Ugly Bread

It all started out so beautifully. A wonderful mix of sourdough, kamut and rye… The late night kneading. The early morning molding…

But, you know. The afternoons are busy and there I was, tending to twelve different things at once–the bread was in the oven…

Somehow the oven was turned off. No need blaming anyone. Who really cares! I have a distinct appreciation for ugly bread–I have a whole photo folder dedicated to ugly bread pictures. Here is my latest. Isn’t it something?!!!IMG_4066Eek.

It’s awful.

The oven was turned back on and I finished the bake an hour later. At least it made the bread edible–not as bread, but as French toast the next morning.

But giving? I’m sorry to say, folks. I just can’t fathom giving something this horrible looking to anyone.

Not anyone.

So, I took it on a photo shoot, and let the bunnies have a sniff.

IMG_4063If you bake, then you can sympathize. Even my baker brothers can’t send every one of their loaves into the world.

Here are a few of my other, truly ugly creations:

IMG_0331st n close up braidingsour ugly baked

Cheers, Friends! Happy giving…

Badly Behaving Yeast and Science Class

Half recipe–French–two jacos

Mixed 8:15 pm Saturday

Molded 9:30 pm Saturday

Retarded in fridge all night

Baked 8 am Sunday

Gave to Mrs. G and Ciara

This batch of bread was close to a disaster. It’s either the new flour ( Gold Medal “Better for Bread” –I bought it because it was on sale. :()…  …0r yeast that is old and very unzippy… I forged ahead, and baked this floppy dough all the same, knowing that warm, fresh bread is good, even when it’s bad.

So that’s one of my first tips on baking for you. Even when you flub it up, it’s almost always still pretty good. I’m a good flubber–so I should know. This loaf, for Mrs G was a flubber. As a consolation prize, while the oven was still hot, I threw in a batch of cookies to boot.  You can make almost anything better with an added batch of cookies.

But  know this: Mrs. G deserves more than a loaf of bread and a small batch of cookies. Talk about giving! She teaches science to a gaggle of girls every Thursday morning, my daughter being one of them. Does she charge for this year-long class? No… If she did, I would be happily writing her out checks instead of baking her loaves of bread. Cheers to you, Cheryl, and all your science experiments!

Anyway, back to the bread. I think the batch was a flop because of lame yeast. I’ll know next time I bake, since I’ll proof the yeast first and see how it responds in front of my eyes to a little warm water. Typically I don’t proof yeast; I just mix it straight into the flour while dry, and activate it as I’m mixing and kneading the dough.

Now for the photos so you can see just how bad this batch was. Here’s the dough in the fridge under a brown towel. Retarding dough for an hour or more is one of the great secrets of not being a slave to your bread. More on that later. (And check out those Brussel sprouts!)

floppy in fridge

And here’s the floppy dough.

floppy dough

And here it is baked.

floppy dough--baked

I hope Ciara and Mrs. G enjoyed it. They had to stay home from church this morning because Ciara was unwell.  Cheers. We love you, Mrs. G–and thanks for being an incredible science teacher. Maybe the next lesson could be on badly behaved yeast?!!!