This one goes out in particular to Ziggy.
Yesterday about 3:pm
Decide to make a loaf of bread
I've been cooking all day by this point, so the decision to bake some bread isn't necessarily a bolt from the blue. So far I've:
- Clamped raw beef bones in the bench vise and sawed them into pieces with a hacksaw
-cracked beer 1
-Prepped and put 5 gallons of brown stock on the fire, to go all day and night
-Made a Greek salad
-cracked beer 2
-Harvested mint, sage, oregano, rosemary, parsley, and thyme IN THE RAIN, snuffling and shivering like Little Dorrit
-Made ground lamb with shallot and mint using a handcrank grinder
-Broken down and sterilized handcrank grinder parts in oven
-Made spiced rice
-cracked beer 3
-Set same aside to dry a bit
-Mixed rice with lamb to make dolmathes filling and put up in fridge to get good
-cracked another beer
-Put beans to soak for refries
-warmed yogurt, egg and evaporated milk for bread
-cracked beer 4 or 5 (counts empties)
Lets recap, shall we? So then...I am lit, I have a cold, the weather sucks and I am having one of those 'idle hands=devils workshop' type afternoons...hey, sure, why not bake a loaf of bread? Whats a little more fermentation going to hurt?
-Crack beer 4 (recounts empties)
-Grease the bowls
-Warm the oven
-Pop the dough in the warm oven and set the timer for an hour.
-Crack a beer (#4)
-Hit the sinus spray.
-Watch a couple of episodes of Crossing Jordan.
-Look up plants online.
-Crack another beer. Or no wait, still working on beer #4 at this point. Or something.
-Look up fabled recipe for Tuscan elderberry blossom bread (I just bought a sambucus nigra.) -Fail to find.
-Find instead recipe for deep-fried elderberry blossoms. Consider making it.
The timer goes off.
Why in fuck have I set the timer?
Oh yeah, dough!
-I look at the dough. It is flat.
I forgot to add yeast.
-The obvious solution to which seems to be to put the dough to one side and make fajitas.
10:00 next morning.
Periodically it blurps over. Go through five dishtowels wiping up bean blurp.
- but they taste awesome.
Hmm. What would Opie do?
I mush and mush and mush until the dough is...not a batter, quite...but just kind of uniformly mushy. As I'm mushing I'm also casting on flour in random handfulls. I fold in flour until I have a regular bread dough again, and I knead that in kind of a gingerly fashion for awhile until it feels like it's done. Now I am letting it rise again.
-Check dough. It actually seems to be rising.
-Celebrate by making 2 gallons of marinara.
-Take brown stock off fire and strain. (Yeah, it's been going all this whole time.)
-Reduce brown stock by 1/2 and set on washing machine.
-Do four sinkloads of dishes
-Put the dough in to bake at 400.
-Forget to set timer; remember a couple of minutes (?) later and set it. So, 400 for....about....15 minutes or so; then I'll check and see what it looks like and then maybe I'll let it go another 15 minutes or so. I might spray it with water to make the crust thick. I haven't decided yet. If it cracks I definitely won't spray it.
I bet it cracks.
This is how science operates. Really. It is.
I'll be DAMNED.
Look at this sapsucker:
Here's the other side:
Yeah, we had a blowout. Some of the protein strands gave way under force of the steam. But look! It's all foofy! IT ROSE!
IT MADE A BREADLIKE OBJECT!
I HAVE MADE A BREADLIKE OBJECT!!!
I can hardly wait for it to cool off so I can see how the inside turned out. HURRY UP AND COOL OFF HURRY HURRY HURRY.
-Refries blended and set aside in little containers to cool.
-Marinara finished and set aside to cool
-I got tired of waiting for everything to cool off and so I have put to use my SUPER SECRET KITCHEN HELPER:
...a nice big trivet grille and a little office fan from about 1945-50 or so. Seriously, this little fan was a stroke of genius on my part . I've been using it for over 20 years now. You just plug it in and it goes. This is how I dry my dishes; I just put the drainer in front of it and turn the little fan on them. But at the mo it's busy fooing refreshing breezes upon on my bread and the marinara. MULTITASKING: THATS JUST HOW I ROLL.
-Marinara is cooled off and put into containers
Incidentally, this is exactly the type of knife NOT to use when you slice bread; it tears the fluff. Like this did.
How does the bread taste? It tastes pretty damn good, Paco.
DAMN I'M GOOD.