If you wake up sad, bake bread.

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I don’t know what it is about Sundays, but I often wake up unsure and worried on Sunday mornings. If Saturday has been eventful, I’m worried I’ll be less busy and productive, and if it was a lazy Saturday, I’ll feel even more slothful. I’ve learned though, that the first thing that I can do that will take me into a good Sunday is going downstairs, mixing yeast and water, flour and a little butter, and making a loaf of bread.

Something about the smell of bread rising makes me feel like I’m really in the home life: I’m making something hearty to feed the man I love and to nourish myself, and it’s a core ingredient to which will be added vegetables and fruits, meats and cheese. It feels like my most basic building block: if I can make bread in my chemistry lab called a kitchen, I can tackle a Sunday.

Life has been pretty good for a while now – I’ve been out of the hubbub of planning a wedding, and Husband and I have settled into a rhythm of keeping our home at a level of clean that we like. We have all the furniture we need and are actually trying to keep an eye out for things we can get rid of so our house doesn’t become a never-ending pile of the broken things we don’t need any more; we go to the gym for cycling class and we go to work at the local food pantry after work, and we meet friends at local outdoor concerts and we travel to see those we miss and love in other places. I have no reason to be dissatisfied at all.

This isn’t enough, though, to make a melancholy mood leave; I cannot always just will sadness out of my life just because there’s no reason for it to be there. Instead, I’ve found that the physical labor of life works the sadness out of my muscles, like coffee chases away sleepiness. Kneading a yielding blob of dough, punching it down and watching it crust over in the oven: these things get me there. I hope you have something that works for you the same way.

If you would like a great bread recipe that requires no kneading to boot, try out this one and see what you think.

10 Comments, RSS

  1. helbergfarmstories September 26, 2017 @ 2:34 pm

    Any one of my many crafting projects usually picks up my mood. My sister is the baker and I have even caught her humming or singing when she bakes – 😉

  2. Gabi Coatsworth September 26, 2017 @ 2:35 pm

    I agree – the smell of bread, rising or baking, is so comforting. And let’s not forget the warm bread with butter – very cheering!

  3. teacherturnedmommyblog September 26, 2017 @ 4:04 pm

    baking anything is one of my favorite past times. it causes you to focus all your energy into the recipe and then you get to enjoy the results. People know the more stressed I am the more I bake

  4. shoes15 September 26, 2017 @ 9:28 pm

    I love baking my own bread in the fall and winter. Something about the process really makes me feel like I am … I don’t know… “participating in my own life,” as Carrie Fisher wrote.

  5. Beatrice September 27, 2017 @ 2:52 am

    I would love to bake bread, but my dad hates using the oven because it’s too much electricity, meaning $$$. But I totally understand you. Busying yourself with something simple somehow massages those bleh feelings away. Exactly like kneading dough.

  6. myquarterlifesurprise September 27, 2017 @ 7:55 pm

    This was such a heartwarming post to read. Loved this: “I’ve found that the physical labor of life works the sadness out of my muscles, like coffee chases away sleepiness.”

    Reading is usually a pick me up for me! 🙂

    https://myquarterlifesurprise.com/

  7. My Way Home Life September 27, 2017 @ 10:01 pm

    Hmm, yes. The entire process of bread baking is very comforting. For me, exercise also chases the blues away.

    • lauramleavitt September 28, 2017 @ 9:28 am

      So true – when I haven’t been exercising enough, I forget about the way it restores me and I have to be reminded. 🙂

  8. macbick September 29, 2017 @ 3:07 pm

    Well said and also very accurate. I recently made some pita bread that went quite well with my wife’s homemade potato soup. The house smelled amazing and we had the satisfaction of working together to make something necessary (food) and amazing (good food). Thank you for this post.

  9. lynelleg October 6, 2017 @ 9:34 am

    Hi there! thanks for checking out my blog today. I really loved this post. There is something reminiscent of “mindfulness” in the way your describe finding quietness in the physical labour of making bread. There is joy in kneading bread. 🙂

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