Some years ago, when I was in grad school, I got a part-time job as a baker. It was a small bakery, and the lady who was in charge of baking bread had to switch to cakes; she was happy about it, so she wanted to get me ready to take over her job as soon as possible. I had never baked bread before, so I was quite nervous. The lady was patient, and she led me through all the stages. We were baking 50-60 loaves per night, starting at 2:15 am, and every loaf had to go through our hands.
The hardest job was to form the dough into a ball. “You don’t have to overdo it,” the lady was telling me. “You just have to knead it long enough so that it looks like the cheek of a toddler.” The first two nights, I just could not give it a smooth surface, and the stress coming from my failure was not helping at all. My dough never looked fresh. But just when I thought I would never become a baker, the lady told me something I will never forget:
“Tavi, don’t worry! Bread forgives you. It will take it over from where you leave it, and it will be fine.”
The dough on my work-table had already embraced me. Who was I to say no to it?