In The Hope of Azure Springs, Margaret and Em both make bread together at the boarding house. At one point they have a conversation while eating bread. One of the edits my amazing editor suggested was to say “a thick slice of bread with butter.” I loved the change (how could I forget the butter) and didn’t hesitate to make it.

I remember when I’d come home from school, I’d often come in to the wonderful smell of freshly baked bread. Mom was the ultimate homemaker and loved greeting us with thick slices of bread with butter! Those were great times. It just made my heart happy (even after a bad day) to walk home to fresh bread. It not only tasted good but it meant my mom was thinking about us. She’d time the bread just right so it’d be ready for us when we got home. For us. Because she loved us and who can have a bad day when someone is thinking and planning for them? To this day the smell of bread smells like home.

I am sure that in the 1880s, when my book takes place, kids had hard days too. I am sure they longed for someone to sit down and share a slice of freshly-baked bread with butter on it. It’s the little things….

Here’s the bread recipe my mom has used for years and years.

Dissolve 4 tablespoons yeast in 1-1/2 cups warm water. Set aside for a few minutes.


5 1/3 cups hot water

1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons salt

Six tablespoons butter

Mix well, then add the yeast water back in.

9-10 cups flour (then keep adding in small amounts until dough consistency)

Knead. Cover and set in a warm place and let rise 1-1/2 hours. Form into bread pans and let rise again until doubled.

Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees (Makes 5-6 loaves)

Mom often made it extra good by adding her left over breakfast cereals to it. Oatmeal, six grain, cracked wheat…Mmmmmm….I can smell it now! I better get off this computer and go make bread for my kids.

Anyone else have a smell that reminds you of home?

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2 thoughts on “A Thick Slice of Bread…

    1. You are my very first comment!!! I hope you love the book when it comes out. And you can never go wrong with homemade bread!

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