Friday, January 28, 2011

Because I have nothing else to do

One night back in high school I spent the night over at my friend Melanie's house.  Like typical highschoolers, heh, we decided it would be fun to sneak out and drink bake bread from scratch.  So that evening we assembled all the necessary ingredients, mixed, kneaded, waited for it to rise, punched it down, waited for it to rise again, ...  I think it finally finished baking at like 2am.  It apparently scarred me for life, because as delicious as homemade bread smells and tastes, in my head it takes all day so it's too much trouble. A couple years ago when Olivia was a wee little one, I tried and loved the dough hook on our Kitchenaid mixer, plus I got a whole wheat baking book from my in-laws for Christmas, so I finally got around to making bread again.

Yesterday, in between my 5 trips into the nursery to assess why Olivia wouldn't nap, I used the recipe in my mixer handbook.  I successfully proofed my "old" yeast so I used it, but it baked up into a loaf of stone bread and batch of stone rolls that my parents graciously ate and then took off my hands last night. 

Today I bought new yeast and went searching for the recipe that used to be on the back of the King Arthur wheat flour.  (Now they have some quick version on the bag which, based on Elizabeth's experience, I am going to skip.)  I think it's the molasses that really gets me; so much flavor!  (Note to self: make Ginger Chews soon.)  This time I also added wheat gluten (Thanks for that info too, Elizabeth) to make a better texture since I was using whole wheat flour.  I mixed the dry ingredients together and then put all the wet ingredients together in a 2c measuring cup.  The bread didn't rise at. all. after two hours in a warm place.  Maybe should have mixed the warm water and yeast separately?  Maybe my gluten had gone bad?  Too much flour?  Not enough?  I am no bread dough detective.

Anyway, I had a ball of dense dough on hand and I didn't want to throw it out or bake it into weaponry again.  The thought popped in my head to roll them out and cut them into squares to bake.  Riley had a dreaded bath this morning and has been such a good girl aside from eating my chocolate bar from Grenada.  And now that these were being compared to Milk Bones and not bread, they were moist and chewy and Riley waited around for more after I put them in her tin.  Then I made a batch of granola to end on a high note.  Will try whole wheat bread again another day.

Chuck is my hero

Also?  Last night we tried coconut snow cream using a can of coconut milk and maybe 1/2 cup sugar for the base.  Then I mixed in snow until it looked right *and didn't measure*.  It turned out well, not difficult at all.  The fat in the coconut milk isn't all that great when cold, but that was my only criticism.


Elizabeth said...

Bummer about your bread...the gluten doesn't affect the rising though I don't think but since I'm obviously not a bread scientist, I could totally be wrong. Like I said about my bread last week, it didn't rise either. Maybe my advice was simply a curse.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, and in the bread recipes I've used, you start with dissolving the yeast in the warm water in the warmed mixing bowl (I think its called proofing?), then add salt, etc and half the flour. Start the mixer and then add the flour 1/2 cup at a time.