Inspiration: Random

Random Art– Trees :: Random Thoughts– Hill Top Bakery

art_natura_ladislav_kopunec_univerzon_0086578_art_works_nature_20-08-2016This looks like a shot from an apple orchard.  It reminds me of the apple orchards near a town named Sparta, which is primarily comprised of apple orchards, and the Hill Top Bakery, run by a family with six kids, and who made the best bread in the world.

The house was a narrow green cape cod at the top of a hill, like the name.  There were toys in the yard, but not sloppy like, just to let you know there were kids around. The kids were always smiling and bouncing.

Theirs was better than my mom’s home made bread, and that’s saying something. Mom had the knack for making bread– yes, even whole grain. She could even make bran muffins kids wanted to eat, because she managed to turn “bran” into “carrot cake”.

She admitted defeat in this case, though, having lost fair and square. Their whole wheat was incredible. Wooly, light and nutty, with tooth but not too fibery or chewy. It had flavor, like toasted whole wheat, and buttery germ, not like whipped cardboard you get from the grocery.   Say nothing of the cinnamon swirl raisin bread, which was the last thing I enjoyed eating that had raisins at all. That was almost as rich as coffee cake, except it still managed to be bread, and sturdy enough for sandwich making. Most of the time,  warm, lightly toasted and a scrim of butter was more than enough.

They put such a light glaze on the exterior of the loaf you could see right through it. It delivered just enough sweetness without weighing the bread down. The crust managed to be crisp and the bread was properly soft, but with enough structure to carry the swirls into sandwich territory. The pieces hardly ever fell apart. It was the platonic ideal of cinnamon raisin bread.

Mom always timed it so we got the bread when it was still warm from the oven. The only issue was you had to leave the bags open to vent steam until they reached room temperature. The entire van filled with the smell of warm bread on the drive home.  These were not small loaves, and one would inevitably be eaten before we got back home to deliver the goods.  Trust me. On bread days, we were always welcome wherever we went.

Ha! Next time I’ll tell you about the way my brother and I turned unripened apples into war.

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