Baking is my therapy.
If I am stressed, I bake. If I am angry, I bake. If I am confused, I bake. If I am anxious, I bake. If I am happy, I bake. That last one doesn't call for therapy, but still, I bake.
Usually I bake a lot of cookies. There is something so soothing about creaming butter and sugar and putting tray after tray in the oven. It requires almost no thought but the repetition is calming. However, if I am having a very bad day I bake bread. Because ultimately there is no better way to get your frustrations out than to violently knead bread dough. You can punch it and mash it and you can even name it if you are upset with a specific person. Then once you have gotten all your aggressive tendencies out you return to the calm and relaxing proving and shaping and baking. Plus, your house is filled with the best smell on earth. Is there anything like the smell of baking bread? That alone is guaranteed to make you happy.
This week I baked cinnamon rolls. I wasn't in any particular need of baking therapy but I do have a new cookbook full of delicious sounding recipes and I finally had time to try it out. The cookbook is The Bread Baker's Apprentice* by Peter Reinhart. Based on the one recipe I have tried, I absolutely love it.
The first 100 or so pages are information about bread. The book covers such things as types of yeast and how fermentation works, bakers formulas (which I haven't quite gotten to grips with) and shaping loaves. It is more technical than many cookbooks I have used but still manages to be accessible and easy to understand. The recipes themselves are also clearly written. Each step is easy to follow.
However, the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the proof is in the cinnamon rolls. How did they turn out? Well, my family managed to eat half the pan within half an hour of them coming out of the oven and my son told me that they are the best thing I have ever baked. And as I think I have made clear, I bake a lot. I call that a success.
Now to decide what I will try next. Maybe home made English Muffins or the Cranberry Walnut Celebration Bread. So many choices. So much therapy ahead of me. So much delicious bread.
*I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review.