Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I'm SO not Betty Crocker

Wait, wasn't that the title of my post the last time I baked? Eek.

Well, I haven't gotten any better.

Since I am now the proud and grateful owner of all types of gluten-free flour, I thought that I should try my hand in baking some gluten-free bread for the first time ever. Except that I didn't really want to waste $5 on expensive and hard to find flour if I was going to screw it up. So I found some regular white bread flour in my cabinets (I hope it has a long shelf life because its been in there since before the move!) and looked up a yummy-looking recipe in my favorite recipe book.

Now, just a few days ago, I posted on my favorite parenting board these following words: "If you can read, you can cook."

Um, can I change that? Maybe it should read, "If you can read and have someone knowledgeable to show you the right way its done, then you can attempt to cook."

My recipe said to mix 3 cups flour, 3 tbs sugar, 2 tsp salt, two packages of rapid yeast to the water, milk, and butter that I needed to bring to a 130 degree temp. So I did just that. I mixed all my dry ingredients, including the yeast, together. Then I brought the liquid ingredients to an almost boil and then dumped the heated mixture in with the dry ingredients.

("No you didn't!exclaims my mother 2 hours later when I complain that m bread didn't rise. "No, no, no, sweetie... you killed your yeast! Never mix dry yeast in the flour! You needed to cool the water/milk/butter mixture to a lukewarm temp and then slowly dissolve your yeast and sugar before adding it to your dry ingredients!)

Then it called for me to beat my ingredients together with a mixer. Obviously I do not have a Kitchen Aid stand mixer by any means, so I just got out my cheapie hand mixer that's 10 years old. Immediately my dough got caught up in the beaters and wouldn't come out. So I mixed the rest of the flour in by hand and got completely gross. Of course this is when my kids started to fight (Jayce even bit Jaina!) so I had to stop several times to wash my hands and deal with them.

So I finally get the dough ready to knead. Or, so I think. I don't ever remember kneading dough being this hard. I had to get up on my kitchen stool and really work with the stuff. I was supposed to knead the dough until it was nice and elastic. Instead, I needed it for 3 times as long and it was heavy like cement. I flattened it as best I could and jelly rolled it, but for the life of me could not get the seams to stay put by pinching.

Now was the time to let the bread rise (still not knowing that I killed the yeast). I found a warm non-drafty room (the computer room) and let my bread sit up there covered in towels for 45 minutes while I tried desperately to cut into a butternut squash for the first time.

45 minutes later I go peak at my dough. Um, yeah... its not twice the size like it said it should be. It looks slightly bigger so I pop it in the oven anyway. Raised or not, it still smelled good in the oven!

I take it out and the heavy loaves flop right out of the pan. I cut into it and its perfectly dense and doughy.

Jaina leans over to Daddy and says something.

Brian then turns to me and says, "Yum, this bread tastes wonderful. Good job baking Mommy!" (as scripted by Jaina)

That's when I call my mom and ask her where I went wrong. Too bad I didn't have the insight to call her before I made the bread.

4 comments:

  1. *** HUGS ***

    (I'm no Betty Crocker either lol I can relate)

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  2. that's a great story!!! so did it really taste good, jess?

    i have a good bread recipe from mother earth news...it's really, really easy. if you're interested...

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  3. Jess, PLEASE let me come over the next time you want to bake bread-or you can come over to my house next week one day when I bake. It really is easy *IF* you don't kill the yeast!!

    (didn't I tell you that before?)

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  4. Jeff, your brother is really good at making homemade bread! I cheat and use a Bread machine. Well at least you know for next time.

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