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I am so proud of myself. I learned how to make bread! The other day I made bread and was filling so fulfilled and happy that I had to take some pictures. It was probably my best batch ever. My mother always made bread. Some of my fondest child hood memories was coming home from school to the smell of fresh baked bread. My mom tried to time her bread so she pulled it out of the oven just as we were coming home. She'd cut a great big thick piece that was a little crunchy on the out side and soft, warm and dreamy on the inside. I loved it with butter & honey melting and dripping all over my fingers. The smell of fresh bread never fails to bring me memories of my mother. I never really thought with my crazy schedule, I'd ever find myself taking time to make bread. It seemed that when my mom did it, it took all day and I just didn't think I could commit to that kind of time. It really seemed that it would be hard to do. I really think there is an art to making bread. This last year I've been contemplating more ways I can be self sufficient. I love that I know how to sew, cook, garden, can etc. It feels so good to know I have the skills that I can take care of my family. There's just an odd sense of satisfaction to it all. We had a lot of wheat in our food storage, but I didn't even own a wheat grinder. I thought it was ridiculous that I couldn't really even use the wheat. Taking wheat to my moms to use her grinder wasn't really a great option either. You can't really grind a lot in advance unless you keep it in the fridge so it doesn't lose its nutritional value. So you can see it really wasn't working for me. I'd been telling Jeff I'd like a wheat grinder for Christmas so I could actually use the wheat we had. In the fall a good friend of mine convinced me to attend a bread making class she was giving. I went eager to see if I could figure out this bread making mystery and find a better faster way to do it. She was great. She teamed up with Jeff and I got a new wheat grinder and a bosch mixer for Christmas! A couple of lame attempts later and I'm starting to really get the hang of this bread thing. The bosch makes it fast and easy and Jamie's instructions and recipe has really helped me out. We are now loving and eating my bread regularly. Today, I almost botched it and left out the salt, but I got it in there last minute and it turned out teriffic! Thanks Jamie for your patience in helping me learn. Thanks mom for the thousands of loaves of bread you made with love for me and for instilling the desire to learn this skill so I can make it for my family. Bread...truly a comfort food.