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About six years ago around this time of year, Josh came home with a book and told me nervously that he thought I should get a hobby to distract me from treatments. A friend at work had told him how therapeutic bread-making could be and so he purchased what essentially amounted to a bread textbook.

I believe my exact words as I chucked it across the bed were, “I don’t need a hobby, you motherfucker.”

Yesterday, I took an hour of the morning for myself. I tried out a new bread recipe, the texture of sandwich bread with the taste of a rye.

It can be therapeutic; when the dough forms together and you’ve forced the yeast a bit with warm water and it is rolling into a small, tight ball beneath your hands.

When it is resting afterward, steam rising from the finished bread.

Thank you, Josh, for the hobby. Apologies that it took me so long to give you a proper thank you for the useful distraction. Apologies, also, for calling you a motherfucker.

I love you.


1 SS { 04.20.09 at 11:38 am }

That looks delicious, and it’s quite lovely! What a great gift Josh gave you!

2 jill { 04.20.09 at 11:40 am }

Mmmm that looks delicious. I love baking bread – I should do it much more often – but the kneading is really tough for me. I guess I just don’t have “baker’s arms” yet! I took up running about a month ago (from a completely sedentary lifestyle) in order to distract myself from IF and it has definitely worked for the most part 🙂

3 Kristin { 04.20.09 at 11:59 am }

Oooh…that looks so good. I love baking bread.

4 Shannon { 04.20.09 at 12:02 pm }

The bread looks sssoo good! Well done!

5 Kathy { 04.20.09 at 12:12 pm }

Great story and that is some good looking bread! Sometimes it does take us awhile to appreciate some of our spouses ideas and suggestions. Glad you came around to Josh’s from years ago. Sure looks tasty and I can see why making it can be therapeutic! 🙂

6 Jen { 04.20.09 at 12:15 pm }

Dude, do you know how long I’ve been meaning to email you to ask you for bread making advice? Mine is good but still lacking something.

7 tragicoptimist { 04.20.09 at 12:19 pm }

Beautiful bread. I can almost smell it from looking at the pictures and I love how you describe it. I’ve started making a lot of bread with the 5 min a day method (mix the ingredients and leave it sit for a few hours, no kneading). I showed it to my mom and she agreed that it was easy and makes good bread, but said she still sometimes just needs (hah) to knead that dough for therapy.

8 Carrie27 { 04.20.09 at 12:30 pm }

Home made bread is delicious! I’m just too lazy to even attempt it.

9 Meredith { 04.20.09 at 1:03 pm }

WOW–that bread looks amazing!

10 Jendeis { 04.20.09 at 1:10 pm }

G-D I love you. 🙂

11 Rebecca { 04.20.09 at 1:11 pm }

Gorgeous bread! I love making homemade things, especially bread. I made some a few weeks ago, as a matter of fact, for the first time in years. I had forgotten how much I loved doing it.

12 Brenna { 04.20.09 at 1:28 pm }

Oooo, that looks SO good. I’m a peasant, I’d be happy to live on bread and cheese forever (okay, and wine!). Your husband sounds exceptionally sweet, and I’m definitely in favor of therapy that offers such a tasty by-product.

13 areyoukiddingme { 04.20.09 at 1:31 pm }

My main complaint about making bread (although it doesn’t count because I am lazy and use the breadmaker) – I can’t slice it properly into nice even slices. Even with a bread slicer (which I gave up on). What’s the secret there???

14 Sarah { 04.20.09 at 1:57 pm }

am i a total bitch if i still think your initial reaction was entirely appropriate? it has nothing to do with how lovely bread making turned out to be or how sweet his intentions were, but honestly in the throes of cycling, hormones and drugs, it seems downright sensible.

i too try to remember to appreciate that my husband saw me through that time and place where calm and tranquility were unaccessible even through bread making. i’ll thank him for that today.

15 Lori { 04.20.09 at 1:58 pm }

My brain is so affected it is smelling the bread.

I would LOVE the texture of sandwich bread and the taste of rye.

That Josh, he’s a keeper.

16 A.M.S. { 04.20.09 at 2:05 pm }

Love to bake bread. Mom taught me when I was little, but I really got the hang of it when I was one of the bread bakers at summer camp.

I swear, I can smell that loaf over the ‘net! Ooh, I might have a recipe for you…scurries off to search for it to email…

17 Clare { 04.20.09 at 4:03 pm }

Yay for breadmaking! Your husband is a genius! And the bread looks scrumptious!

18 Cassandra { 04.20.09 at 4:14 pm }

There’s something very exciting about peeking under the tea towel to see how the rising has progressed.

It’s possible that I haven’t baked bread in the entire 6 years that you have been baking.

19 Amy { 04.20.09 at 4:24 pm }

Pretty clever “hobby” he chose for you given that he is a direct beneficiary. Hmmm?

20 B { 04.20.09 at 5:28 pm }

Wow – You are my cooking guru. I can do a fair bit but have yet to master sugar and bread – your specialties.

(But if you need any advice on aesofetida – I’m your woman)

21 Faith { 04.20.09 at 6:17 pm }

Your post pretty much sums up treatment. And the bread looks amazing!

22 Vee { 04.20.09 at 6:40 pm }

I looove bread and that looks scrumptious !
Now I understand why my mother is always baking. I should give it a go, thanks for the tip.

