Baking Secrets

I know the bakery's secret to success. I know why there's a line for the bagels - a line so long they had to set a limit for how many bagels one person can buy: two dozen Monday-Thursday, one dozen Friday-Sunday.

I know why their croissants fall apart into a million bits of heaven in your mouth. Why if joy - real, honest-to-goodness joy - can be bought, it only costs as much as their cinnamon rolls. And why people talk about this bakery like it's some kind of holy thing.

It helps that they use King Arthur flour and a natural yeast culture. And that they have the Temptations or the Mamas & the Papas playing on the radio. And that the friendly women and men moving around the bright, open kitchen with flour on their knuckles have been at it since hours before the sun settled over the earth.

All that is good. It's not the secret, though. Anybody can set their alarm for some dark, quiet morning moment and come in to roll and knead. Anybody can buy great ingredients, listen to great music.

But what anybody cannot do is all that with love. Or rather, anybody can, but not many do.

And when something is done with love, it becomes greater than the sum of its parts. It will fall apart into a million bits of heaven in your mouth. It will be worth waiting in line for. People will talk about it like it's some kind of holy thing.

So the bakery doesn't lock away their recipes or do their work behind closed doors. You can see its secret to success right there in the bright, open kitchen. See it in all the floury knuckles that roll and knead with King Arthur flour and natural yeast culture. And love.

Which is some kind of holy thing.

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