Making Bread with Emily




We stand in the kitchen

sifting flour from metal sifters,

looking out the window at the Jays,

powdering all the granite.


Our brains may or may not

be the weight of God.

I try to explain a neuroscience

viewpoint and muck it up.


She dashes around the house,

curious mind observing,

exploring.  The Jays take peanuts

from her hand without hesitation.


They have never landed on mine,

despite all my coaxing.

The injustice of fame,

the unfairness of immortality.


Ingredients wait at room

temperature: Eggs, oil, honey,

wheat flour, all the colors

of her hair.  Warming milk


in the microwave is another

mindbender.  I reassure her

powdered yeast will work.

We place our hands in the goo,


begin kneading;  that familiar

tactile work soothes her frayed

nerves after the electric mixer

fiasco.  I should have used


a wooden spoon. We prove

deft at kneading, oiled fingers

working the moist dough into

elastic. We punch, push, poke


with our floured hands, chat, laugh,

let tiny yeasts elevate the mixture

until we roll it out with wooden pins.

The dough springs back. Giggling,




two poets enjoy shaping the loaves,

then wait for the rising. My wedding

ring and Emily’s eternity band made

of seed pearls adorn washed hands.



Time passes more slant than poetry.

As the bread bakes, we prepare

to sit for tea and compare notes. 

I fetch my best English teacups,


butter, jam, show her my  manuscript.

She prefers my metric poems.  “Are you

familiar with Walt Whitman?” I ask.

She rolls her eyes, mutters something



about rough men and their infernal egos,

lets me know that she’d much rather

spend our time breaking bread together.

We both agree that it is delicious.


2 pkgs. yeast
2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. oil or butter
1/3 c. honey or sugar
2/3 c. powdered milk
2 eggs
1 c. wheat germ
2 c. warm water
7 c. unsifted flour
Have all ingredients at room temperature or slightly warmer. Put first 8 ingredients, plus 3 cups of the flour in a large mixing bowl. Beat 5 to 10 minutes at medium on mixer. By hand, stir in 2 cups of flour, no need to make it smooth. Sprinkle 1 cup flour in 10 inch diameter on kneading surface.

Turn out dough, oil hands and knead only with fingertips until dough stiffens. Knead 5 to 10 minutes more until smooth. Add flour as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and towel. Let rest for 20 minutes. Punch down and knead a few strokes. Divide into 2 equal portions.

On oiled surface, with oiled rolling pin, roll dough to 8×12 inch rectangle. Roll small end towards you jelly roll fashion. Seal well. Place seam side down in greased bread pans or form rolls and place in greased pan. Brush with oil; cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 2 to 24 hours.

(This is easy to mix up when children are in bed, then bake in the morning.)

~ by dianeklammer on April 15, 2013.

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