Sentinel-Echo.com

Columns

December 12, 2013

A Canuck in Kantuck: Prairie bread in the Kentucky hills

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Up until I realized it was probably responsible for making me gain 10 pounds, I spent a batch of time each week baking bread. This experiment went on for nearly a year, with each Monday morning spent watching the KitchenAid spin while I slowly added flour to the yeast, water, sugar, salt and oil in the bowl. It was a pleasurable process, and I always felt like a real, live Suzy Homemaker when I turned the golden loaves on the baking racks I’d set up. I especially looked forward to the moment when I could offer a still-warm slice to my stepdaughter Gabrielle after I picked her up from school.

My interest in baking bread started with a Williams-Sonoma cookbook my husband bought before I moved to Kentucky. The pictures looked delicious, and I started working my way through the recipes. The results were mediocre though, with none of them tasting especially memorable no matter how many raisins, olives, sun-dried tomatoes, herbs and caraway I added. Certainly they tasted nothing like the bread I grew up with on the prairies, where flour comes from hard winter wheat that produces loaves with a tasty, soft crumb and a crunchy, equally tasty crust.

Then my resourceful mom stepped in and hooked me up with her friend Carol, a 62-year-old woman who took over her mother’s kitchen at age 9 and has been cooking and baking ever since. I had met Carol a few times before and noticed she always came with shortbread wrapped in a beautifully ribboned box.

My mom asked her if she would bake with me for an afternoon while I was visiting, and Carol immediately agreed. She showed up on a snowy day with a cardboard banker’s box topped full with baking essentials. Anchoring the box was a Braun mixer, which she deftly set up, and a 10-pound bag of Robin Hood flour.

Text Only
Columns
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

How do you celebrate Easter?

A. Celebrate with the fellowship at church.
B. Have a meal with friends and family.
C. Egg hunts with the kids.
D. All of the above.
     View Results