Sunday, February 24, 2008
Bread: A Tragedy, by Me
It wasn't long ago that I had my first bread making adventure. A true success. But today I must install a post of a more serious and somber theme. The tragic bomb known as my first solo bread adventure.
I had a few things working against me.
1) High altitude
2) My KitchenAide literally started smoking about 2 minutes in.
3) Didn't have the right yeast
4) Not sure the water I used was warm enough
5) A colossal expiration date issue with the evaporated milk
Breakdowns aside, the boys like it and asked for seconds. Now, more about the expiration date bungle. I thought I had all the ingredients for the recipe from which I was working. Then I went to the cupboard where I knew I had no less than 4 cans of evaporated milk. Guess what I found? Two cans with a 2003 expiration date and two cans with a 2004 expiration date. Bust!
I thought, "Well, maybe they are exaggerating the suggestion to USE BY and it will be OK." Then I opened them. Oh my Lord. I knew the bread adventure was collapsing at that moment. Perhaps, actually, I should have known I was on a decline when I tried to find the yeast. But I did forge ahead with high hopes.
After a quick trip to Super Target (I heart Target) for some evaporated milk, I embarked on what would soon be a mechanical defeat courtesy my KitchenAide. You see, my teacher and beloved sister-in-law suggested that I use a BOSCH and only a BOSCH, but I wanted some time to run a cost-analysis and savings benefit (comparing purchased bread with homemade bread). What a deficient plan.
As soon as I dumped the milk into the flour my little mixer showed its true dud-ness. It started with some little noises. Then I started to smell its failure. This is when I kind of freaked out and pulled the plug -- literally -- on mixing the dough with a machine.
Kneading dough pioneer style is a false step. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. But still I went along my merry road of fiasco singing tunes like, "Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Nobody knows but Jesus."
Did I mention that I halved the recipe? Anyway, I did. So I created two heavy, but little, plops of dough and set them carefully in their greased pans then put them to bed in my little oven. One hour later I found my lead balloons smelling sweet and yeasty, but looking more like lemons (the disaster kind, not the sour kind).
So, let's just say it. I'm a loser, a mess, a non performer. But I'm not going to let this misadventure get me down. No way! I will conquer the bread making challenge. And you, my friends, get to come along for the ride. Stay tuned for more missteps in the kitchen.
PS -- Hang in there on the sewing projects front. I'm working on a handbag that is really complex (for me).