This is Holy Week, with Good Friday in a few days then Easter Sunday. I’m preparing to make traditional Portuguese Easter bread, just as I did with mom for so many years. Even though it seems everyone has sworn off carbs and the new evil, I will still distribute it.
Years ago I videotaped my mom’s technique for kneading the bread.
She would throw her whole tiny body into it, pushing down with her weight. None of that gentle smushing of the dough across a counter like the French. This was full body contact kneading. And the texture, much like a brioche, is light and feathery.
I’ve already described the challenges of the last two Easters. In 2012 when she was too ill to help me yet sat next to me, slowly pouring the melted butter into the bowl, then getting up at 5 a.m. to watch me make the loaves for the second rise. And in 2013, the first Easter without her, my grief still raw from just a few months of life without her.
I make (and eat!) this bread only once a year, both as a tradition and to honor my mom’s spirit.
To hell with the anti-carb movement.