Monday, January 14, 2008

The Dyslexic Bread Maker

Sometimes, yes, SOMETIMES, I enjoy cooking. Well, I mostly enjoy it when I'm trying out a new recipe. However, I seem to have a major deficiency when it comes to reading a recipe. The deficiency would be, ACTUALLY READING THE RECIPE. I mean, gah! I READ the recipe, I just don't seem to absorb the contents. I guess you could call me the dyslexic chef (just a term of course because no one could ever confuse me with a true CHEF.) Allow me to explain...

Yesterday I had the desire to bake bread, not dessert bread, but real honest to goodness yeast rising bread... WITHOUT THE AID OF A MACHINE! I mean, I HAVE a machine but the last few times I used it (some 4 yrs. ago), the result was a compact oval tube of bread, so dense I wouldn't expect vermin to have to digest it. Not sure what happened to the Bread Machine? Anyway, I digress. Rather than search through cookbooks, I surfed the net and located a bread making site. I was really interested in a simple white bread recipe and it wasn't long before I found one that required everything I happened to have on hand... ie. All-Purpose Flour... because who am I to think far enough ahead to buy Bread Flour? After printing out the recipe I took the time to read through it not once, but twice. It was important to keep in mind all of the times I've taken on a new recipe without first reading it through and essentially committing 7 counts of homicide against each of the ingredients by not carefully paying attention as to how they should be added to the mix.

Once I was certain I understood the instructions and double checked my supply of ingredients, I carefully measured each ingredient into it's own little bowl. I used a tiny dish for the salt, a glass pudding cup for the sugar, a glass measuring cup for the oil. I even cracked the two eggs into a bowl and beat them while I waited for the yeast to get all active in the warm water.

Once the yeast had partied wildly in it's lukewarm bath, I began to assemble what I was sure would turn out to be the best damn loaf of bread ever consumed in the tri-state area. I was careful to keep track of how many cups of flour I was adding. So often, I tend to lose count as my mind wanders to things like measuring, and consistencies, and whether the dog needs to go out. As I stood there with my wooden spoon (I swapped out my industrial strength spatula after reading the directions called for 'stirring with a wooden spoon'... Why? I don't know, but if it says it in the recipe, I was damn well not going to question and just do what I was told.) Like I was saying, I was stirring with my wooden spoon and thinking to myself, "Something's just not right?" It seemed so dry and I'd only added 4 cups worth of flour. That's when I noticed the Pyrex measuring cup off to the side of the counter, containing the oil I had so carefully measured out earlier.... Immediately following this discovery I spent the next 10 minutes talking to myself... OUT LOUD... And NOT very kindly! My only consolation was the rest of the family was not in my immediate vicinity, therefore they weren't witness to their wife/mother beating herself repeatedly on the forehead with a well floured hand.

Now I'm not sure if the late arrival of the oil resulted in the bread being rather gummy and a bit heavy but regardless of the texture it tasted REALLY good! To look at the loaves you'd never know there was a flaw as they rose to a lovely height and baked to a golden brown. I think I want to give this bread making thing another try, but I'm bored with this recipe and think I'd like to try something different. Next time I plan to clear EVERY item from the counter that has no purpose other than as it applies to assembling the recipe. Until then can someone hand me a towel to wipe this flour off my forehead?

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Blogger Whiskeymarie said...

Does it make you feel better to know that I forget to add ingredients ALL THE TIME?
Seriously. Ask my husband.

Sugar-free banana bread? Not so much.

1:08 PM, January 21, 2008  
Blogger Margee-Martha-Marsha Pick-One said...

How, HOW can that be possible??? You're a Chef?!

*shaking my head* Damn, thanks for making me feel better!

2:24 PM, January 22, 2008  

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