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Kneading dough, the old-fashioned way

— In my own kitchen with the exhausted food processor, I went back to the old-fashioned way. By the time I had the dough ready to knead on the table, my 10-year-old was up getting breakfast. She often helps me in the kitchen, so I asked her if she wanted to help knead the bread. “Sure, but I don’t know how,” she said.

I showed her how to dust the board, and swirl the dough over it. She dug in with her fingers, just as I had at first. I gently showed her what Aunt Dorothy showed me. In no time we had shaped two loaves and set them to rise in the sunshine on the windowsill. She went off to finish getting ready for school. When she got home, we had our own wheat toast with butter and a glass of milk.

I haven’t given a whole lot more thought to buying a new food processor. There’s something visceral, and even vocational, about kneading the dough myself. And as for chopping, and slicing, and dicing—it goes well with the view from my kitchen window. I’m not in a hurry to change my world.

Karen Abbott is a published author and the mother of four girls, raised at Abbott Farms in Baldwinsville. She enjoys quilting, teaching and home economics.

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