I used to hate the word/term “stay-at-home-mom” or SAHM. I used to think it sounded so lazy or insignificant. I’m not sure why. Maybe I equated not working and staying at home with the kids as taking the easy way out (stay with me here). My father always told us to work hard and especially to work hard while we are young. I am so grateful to my father for instilling in all of us such a good work ethic. I really believe that all of his talks/lectures with us, really worked.
And I didn’t understand this until recently but it doesn’t matter if I am working at a job, have a career or am staying at home with the kids. Working hard should be my outlook/approach for everything I do. I am definitely not one to half-ass anything anyway. It’s not my style.
So, now I view being a “stay-at-home-mom” very differently. It’s not about giving up my career or being less of myself but rather – for me, what I’ve come to learn in the 8 months I’ve been at home is: it’s about being their mother right now and frankly, it’s a privilege. I feel very grateful that I am able to stay at home with my girls; especially in times like these. And frankly, “stay-at-home-mom” doesn’t say enough if you ask me.
I do feel thankful that I am able to not feel completely rushed in the morning, take Phoebe to school, know and talk to her teacher and get to know some of the other parents, go to art classes with Madeline, run around at the park, pick up Phoebe and see her smiling face and hear about her day. Do homework together (although sometimes I am pulling my hair out) and just spend a little more time with them.
Now, don’t get me wrong.
Everyday is certainly not rainbows and sunshine. Some days are quite the opposite. The whining. The crying. The fighting that now goes on between the girls over headbands and baby dolls . . the days where nothing goes right . . . the days when I am having a bad day. . . the days when I am not my best self. . . on those days. . I do something for myself. Something that always makes me happy. I bake. It’s like therapy for me now. Cheap therapy. Everyone can afford this. . . which brings me to this bread.
This bread. This bread. This bread.
Every now and then I come across a recipe in the blogosphere – where when I see it, I know I must make it. Immediately.
I first saw this recipe on Girl Versus Dough where I fell in love with Stephanie’s photos and loved her post. . which even included a clip from When Harry Met Sally, one of my all time favorite movies ever. And then I saw the bread on Joy the Baker. . Joy saw it on Hungry Girl Por Vida. . anyway, you get the picture. But what is this telling you? That you must bake this bread. Immediately.
It’s that good.
And it’s pretty.
I can’t take credit for this bread at all. . but wanted to share this bread for Twelve Loaves for February. . because, again, I think everyone must bake this bread. It’s so delicious! You might not think you are a baker and suck at getting bread to rise. . but just follow the instructions and give it a try. If you are successful, which I think you will be (because if I can bake this bread, you can), you will certainly feel like the baker extraordinaire after baking this!
I’m not publishing a recipe card here because you really need to head over to Girl Versus Dough and Joy the Baker for their recipes. Joy’s post shows step-by-step photos, which are super helpful. I switched back and forth between both and used my stand mixer like Stephanie did. But I highly recommend using Joy’s fail-safe way to activate your yeast if you are concerned that your dough won’t rise:
From Joy the Baker: “Some bakers have found that the dough doesn’t rise, because the yeast is not first activated in warm water. As a fail-safe, feel free to activate your yeast first. To activate yeast, whisk yeast into 3 tablespoons of warm water. The water should be between 105 and 115 degrees F. Add a pinch of granulated sugar and allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is foamy and frothy. Your yeast is ready to go! If the mixture does not foam and froth, toss the yeast and try again with another package of yeast. Add the activated yeast when you combine the wet and dry ingredients.”
And one last important note: Make sure you’ve baked the bread long enough. Bake until the top is very golden brown. The top may be lightly browned, but the center may still be raw. A nice, dark, golden brown will ensure that the center of the bread is cooked as well.
Twelve Loaves for February!
Bake any bread and post it with the #TwelveLoaves hashtag in the title between Monday, February 18th, and Thursday, February 28th. Be sure to add your post to the linky code below.
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