Back to basics + bread

“Don’t be intimidated. World travelers are just people who bought plane tickets. Pulitzer prize winners are people who sit alone and write. You can break the most profound accomplishment down to a series of mundane tasks.” – Maggie Mason on Mighty Girl

I read this today. I was like, “YEAH! Girl you are so right!” I tend to get easily intimidated. Not by other people’s accomplishments per sé, but by my expectations for myself. I want a lot. I want to squeeze out every last drop of life like water from a wet towel, and then muscle up for another ringer. Like, you’d be better off asking me what’s not on my bucket list. Winning a hot dog eating contest. That’s it. Hot dogs aside, I expect my life to be full of wild adventures, unparalleled creativity, meaningful relationships, and successes both measurable and incalculable. I want to be an inspiration. I want to be influential. I want to start things, move things, change things. I want a lot. I, I, I, I am an entitled, disillusioned 22-year-old who thinks the world revolves around me… and I am highly self-critical. See, I can’t even read over this last paragraph without critiquing my egocentricity, because I also expect myself to be empathetic and selfless. I digress. What I’m trying to say is I want a lot of things, and it is overwhelming. This quote helped me think about breaking. things. down. to. the. basic. level.

I can spend hours in the library scanning the shelves and making lists of all the books I want to read, or I can pick one, find a comfy chair, and make some progress. It seems silly that I want to be able to say, “I’ve read that” or “I’ve done that” – when the true pleasure is in the reading and the doing. Why am I so focused on the end product?

Probably because the end product can be pretty delicious…

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And now, for a recipe. This is possibly the easiest bread you could make – you just have to remember to prepare it the day before. You should definitely give it a shot. There’s nothing quite like a fresh, warm slice of bread alongside a hearty soup for this last bit of cold weather!

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Crusty Rosemary Garlic Loaf

6 garlic cloves – or enough to make about 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped

4 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

1 cup each spelt, whole wheat, and all purpose flour (so 3 cups of flour)

1 3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon quick-rise yeast

1 1/2 cups water

Chop up the garlic and rosemary, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the three flours, yeast, and salt. Stir in the garlic and rosemary. When they seem evenly dispersed, add the water, mixing just until the dough holds together. Cover the bowl in plastic wrap and let rise for at least 12 hours.

The next day, preheat your oven to 450. Once the oven is hot, heat your dutch oven (or another large, oven-proof cooking ware dish with a lid) for 30 mins. At this point, your dough will be super sticky – plop it out onto a well-floured surface and form it into a nice ball. Cover it and let it sit while the dutch oven heats.

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Now drop the dough into the dutch oven (careful – it will be very hot!), slide back into the oven oven, and bake for 30 mins. Remove the lid and bake another 12 minutes. Annnnddd voilla! Enjoy :)

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