This morning, for the first time in years, I decided to make bread. I love making bread because, more than anything else you can cook, it feels like making something out of nothing. Flour, yeast, water, salt, and a little patience and hard work will make a loaf of bread better than anything you can buy at the supermarket.

I've never been one to use a recipe to make bread. For me, baking bread is a technique, not a recipe. You need a packet of yeast and some water. How much water? Enough water. Then you add some kind of sweetener for the yeast to eat. What kind? How much? Whatever feels right. Then you add wheat flour to form a dough. How much flour? As much as it takes to make bread dough.

I promise you: you already know how to make bread. The process of mixing and kneading feels as comfortable as breathing. It's in your bones, passed down through the generations. Bread is life. Along with brewing, it is the most ancient of human magic. Bread is your birthright.