- At The Moment of My Mind -

Taking leaps of faith only to fall in step with Him.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Bread - It Sticks (Part 1)

For the past two weeks I’ve been diligently applying myself in the study of the art of bread making. I mean, how hard can it be? Flour, yeast, salt and water, mix mix mix, leave it to ‘grow’ then bake. Right?

At least that’s what I thought before I found out I don’t even have the right type of flour in the house. Not to mention the yeast is at least 3 yrs old and probably all the little buggers have retired and died.

Never mind, just means a quick stop at supa save. Lets see, bread flour. I must get good bread flour high in protein so the little critters in the yeast would have plenty to eat and burp carbon dioxide to form the little pockets that makes the bread light, big and poofy. High protein also meant it’s easier for gluten to form during the kneading process.

I never kneaded anything in my life before. Can’t be all that bad.

Turns out there’s more to do before I can actually make the bread. See, there’s this stage where you make the ‘sponge’ or ‘spool’ or is it ‘spooge’? Whatever, it’s a pre mix of yeast, flour and water you mix, knead and let it rise in the fridge (yes fridge) over night. This helps make a better bread because the more you let a dough sit, the better the flavour. However can’t let the bread sit for too long or else it would have a beer like kind of taste. Therefore a ‘sponge’ is recommended.

Now for the actual bread making. Flour, water, yeast, salt, ‘spooge’ (or is it ‘sponge’?) = one yucky goopey mess. I don’t know what I did wrong but should it be that sticky and goop like? I thought I was making bread, not Slimer. Maybe the gluten hasn’t formed enough, I kept kneading but the dough refused to cooperate. 20 mins later my arms ached, my table was covered in flour and the dough which I have fondly named ‘damn blob’ sat there like a smug overstuffed fat kid on Halloween.

Flour, yes, perhaps it needs more flour. So I kept adding, until it started looking like a more manageable dough. Cut it into 3 parts, and put them into the pan for one final rise before popping into the oven.

One hour and a half later, the lovely smell of baked bread wafted through my mother’s kitchen. It had this wholesome bread smell, like toast, only better.

I took it out and poked it. Actually, poking is an understatement, the crust was so hard, when I wanted to let it cool on the side, it actually fell out of the pan and went ‘KLUNK!’ on the table.

The crust was [this-thick] and slicing it was like sawing a log. Inside was brown and spongy and a little undercooked. Well, so much for ‘mastering the art of baking’ and dreams of making little mouth watering buns.

The final blow was from my own mother. “Smells nice, doesn’t taste so great though. I make better bread than this.”

Okay, I admit, my first loaf of bread isn’t that impressive but still, ouch!

So I swore to keep on trying until my mother admits that I too can make good bread, or at least in par with hers.

- To be continued -