Monday, May 18, 2009

Don't do drugs and bake...

When a husband or kids get sick, they get sent to bed for plenty of rest and pampering. When mom gets sick, life goes on. I'm getting over a recent bout of bronchitis ( haven't had that since I was a kid!). One night, I stayed home sick from church while Josh took the kids. After a while, I realized that if they were going to have dinner when they got home, I'd have to be the one to make it. I dragged myself out of bed, threw back some Zicam and contemplated options. I decided to make hubby's favorite pasta dish and foccocia bread to go with. Since the three loaves of bread I'd made a few days before were down to the nub of the third loaf, I decided to mix up some wheat bread dough while I was doing the foccocia. I set out everything I'd need and got to work. Pretty soon, I had two nice little balls of dough that I put aside to start dinner. Soon, though, I realized I'd only used one packet of yeast. The other two were sitting unopened on the counter. AHHHH! But which bread got yeast? the foccocia uses one and the wheat bread uses two. Which recipe would rise and which wouldn't? And if the wheat bread only got one, would it still rise as well? I uncovered both balls of dough and stared hard. I sniffed to see if I could smell yeast in one. I just couldn't tell. The only thing I could do was wait.
This was the wheat bread dough.

This was the foccocia dough. *sigh*. Eventually, it became apparent that the wheat bread had gotten one packet of yeast. The foccocia was never going to rise. I decided to try baking it anyway. Smelled great, looked beautiful, tasted awful. In the trash it went. I turned my attention back to the wheat bread. I decided, "oh, well, can't really get any worse" and decided to try kneading in the remaining two packets of yeast. Pretty soon, it had funny little pockets of air and bubbles all over. I kneaded it a few more times and put it in a covered bowl to rise overnight. In the morning, it was trying to pop the lid off the bowl. I divided it and put it in loaf pans for a second ( and a half?) rise. It continued to do the funny little bubbles everywhere. Once they had risen ( in record time), I baked them. They were hands. down. THE BEST wheat bread I'd made to date. Perfect texture, softness and flavor. I'm not going to waste all that time and yeast again, but it's nice to know how to get that result if I ever want it again. Here's a picture of one of the loaves after I'd taken it out.

I'm a little behind in my posts

I created the blog and then promptly quit posting ( of course). I don't have a whole lot of spare time, but I'll try to get caught up when I do. Goober's done with school in two weeks!!!!! I should have some more time then. :) In the meantime, I'll post until they're done with lunch :)