23 Queenie. . . { 04.20.09 at 7:05 pm }

The bread looks yummy. . .I am too lazy (and weak!) to knead.

I got an email from Amazon today that your book will be delivered by 5/9! I can’t wait to see it.

24 Mama Zen { 04.20.09 at 7:59 pm }

The smell of fresh baked bread is definitely therapeutic!

25 Stacie { 04.20.09 at 11:49 pm }

There is nothing like freshly baked bread. (we’re odd enough to give each other bread for birthday presents in my family) Yum! It looks delicious.

But, I think I would have chucked the book, too, had Isaac given me one. No offense, Josh. 🙂

26 JKB { 04.21.09 at 1:48 am }

Bread looks great.

And the motherfucker bit cracked me up, too.

My hubs has been trying to get me on a hobby too. I think I’ll try your phrase.

27 In Due Time { 04.21.09 at 2:51 am }

I would love to learn how to make bread. MmMmmm.. my waist line disagrees though.

28 K { 04.21.09 at 5:34 am }

LOL, it look great… maybe I need a hobby.

29 Jill { 04.21.09 at 6:30 am }

mmmm I love bread… and that looks DELICIOUS! 🙂

30 Mrs. Gamgee { 04.21.09 at 7:14 am }

wow… that bread looks great! I think you have inspired me to dust off my breadmaker (poor thing hasn’t seen any action since February).

31 lassie { 04.21.09 at 7:36 am }

Bread Alone is a staple (ahem) in our home. FlyGuy finds baking bread really relaxing and his specialty is the one you described today. Maybe you are both working with the same recipe. He also makes a mean potato bread- my favorite. In my mind, the smell of warm bread made by someone with love is like and antidepressant.

(Also wanted to say congratulations on your book. Amazon emailed me the other day saying my pre-order would arrive sooner than expected. I’m really excited to read it and share it with others!)

32 Shelby { 04.21.09 at 8:22 am }

Bread looks YUMMY!! I’ve always wanted to really try baking bread but it freaks me out. Maybe some day! May have to ask for that book for my birthday.

And I love that you curse at your husband as much as I do mine!

33 C Lo { 04.21.09 at 9:14 am }

I’m drooling. Once upon a time I had a break maker and I made bread and the smell the house had was………amazing. I think you’ve inspired me!

And……..thank you for setting up ICLW. Huge undertaking and I appreciate it!

34 skrambled { 04.21.09 at 9:43 am }

We have a pasta machine which I also find rather theraputic!

35 Miriam { 04.21.09 at 10:28 am }

that looks delicious! “i don’t need a hobby, you motherfucker” – story of my life 😉 but it’s so true that those with IF totally need “hobbies” – really, they’re just distractions and allow us to focus on things for ourselves independent of all the IF stuff. definitely an inspiring post.

36 Gina { 04.21.09 at 10:28 am }

That looks so very yummy! Do you need to use a bread maker or can you do it in the oven?


37 Jennifer { 04.21.09 at 12:16 pm }

My mouth is watering!! I miss bread…we’re gluten-free now, and while physically I feel great, emotionally there’s nothing quite like a warm, buttery piece of bread!

38 ~Jess { 04.21.09 at 12:38 pm }

I love fresh homemade bread: Yum!

DH and I both picked up hobbies as a result of IF: Me quilting, him homebrewing. They definitely probably helped to keep us a bit saner.


39 junebug { 04.21.09 at 4:18 pm }


Kneading is a great way to get rid of tension and anger.

40 Kami { 04.21.09 at 5:27 pm }

I love baking bread too but got out of the habit when TCM suggested I give up wheat (phttht to that!). I bought some yeast two weeks ago because I have been longing to knead some dough, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. The whole process is kind of magical.

41 KandiB { 04.21.09 at 5:30 pm }

Bread. It is the essential food group – no doubt. Alas, it is the one baking category that eludes me. Cakes/Cookies/Pies/Tarts/blah blah blah? No problem. But breads? Nope. I’m sure its the yeast. It hates me. Although I HEART it. It’s just as good. I’d eat a whole loaf, by myself, in under 30 minutes.

42 Heather and Jase { 04.21.09 at 5:50 pm }

I love homemade bread! Yummy!!!

43 Fertilized { 04.21.09 at 6:49 pm }

Yuuuuuuuuum!What a great tribute and delicious post.

44 Joe { 04.21.09 at 8:01 pm }

so cool, I would love to learn how to bake bread,I’m not to good at cooking though 🙁

45 battynurse { 04.21.09 at 9:29 pm }

That does look good. I love the taste of fresh baked bread.

46 CappyPrincess { 04.22.09 at 4:55 am }

Bread making is extremely theraputic! Not to mention delicious once it’s done. Which is exactly the reason I took up crocheting when I needed a theraputic hobby. LOL

Your bread looks great!


47 luna { 04.22.09 at 9:24 am }

what a wonderful gift — and I also mean the knowing when such a gift is needed. thank you for sharing this, and for your gift. I still need to get going with my own therapy. the temperature in our house varies so much that I’ve been a little nervous to screw it up.

48 JamieD { 04.22.09 at 12:57 pm }

Now THAT is a story I think we can all identify with!

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