Dutch Oven Fluffy Bread

One of my weaknesses is making bread. My mom was amazing. She could make rolls and loafs of all varieties with no real issues. She might cuss a bit about the sticky roll dough or her marble slab missing some feet and bouncing on the table, but she still knew her stuff. It was an almost weekly occurrence at our house to have fresh bread. The bread machine was her best friend for this and made all of the rising stuff so much easier. I can say this after having babysat different bread recipes (I don’t have a bread machine). One of her biggest pet peeves was when people would put her down for using the machine, though. People would say “oh, this is good, but you have a bread machine”. I can tell you from personal experience that following a recipe for a bread machine does not mean that you will end up with a perfect loaf of bread. Far from it. Just like other recipes, there is a magic to knowing if the order of ingredients should be switched up, the ratios changed a bit, etc. My mom was really good at this (and boo on her for not sharing these tips with me!). And another aside on this: it irked me that some of these same people who complained had a bread machine but never had the time/patience/knowledge/etc. to use it…so is it really the machine or the baker?

Doesn’t it look like a smiling face?

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