July 22, 2020: Smooth and elastic

I too have become a baker of breads during the pandemic. It's something I haven't committed to doing, so I like it. Mostly I make challah, which appeals to my senses in every way—the feel of the dough in my hands when it is correct, the strands of braid that never seem likely to meet evenly at the end, then they do; the random therefore perfect application of seeds to shiny crust. Today I'm making pita so that we can finish some hummus I also made. I am very far away from my family now, the living who don't bake and the dead who did. I make the Jewish breads because they feel like they're mine, and feel close to the non-Jewish illiterate great-grandmother I never met when the instructions are based on feel: a pinch of sugar with the yeast and warm water until foamy, later kneaded until smooth and elastic.