I'm not sure how long I've been baking my weekly loaf of bread but it might be over a year now. I don't bake each week, but the vast majority of weeks - I do.
The thing is, once I settled on a recipe that worked I just stuck with it. Why mess with something if it ain't broken, right?
Wrong. If you're Jenn - you mess with it. (Thus the new coral background - you're right, Megan - it is coral, not pink.)
So yesterday I tried a new recipe with a slow-rising dough. It rose for almost 24 hours. Trouble is, once I tried to work with it this morning, it was like yeast soup. I wish I'd taken a picture to share with you but didn't think about it until it was already in the trashcan. Needless to say - that was three cups of flour down the drain. (Not technically, it probably would have clogged the drains permanently. No reason to make a bad situation even worse.)
By that time, it was time for church (which was to be closely followed by The Karate Kid) so I decided to "cheat" and use my bread machine, thus avoiding any worry about being home in time to monitor rising and molding before baking. I couldn't find my bread machine book but an internet search for a recipe brought up this one. As I was loading in the ingredients (minus the rye flour - I increased the amount of whole wheat), I noticed that my bread machine was getting really full and wondered if that might be a problem.
Well, it was.
It turned into some bizarre layered concoction with a cornmeal section, a white section, and a wheat section. As my husband put it - the flours failed to integrate.
Great. Now I have a racist bread machine. That's all I need.
The working theory is that, perhaps, the recipe was meant for a bigger bread machine, thus my wimpy little one couldn't properly mix the ingredients (although mine is so freakin' big that I never know where to store it). So my husband asked if I'd be willing to try ONE MORE TIME with half the ingredients. (You see, he'd noticed the 1/2 cup of honey I put in there and figured it was going to be tasty.)
"All right," I thought, "at least this weekend's bread making escapade is turning into a blog-worthy story."
So far my attitude has remained surprisingly upbeat. If I end up with three strikes, it might be a bit of a challenge for me to stay positive but I'll do my darndest to laugh it off. (I'll post a comment and update you guys on the status of the final product and my attitude after the fat lady sings. So to speak.)
In a nutshell, I've learned that I might use up a bunch of ingredients and time as I try (and fail) to create something new - but it's still a heck of a lot more satisfying to keep baking than it would be to head to HEB and buy a loaf off the shelf. I guess I'd just rather do it myself than let someone else do it for me.