. I baked the breads in the evenings and I have never felt so keen to have breakfast in the morning!
In fact, my excitement at every step of the process grew with each loaf. I checked every 10 minutes to see how much it had risen, I stood at the oven to watch it rise while it baked, I tapped it, examined and smelled it when it came out of the oven. And I was almost jumping up and down with excitement when I cut off the first slice.
I suppose it was hard to hide that kind of enthusiasm from Ella. She was so supportive. I asked her every morning if she wanted "mama's bread or bread from the baker" and she never hesitated when she chose mine. Even when the loaves were coarse and dense or too moist or too salty.
And when I finally found the ultimate recipe (and said so about 10 times that morning), she declared it was the best bread in the whole world.
To be honest, I don't think she cares much about what her bread tastes or looks like. She noticed how important it seemed to me to get it right and so her extraordinary empathy kicked in and she encouraged me.
Bless her cotton socks. (But now I'll have to find a less biased taster to rate my bread!)