Not the kind in the bread machine. We were too stubborn and old-fashioned to buy one. Besides, you can't add love to that kind of bread. Love is a rather temperamental baking ingredient; it tends to break down when you add it mechanically. It must be kneaded in by hand for full flavor.
I remember asking over and over, "But how do you know when to stop kneading?"
The answer was always the same: "When it feels right."
And you know, mom and grandma knew what they were talking about. After some practice, I finally figured out how bread dough should feel when it's ready for proofing: soft and elastic, without stickiness.
It's been at least 20 years since I was given those early lessons and I still enjoy the simple act of making bread. Twice a week, I make bread for my family's lunchtime sandwiches.
My daughter loves to help me make bread, lending a hand with measuring and pouring. Sometimes, she even leans in to help knead. She's almost 2 years old, so we have a long way to go before she asks how to know when the bread is ready.
I can't wait share my mom's and grandma's wise words: "When it feels right."