The Nature of Baking

Baking is science and art. We know that.
Recipes now give grams instead of cups
and I should be okay with that, but I also know

that recipes lie. Aunt Jenny doesn't tell
how she used whole milk just like I don't tell
that I use coconut milk. I mean to, but I forget. 

The result is my bread has secrets. My cake too
will always be secret since it is an indulgence 
in hard times, but I will make it anyway 

and use what I have: the lemon bundt 
turns into orange, the sour cream 
to Greek yogurt, and change brings benefits,

making the cake protein-rich, practically healthy. 
Still, the process fills a hunger, not from stomach 
but soul-deep. Slicing off each cup of flour 

with a knife, beating sugar into butter, 
even the kneading done to create gluten, 
relies on reactions that without precision, 

go wrong. I learned this from recipes that lied. 
Working in the last two cups of flour taught me 
that six cups can be four and a half 

if the door is open wide and summer sifts
its heat through the screen. It's not summer though 
and I fill in with the oven and a pan of water

to give rising bread  the weather it needs.

One thought on “PAD Day 11

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