Late-Night Labors

My second Hearth Loaf came into the world at 1:37am. It began as a small, wet, unformed poolish Saturday morning on May 30th. As a young poolish it grew and bubbled and smelled sweetly of yeast. Through the first fermentation it rose gracefully over the lip of its bowl, delighting me with its exuberance. I lovingly split and shaped it into two round loaves, allowing a chance to rest between. In the midst of proofing, I despaired that I could not care for this loaf in every way it deserved. I saw looming ahead a 5:30am call time on my husband’s film shoot. Pursuing my maternal instincts I vowed to properly raise my young loaves, no matter the cost to myself. Retiring at 11pm, I set an alarm for 12:30am, another for 1:00am, and yet another for 1:40am. At the first alarm I arose to light the oven. At the second alarm I bolted up to slide the hapless loaves into the inferno. Sleeping fitfully on the sofa, I woke to check them, and was dismayed to find them both sagging frightfully under their own weight. I paced until 1:37, then removed them from the hellish heat. Their youthful promise faded beneath a thick, hard crust and wrinkled edge. Joseph suggested purposing a loaf for sport: a discus throw seemed fitting, but I lamented such a base fate! Old before their time, I consumed them both, determined to give meaning to their short lives.

discus bread

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