When I was a child, I would spend my summer vacation at my grandmother's cottage out in the boondocks. Along with my grandfather and uncle, she lived in a house called "The Cottage". I still don't know why it was called that when it was three levels high and made mostly of concrete and steel. Anyway, it was always very pleasant there as it was a pleasant house with a high and narrow flight of stairs. When it was too hot to play outside and there was nothing much left to do in the afternoons, I pretty much kept to myself on the third floor bedroom which used to be the attic before I was born. It had tiny windows at both ends of the room and went straight up from the second floor landing as the room had no door. I could always tell when my grandmother was making bread because the comforting smell of baking would waft up to my room and I would scramble to get down as fast as I could! I loved watching her craft her own bread recipe. It was so unaffectedly natural and always gave me the good vibes. She never measured accurately, although she did use measuring cups and spoons. Sometimes one loaf would be saltier or sweeter than the other. It was always varied as she baked one loaf at a time. She would already be preparing the second loaf by the time I got to watch. She would proof the yeast and sugar in water then add that to the flour already in a large green bowl, all the while annotating what she was doing and instructing me on how her mother used to do it and how my mother never really got the hang of baking. Then I would watch her knead and knead and knead until her kneading would lull me to sleep.
I guess I'm more like my mom because I also never got the hang of kneading. But whenever I make this Easy Bread Machine Recipe, I always think of my grandmother and wish she was here to taste the goodness of modern living.