Tuesday, September 13, 2011

More bread experiments

At this point my kitchen is still made up of somewhat random thrown together tools. I have a bread pan, but no cookie sheet. Two ladles and a plastic spatula, but no good mixing tools. You'd think that this would discourage anyone who wanted to do any real cooking, but the lack of equipment actually seems to breed innovation.

I've used saucepans as mixing bowls, forks as tongs (2 really long forks), and a cake pan as a cookie sheet. I won't buy kitchen tools until I know that they'll be used regularly. So I make do with what I have for now, and make note of the times I find myself sighing and thinking to myself, It would be great to have X right now. 

A lot of dough
Today was one of those "innovation" days. I wanted to make a BIG batch of bread, but my medium-sized mixing bowls barely hold a normal-sized lump of dough (about 5 fist-sized lumps after rising) and are inconvenient for kneading. I could have split the dough between two mixing bowls (that's right, I have two, mixing bowls now. Impressive, huh?), but that would lead to quite  a lot of clean up down the road. So I mixed the dough in my big boiling pot. Someday I'll have a giant bowl.

Then of course I spaced out in the middle of measuring out ingredients (I don't recommend doing that) and accidentally added an extra half tablespoon of yeast. I decided I'd just add more flour and water to compensate, but then realized that I was almost out of salt (see my standard bread recipe). I managed to scrounge up about a 1/2 tablespoon from the salt shaker, and then added some sugar. Now that I think about it, the sugar might not have been the best idea. It'll probably feed the yeast and make the bread rise too much and then collapse in the oven. Oops. Oh well, it'll probably taste fine. I'll post an update once the bread is out of the oven.
Playing around with braided loaves. The one on the left has cheese inside.

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