Have you ever found yourself in a sticky situation where you can either just stop and start all over again, or keep pushing on and see if you can fix it?
So today I set out to make bread. I’ve been making our bread for the past couple months. It’s cheaper, homemade bread tastes better, I’ve been in the mood to bake. Win win.
When I bake I do a large double recipe that takes almost an entire five pound bag of flour, maybe a fourth of a cup left in the bag when I’m done. I don’t measure the flour. Just dump it in until the dough is at the right consistency.
I was just about to start dumping flour in when I remembered that my daughter had made muffins the night before and used four cups of flour. I paused for a second. I didn’t have any other flour in the house that I knew of, but I was only four cups short. All my wet ingredients were already mixed together. I could just add some oatmeal. That should take care of it.
I dumped in all the flour, let it mix for a while and saw that my dough wasn’t even close to forming a ball. I dumped in some quick oats, let it mix for a while. Still wasn’t forming a ball. Hmm. What should I do? I searched all the cupboards and found some potato flakes. Well, I’d seen a bread recipe that used potato flakes, why not? So I dumped them in. Walked away from my mixer a while then came back when I heard loud noises. What I came back to was dough that was way too thick and way too dry and way too heavy for my mixer to handle. Hmm. Ok. I’ll knead it by hand and add some oil and water. I dumped it on my table and made an attempt at adding a bit more water. It instantly got slimy and gross. Yuck. So then I decided to divide the dough in half and just put half back in the mixer. Do it in smaller batches!
The dough refused to get any softer or malleable. By now my mixer was starting to treat this substance with disdain.
I ended up kneading the two halves by hand and then dumped them in a bowl to rise. Now what? Should I just throw it away or keep trying?
Not one to give up, I stuck it in the oven, warmed it up a bit and left it to rise.
I let it rise for four hours. It didn’t double or anything, but it did get a little puffier. I could not picture any of my family eating this. I knew, from past mistakes and experiments, that this bread was going to be very dense, very dry, and very unpopular.
So then I got another brilliant idea. I won’t bake the bread, I’ll cook it like it’s an English muffin and fry it on a skillet. Everyone likes English muffins, right?
Me and the five year old rolled out all the dough like I was making biscuits and used a biscuit cutter and cut out a million circles (two and half large trays worth). Then I put them back in the slightly warm oven to rise again. I let them rise for another two hours then got out the skillet and started frying.
And the whole time I’m thinking, why am I doing this? No one is going to eat these.
I am now the proud owner of three large ziploc bags full of my hockey puck bread creations. As I told my husband, they’re not bad…They’re not amazing…But they’re not bad. Will any of my children eat these? I’m going to guess that one or two might try one, but that’s it. My husband will be loyal and eat one or two, assuring me that it tastes great. But he won’t go back for more. I will eat a couple out of stubbornness. (They remind me of the elven bread in Tolkien’s books). And the rest will sit there on the counter for probably a week or two until I finally give up and throw the silly things away.
I’m sure this reveals something about my character. Not sure if I want to know what it is though.
Sometimes I’m an awesome cook. And sometimes, I’m not. And usually, when I’m not, it’s cause I was trying to fix something that went wrong.