The bread obsession – Part 2: The defeat

It’s official. I can’t make bread.

To ensure my success, I rewatched all the videos, read all the recipes and made sure I tried to follow things to a ‘t’. This time, I used the baking stone and whole wheat flour and, for all my efforts, I got another inedible bread brick, albeit of a slightly darker colour.

They’re absolutely inedible

Now, in order to gain some pity points, I should mention that it seems there isn’t one bread recipe out there but a million and they all contradict one another. One called for hot water while another claimed hot water killed the yeast and destroyed the bread. Some tell you to knead like there’s no tomorrow, some tell you not to touch the dough. Some say the trick is all in how your dough feels, others say you have to measure things scientifically. It’s pretty confusing.

Did I get any pity points?

Looking back at my first two attempts, I figured I didn’t let my dough sit long enough (only a couple of hours). This time, I let it sit overnight; that’s at least 12 hours of that dough sitting there with nothing else to do but puff up some bubbles. You’d think the resulting bread would be different in some way, right? Nope. The second bread is just as dense and difficult to eat as the first.

Maybe it needs more yeast or a different type of yeast or maybe it needs less kneading or maybe it needs less time to sit…or …maybe it needs me to stand on my head and whirl around a bit.

Or maybe, just maybe, we can go to the store and buy a loaf.

Where I’m sick and…obsessed

So, I’m sick. Really sick. My entire body seems to be oozing some sort of fluid and it’s all pretty disgusting. My eyes are runny, my nose is a sore, congested mess and my lungs are trying really hard to keep air in them. It’s not easy with all the coughing and sneezing I’m doing.

I blame this illness for the obsession that has taken over me. It started innocently enough with my hubby mentioning that he’d love homemade bread. I went online and watched a video where a calm, serene man kneaded dough into submission and made beautiful bread effortlessly. It seemed so easy, so simple and so lovely that I had to try it.

First, I had to buy the machines to make such bread. I opted for a Dutch Oven.

This is a dutch oven. I had no idea these things even existed.

So I got flour and threw in the ingredients. Well, first of all, my dough didn’t look at all like the well-behaved, even sphere I had seen on the video. Mine was a messy, sticky goo that seemed determined to ooze its way through the kitchen but, hey, what did I know? Time to bake! In it went and out it came…looking as thick and heavy as a brick.

It looked amazing…and tasted awful

My lovely hubby, innocently tried a piece and chewed and chewed before finally swallowing the mess. It tasted nothing like bread.

Anyone else would have probably shaken it off, realized you can buy freshly baked bread at the store and moved onto better projects but not yours truly. I was, and still am, pretty sick and one cough after another, I was going to bake something! So, on came attempt number two (where I doubled the amount of salt).

Second attempt was even heavier than the first. The dough didn’t even pretend to rise.

The second attempt was even more depressing than the first. See the above? It’s about as light as cement and feels like that in your stomach. Ugh.

But did I give up? Nope. I went back to the store and bought a new contraption.

A baking stone will sort everything out!

Well, I haven’t actually used this one yet. I’m in the middle of production.

Guess what’s under that kitchen cloth? That’s right! More dough.

In my desperate attempt to not create another ‘bread-brick’ I’m going to knead this thing like there’s no tomorrow and let it rise overnight! Let’s see if that makes any difference. Oh and I’ve switched from white to whole wheat flour because hubby said ‘The whiter the bread, the sooner you’re dead’. So who am I to contradict him?

Oh yeah. Another post is headed your way. 😀