Saturday, January 02, 2010

this breadmaker's dilemma

I've now made four recipes from The Bread Bible, one of which I made twice. The two-timer was French Bread. I had decided not to try to get recipes exactly right, but then I looked at the new magnet on my fridge: What Would Julia Do?


Julia would most certainly attempt to get French Bread right. In fact, having read one of her biographies, I can say that she went to amazing lengths to get it right. So, I made that one twice, and I got significantly better results on take two. I won't make that one many more times, though. There is no fat in French Bread, and so it doesn't keep well. I was left with a baguette-shaped brick after less than 24 hours. Oh, well. On to bigger and better things.

The four breads have been the White Mountain Bread previously discussed, French Bread, Water Rolls, and Mile-High Popovers. For the record, the popovers rose no higher than my old recipe's popovers. They tasted significantly different, though, as they contained half a dozen eggs. Good. Lots of cholesterol. I've also made the starter for one of the other breads, but it's a three day process. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Back to my dilemma. All this breadmaking is creating a lot of dirty dishes. The mixer bowl, the paddle attachment, the dough hook, the measuring cups and spoons, the container that the dough rises in, the pan the bread bakes's kind of exhausting to keep up with all of it...not to mention that, seemingly, every step of breadmaking leaves me, my counters, and my kitchen floors covered in a fine dusting of flour. It's a ton of work. Luckily, I'm dedicated. For now.

As for an update on my Christmas books...The Gentle Art of Domesticity is a little disappointing, which is, well, disappointing. I'd been making googly eyes at that one for months. Unfortunately, the author's main creative outlet is knitting, which I don't do, so it doesn't hold my interest terribly well. It's at least pretty to look at. The Lost Continent, on the other hand, is fabulous. It's funnier than A Walk in the Woods, and that's saying something. It's also saying something that I find it hysterical even as they rip on my beloved South. It's just that good, and I do love me some Bill Bryson.

Okay, I'm off to finish my sister's birthday cake. Later, peeps.


die Frau said...

Since my breadmaking is slightly different from yours (the way I make it doesn't require the punch-down-let-rise numerous times), my suggestion may or may not be helpful:

Do you HAVE to use the mixer with the dough hook? I mix my bread in the container I'll let it rise in, using a wooden spoon. I have the dough hook, etc., but I don't always feel like lugging it out. Just an idea. Plus I tend to give a quick rinse to the measuring cups while the bread's rising or baking.

Mind you, when I made raisin bread, which involved rolling it out, sprinkling sugar and raisins, rolling it up, I had a lot more flour everywhere. I suggest you invest in a dough scraper if you haven't already--they're not expensive and they're great at getting the crusties up.

Good luck!

the Inkwell said...

nice curse word. so you've come over to the dark side, well, we do have Artemis Fowl.