Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Crazy Bread Lady

I stayed up pretty much all night long baking bread. I don't know why. I have this sort of mania sometimes. Like I'll read about something and have to do it immediately or I can't think about anything else until it happens. So Ellen gave me this memoir/cookbook about a woman who seems just like Ellen. This lady thinks all tables need flowers and that all meals MUST have a salad course with separate plates. I guess when you're over thirty you stop eating food out of the pot with a fork, I don't know. I'll have to wait and find out.

Anyway, this lady insisted her bread recipe was amazing and super easy. So I sent Corey out to buy wheat flour and yeast and I kneaded some dough. Because many of my experiments like this (I'm referring to the multiple yogurt disasters) have gone terribly wrong, I was super impatient about my bread dough. I was convinced I had effed it up and it would just sit there like a sticky lump and do nothing.

I peeked at it every five minutes. I couldn't sleep, even though I knew it was ok to let the sucker rise over night. I just had to keep peeking. And sure enough, it looked like it was doing nothing at all. My heart sank, I fell asleep. But then, this morning, it was sort of puffy! When I punched it, my hand sank into the dough, air escaped. I had made bread rise! It was so awesome. So I slapped it around for awhile, covered it with a towel and went back to bed.


Then, when I came back to the kitchen at 830, it had risen again! I have made bread. I have it in the oven right now.


As I questioned earlier this week, why do I do these things? Why am I reading a memoir cookbook and baking bread? I bought the Mrs. Beeton book, I have 30 pounds of bridal catalogues to read while I knead dough. It's so satisfying to do these things, too. It feels really good to know that I took some raw ingredients and formed them into something way more delicious than the supermarket could do.

It's also really neat to sit down to a meal I made completely from the beginning. I didn't grind the flour or stomp the olives, but I certainly infused the oil and kneaded the dough. I'm pretty jazzed to make french toast from my new loaf of wheat bread. Yum!

Ok, so the final product is a little crunchy. As in rock solid on the outside and a LITTLE soft in the middle. It's ok warm with butter, but not so good just on its own. It certainly does not melt in my mouth like the book suggests. I wonder if I cooked it too long? Or if I did something wrong with the ingredients. When Corey gets home from work, I'll send him to the store for more yeast. I have to get this right!

7 comments:

ninny said...

it sure looks yummy. what a lovely bread dough rising bowl...

Jane said...

It looks great, Katy. Don't handle it TOO much--that could make it tough. Have you tried again? You will get the hang of it and go back to store-bought bread only unwillingly.

Katy said...

So you think I perhaps slapped the dough around too heartily? Here is what I did: I punched it 2 or three times and totally re-kneaded it and then punched and kneaded again. Was that too much? Does it just need a few punches?

PeaceLoveMath said...

http://www.comics.com/comics/getfuzzy/archive/getfuzzy-20051215.html

it's a funny comic slightly related to rugby!

mmmm, bread...

Jane said...

Nope, that doesn't sound as if you handled it too much. Besides, kneading bread is therapeutic, isn't it? If I had more energy I would look up what makes bread tough...

Bethart. said...

What is the name of the book that inspired you so? I think it would make a fun Christmas present for my sister. Thanks buddy...and by the way, the bread looks blingo.

Katy said...

The bread book is called HOME COOKING, by Laurie Colwin. The ISBN is 0060975229 if you want to look it up. Hey beefchart!