I can recall each and every time I was at my Dolly’s house and she was baking bread.  The kitchen was alive with the smells of all the items needed to make her lovely bread.  Flour, yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil, and eggs were spread out on her kitchen table.  The oven was heated and ready to start the baking process.  Her large board was on the table and she had various bowls and towels to aid her in the bread making process.

First she would proof the yeast in a small bowl. Next she would place the flour on the board, add the salt and sugar mix a little then add the water, yeast and olive oil.  She would then mix all of this by hand until it was ready to rest and then she would place it in one of the bowls with a towel over the top of the dough so it would rise.  She would continue with this process until she made more loafs of dough.  Normally by the time she finished with making the large dough balls it was time to knead the first dough ball.  Taking the first dough ball she would punch it down, then out of the bowl, swish with some flour, and the kneading would begin.  When she finished kneading the dough it would be formed into loafs of bread and covered with a damp towel so it would proof once again.  Once it doubled in size it was time to bake the bread.  Into the oven it went and the baking of bread had begun.

Normally, as soon as my Grandma Jessie started to mix the flour, I would run out the back door to play.  In the back yard, I could win the war.  I could save the princes from the pirates.  I could kill the monster.  I sure could climb the tree.  I could tease the chickens. I also played with Bingo.  I would play until my nose told me that it was time to return to the kitchen.  The smell of fresh-baked bread was the best smell in my world.  Into the house I would run.

“Johnny, shut the door” my Grandmother would say to me.  I would turn around and close the door.  “Can I have some bread and butter” I would ask.  “Wait a few minutes” were the words I heard as I asked again “Please, can I have some bread and butter.”  “In a few minutes, wash your hands and sit down” Grandma Jessie would say.  I would stick my hands under the water and dry them by removing the dirt onto the towel.  Into the dining chair I would sit waiting. I am sure that the wait was never long but to this young boy it was an eternity.  The room was filled with the smell of just baked bread.  I could almost taste the bread in my mouth. When will my Grandma give me some hot bread? Then right before my eyes, lathered in butter, was a fresh warm slice of real bread

Nothing in the world has ever compared to my Grandma Jessie’s homemade bread.  I have traveled most of the world and I have not found anything that tasted as good as a slice of my Grandma’s baked bread.  I will always remember the smell the feel and the wonderful taste of her bread.  Grandma Jessie was not just a wonderful lady, a wonderful cook, and a wonderful mother, she was my Dolly and I will always love her.

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