A sponge is a starter that is used in bread baking. The Italians call it a biga, which, of course is much nicer than sponge because everything sounds better in Italian. Interestingly enough, it is also called a mother sponge. This got me thinking about how much bread baking and motherhood have in common.
Baking bread requires time and care, kneading and shaping, rising and proofing. There are a lot of steps and it is definitely a learn as you go process. With a little luck and a lot of tending to, you will end up with something wonderful that was worth all the labor and sweat.
I have never fancied myself a particularly skillful baker when it came to yeast doughs nor a very traditional mother when it came to child rearing. Yet, as my loaves proof and my kids grow, I have found that I am happy with the results that I am getting. I guess everything gets better with practice and while I might have given more thought to my failures, upon reflection, there are many successes to celebrate.
I hope all of you take the time today to appreciate what the fruits of your labor and to honor your moms. May your little honey buns treat you well.
P.S. If you are interested in a pretty easy and reliable Semolina Bread Recipe (per the pics below), go here:
The Mother Sponge
The Dough Ball (pre-rise)
Shaped Loaf After the Second Rise
All things considered, a pretty respectable result