Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I wear my heart on my... loaf?

I decided to make bread this morning. It did not go as planned.

I put all the ingredients for my current favourite loaf (Light Oat Bread using 1 tbsp of olive oil instead of 2 tbsp of margarine) into the breadmaker. We've had a bit of trouble with said machine (the base of the pan kind of rusted because someone kind of left it in the sink sitting in water instead of washing it like she kind of meant to do) but Mr. W had oiled it and all seemed to be well.

Today, instead of its usual few half turns and then an energetic spinning away at the dough, the breakmaker made a few pathetic half-turn attempts and then a faint whining sound but no spinning. So I dumped all the (unmixed) ingredients into a bowl and decided to try out being my own breadmaker.

This was at about 9:30 this morning. It's now 6 pm and the heels of my hands are STILL sore from kneading the dough. (I am a delicate one at times... my favourite story about this is the time I was assisting the school's (really good former national team member) volleyball coach in serving to the kids and having them return my serves, and I couldn't bring myself to tell him I had to quit because my hand hurt, so I kept going and and ended up with the heel of my hand seriously bruised as a result. He was impressed and a bit pitying at the same time. :)

The dough, theoretically, was supposed to get smooth and elastic. I have no idea how this is supposed to look, so I kneaded until I lost interest (about 6 minutes, I'd say) and then let it rise for an hour.

It got HUGE, which seemed like a good sign, so I kneaded it again and then put it in a loaf pan to rise again. It did, as the picture shows, but it was already thinking about overflowing and I was afraid it'd get too big for the pan when I baked it so I cooked it on a cookie sheet instead.

Not sure why, frankly, since now that I think about it it makes sense for it to spill out a little bit to make that nice bread shape.

But oh well. Here's what I got.

In the first picture you can see the dough looks vaguely jellyroll-ish. The instructions I found online said to fold it like a business letter into three parts. Why a business letter and not some other letter, I know not, but I envisioned a query letter and folded 'er up.

Only to have 'er unfold in the oven.

While I doubt it's exactly going to set the world on fire for sandwiches, it was kind of nice having two hearts with peanut butter and strawberry jam for lunch. :)

In other news, I was cleaning the house (no, that's not the news, I do it pretty often) and singing along to The Dana Owens Album (Queen Latifah doing jazz and R&B classics - link goes to Amazon where you can hear some clips) - I am no singer but I like to belt stuff out when there's nobody but the cat to hear me.

And as I was singing I realized what the new book, Blueberry, was missing. I felt like the main character needed something, another interest or subplot... and now I know. She's a jazz singer. Not as a career, just for fun. And someone'll push her to go further with it.

I love when my random stuff actually clicks for a book. :)