The time has come for reckoning. Rather, the time came yesterday. Unfortunately, life got in the way and I wasn’t able to get to the computer to quiz you all about the last week’s proposition. I just couldn’t drag myself away from all those anchovies. As no one commented on my neglect yesterday, I will take that to mean everyone appreciated the extra bit of time.
Anyway, I hope you all are bursting to share what brand new thing you tried in the past seven days. I know I am super-excited to hear all about it! First, I guess it’s my turn.
I’ve always enjoyed baking. My lack of patience means I am not always successful at this hobby, but I love looking up new recipes and mixing things together into something remotely edible. Back in Calgary, eons ago, I took a class in bread making. Since then, I’ve probably only attempted the task on my own about three or four times. It’s something I’d love to do more often but rarely make the time for. Even my PH’s frequent encouragement does not often see me turning on the stand-mixer.
One type of bread I have always wanted to attempt is brioche. It’s even an item on my life list. The name just sounds delicious, doesn’t it? Since I’ve never actually had it before, I have no idea what it is supposed to taste like. It probably would have been smart to eat it before tackling the task of baking it. Evidently, that’s not how I roll. When I issued the challenge last week, I figured it was time to give it a shot.
Even though I have a ridiculous number of cookbooks, the first thing I did was go online. I found this simple-sounding recipe, admired the pretty photos, and decided it was nothing I couldn’t handle.
Of course, when I got to work, I discovered I only had pizza yeast on hand. Meh, I thought. Yeast is yeast, right?
No, no it isn’t. Luckily, before I scooped the offensive product into my precious mixture, I recalled my former cooking instructor explaining the differences between different types of yeast. I also happened to glance at the writing at the bottom of the jar that clearly stated the pizza stuff was NOT to be used for normal bread-making. So off to the store I went.
Whew! That was close.
It’s important to remember what I said above about patience. Bread-making in general takes a lot of it and I often forget this. Thus, I had a bit of a meltdown when the bread dough had the consistency of cottage cheese. There are not photos of this as I was too busy wailing against the unfairness of the world. This is when my PH kindly suggested, after donning full hockey equipment (he knows to wear protection when I am mid-freak-out in the kitchen), that perhaps I just needed to mix it longer.
It turns out the man was right. Dang. Collecting myself, I turned the mixer back on for quite a few more minutes and like magic the lumpy pudding gradually turned into the dough I remembered.
Then it was time to let it rise. Keeping the dog away from the funky-smelling bowl was almost as much of a challenge as putting it all together.
Somehow, despite all my misgivings, the dough rose just like it was supposed to. A few hours later, I pulled it out of the oven and it almost resembled real bread! I was thrilled!
As I say, I will have to try real brioche before I will know if I got the texture or flavour right, but for a first shot, I am pretty proud of myself. Nobody even died!
Yay for New Things!
So. Now that I have told that insanely long tale of me versus non-pizza bread, it is time for you to share your adventures in newness. What did you do for the first time this last week? Did you enjoy it or have you been traumatized?
Because I am sweet, I am giving you four days to comment with your experiences. On Sunday I will randomize the responses and draw for the winner of Jennifer Arnold’s Through a Dog’s Eyes. The winner will be posted on Monday.
Ready, set, go!