If you watch Grey's Anatomy, you know that Izzie is a baker. When she feels badly, she bakes. If someone is in need, she bakes. In a Thanksgiving show, when she is left to do the whole meal, she says something about being a baker, not a cook. I've thought about that statement a lot. I do make meals, I do cook, but in my heart, I'm a baker. I love to bake cookies, and muffins, and cakes, and most especially, bread. My mother baked our bread, which is probably why I began baking in my twenties, as soon as I had my own place. Fresh bread is like air to me. I can't really live without it. It is probably the most magical thing I do. There is no explaining why sometimes it rises well and other times it doesn't. Sometimes it is soft and fluffy, other times hard. I usually can tell as soon as the rising is done if it will be good or not. I've learned to just throw it away then rather than bother putting it in the oven. Bread making can be influenced by mood. If I'm just going through the motions, it is never very good. If I'm tired and try baking at night, it doesn't come out well. I want to encourage those who are thinking of trying, like Les, over at Lesley's Book Nook. Even those of us who bake all the time, don't always have success. Sometimes, I'll have three or four bakings in a row not be very good, and then the fifth is perfect, though I've done everything the exact same way. You'll see the finished product doesn't look like usual loaves. Again, my mother always made it with four rounds instead of two. I've found it rises better without a droop in the middle.