What is your definition of art? As an artist, I do many types of art from hand painted furniture to jewelry design to sewing. I used to think it was a curse that I didn't have one specific medium that i did for the long haul. Now I feel very differently about my creative endeavors. It's actually a blessing to have an interest in so many forms of art. Life never gets boring and I'm always learning something new.
At the end of 2015, I decided that 2016 would be my year to learn the art of bread baking. I suppose there was a time in my life that I would not have considered baking bread as an art but now I'm expanding my definition of art. Art goes beyond the obvious forms of mediums like painting, sculpture, and photography. Art is an opportunity to create and find joy in things that bring you great pleasure. Good bread is one such pleasure for me.
I've always had a love affair with delicious artisanal bread but for the longest time I was intimidated by the yeast factor; it felt like a foreign language. I've also owned a Kitchenaid stand mixer for over 20 years. This past Christmas, I received a dough hook for my mixer. I made my first loaf. It was a french baguette. It wasn't bad but I knew I still had many more loaves to make to gain more confidence. Yesterday, I made my second loaf. It was like a quantum leap from last month's bread baking experience. I found a recipe for Garlic and Herb Dutch Oven Bread. Since I also received two enamel coated cast iron dutch ovens for Christmas, I knew this was the next recipe to try. This turned out so incredibly well. A beautiful crunch on the outside. A soft dense texture on the inside. I feel like I've been baking my own bread for years. And the smell of the roasted garlic wafting through the house is nothing short of heaven.
I'm really excited to continue on my journey of bread baking this year. Making bread is much like making any other new piece of art. You've got your materials. You experiment. You sometimes make mistakes but if you persevere, the result is worth it all. Stretching yourself is a confidence builder. I encourage all artists to find a form of art outside of their comfort zone and go for it. There is so much to be learned and experienced when we open ourselves up.