Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Gadgeteer

Today I am a baker. Oh don't get me wrong, I am still a gardener. I still made my rounds of the garden, noting that the Mole People seem to have retreated momentarily, and checked on the garden boat. Was again waylaid by the gorgeous view from the garden. But today, I AM a baker.

Richard has been asking for Whole Grain Bread which for me is using Spelt flour in my favorite recipe instead of unbleached flour. If you have never used Spelt flour, you don't know what you are missing. It is considered an "Ancient Grain" being a precursor of our modern Wheat, but much, much tastier. I can't digest Whole Wheat - I really don't like the taste and it doesn't agree with me. But Spelt I find has a sweeter flavor and is easily digested. So Spelt Bread it is. With Raisins and Craisins. And of course it will be baked in my Outdoor Gas Convection Oven.

I love to bake and I especially love to make and bake bread. Admittedly I cheat a little. I use a bread maker to mix and knead my dough, and I do it because I have arthritis that makes it really painful to knead dough by hand. Hence the bread maker. I have used bread makers now for 17 years and think they are one of the best kitchen inventions of the modern age. I have had my share of oooops's believe me. Like the time I forgot to put the paddle in the bread machine pan before putting in all the ingredients. Or forgetting the yeast. But nothing can compare to the time I tried to make bread dough in the Food Processor.

I am a Kitchen Gadget addict. I have two bread makers, a food processor, a stand mixer, all sorts of baking pans and sheets, plus lots of other gadgets too numerous to mention. I purchased this particular food processor because it was powerful enough to make bread dough in, and it came with a dough blade - a plastic dough blade.

So I gave it a try, following the instructions to the letter:
Position dough blade in container of processor - check
Add 3c flour, 1T sugar, 1t salt through chute -
With processor running, gradually add yeast/water mixture down food chute -
Add additional flour to make a soft dough. Continue processing dough for 1 to 1-1/2 minutes.....

Looking back I can pinpoint the exact time things went horribly wrong. I can even laugh about it. But at the time, I just stood there frozen in shock.

As I am pouring the yeast/water mixture slowly down the chute, the plastic blade suddenly popped up out of the dough like a cork from a champagne bottle. And there I stood with my mouth open, eyes blinking, staring unbelieving at my beloved food processor. How could it betray me this way? How could it? So stunned was I that it took a whole minute for me to hit the kill switch on the darned machine.

So, now what do I do? I have a food processor bowl full of half mixed bread dough, and am too stubborn to just throw it out. I can't mix it by hand - the arthritis thing. Then my eyes light upon my bread maker...sure, why not. And into the bread maker pan it all goes. Nothing to lose at this juncture.

Long story short it, surprisingly, turned out to be some of the best bread dough I had made for a while. I labeled it Faloooopy bread, for the sound the plastic dough blade made when it popped up out of the dough at 3000rpm or however fast it went. And I learned my lesson. Use a food processor for what it was intended - slicing veggies, chopping onions and shredding cheese. And if I do ever decide to try bread dough again in it, I will use the steel blade, not the light plastic one.

My bread machine has finished mixing and kneading my Spelt bread dough and it is on it's first rise. I can't wait to bake it. That mouth watering aroma of baking bread is second only to the flavor of a warm slice slathered in real butter. Mmmmmmmm!

Will my bread turn out? Of course it will. What could possibly go wrong??!!!


Kate said...

Giggle. I forgot about the Faloopey bread! That WAS funny; oh, and about the sourdough starter episode. . . .

Linda VanDewark Stoodley said...

snicker, oh yeah, the sourdough incident. That was fun!