The Dough is Risen!

This was my first creative free write in nearly 10 years and I wrote it last fall. The topic was touch—the squish of kneading dough between your fingers, the smooth texture of it when you pat it and roll it out.
There was nothing like making bread dough to satisfy her. While most people longed for the toasty smell of it baking in the oven, she longed to relieve her stress and take all of her frustration out on the risen dough. Unlike many forms of stress relief, using risen dough requires a certain amount of patience and time since it takes over an hour to make the dough and allow it to rise. Having already done these things, she was at long last able to punish the dough before her. First, she thrust her fist heavily into the bowl, feeling the dough collapse around her hand and hearing the satisfying hiss of air rushing out. But that was just the beginning. As she took in the scent of risen yeast, she mercilessly punched and punched to release every air pocket and every ounce of anger she could find. She dipped her hand into the silky flour and sprinkled it onto the table in a wide circle. Next, she forced the dough out of the bowl and into the snowy surface. She worked and worked, turning the dough and putting her soul into its kneading, adding flour when it became too sticky until finally she could run her hand over it, feeling its smooth elasticity. She viciously tore a chunk off, grabbed her rolling pin and began working the dough into an oblong shape. Placing the dough onto a pizza pan, she tugged at its stubborn edges, willing it into shape. The corners were always the trickiest part. She tore holes in the dough as she tugged in frustration, having to repair them by squishing the edges of each hole together into one piece. She carefully popped any remaining air bubbles taking in the floury scent. She could breathe again. She felt like herself again. She took the remaining chunk, this time less viciously, and began to roll it gently in the flour. This piece was not as challenging. This piece was more lovable and pliable. There were no holes torn in frustration as she worked the dough into the corners of the pan. Once finished, she slowly ran her hands under the faucet, watching the drops leave patterns on her pasty white skin as she worked to rid her hands of tenacious dough remnants.
This entry made me think of my experiences baking pizzas. I’ve sort of gotten out of baking, but my mom still loves to make pizza and bread. I don’t know if she vents to the dough as much as I used to, but it really felt great to beat the living daylights out of some dough once in a while. Perhaps, I need to make some pizza again. Are there any activities that allow you to vent frustration in unusual ways? What are they? How do you get rid of that heavy anger we all experience at times? Please leave a comment down below and tell me your stories.


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