Monday, February 01, 2010

Bread making, Take 1

When Ella was home sick last week, she was begging for something fun to do(again...), and after a full day of this, I had run through my usual bag of tricks already. In a moment of weakness I proposed that we make bread. Now, I don't know why I thought that it would be such a great idea. Maybe it was the fact that I've been reading the biography of Julia Child, My Life in France, and I was subconsciously influenced by her feats of daring in the kitchen? Well, something made me ignore the voice of reason telling me to just put in another Disney movie and bread-making it was. I don't think that I have tried to make bread since I lived at home, so a rather long time ago. Clearly, over the years, I had forgotten how much flour-y mess is involved with bread-making.

It wasn't really a disaster, as you can see in the photos. Ella had a ball, especially when it came to punching down the dough. We also ended up with perfectly edible bread; B even went so far as to call it 'Great' bread. I just put this warning out there for any other moms who get ambitious and decide to do this as an activity with the kids-

1. it takes HOURS to go from measuring ingredients to eating actual bread. Not only will a 4 year-old get a bit impatient, but a 34 year-old may also find the time rather long, causing her to ignore the instructions to let the bread rise an hour before putting it in the oven. Moms, trust me, its better to follow the instructions. And,

2. do not clean your floors BEFORE you make the bread. This is not only stupid but may irritate your normally even-tempered cleaner to point that you fear that she may chuck a bottle of Mr Clean at your head when the 2nd round of kneading leaves yet another dusting of flour over everything in the kitchen. oops. And I thought we were being so careful.

I am impressed that it worked so well. Imagine how fabulous it will be the second time when I do everything right (I also used a recipe for pain de mie and ignored the part about adding butter because, frankly, it sounded like a bother.)? Also, I kind of don't see the point of making a loaf of bread at home when I can pay a euro for something lovely and fresh from the boulangerie. If I do the recipe again, I'm thinking of using the dough for cinnamon rolls. Now, that would be something worth taking a bottle of dishsoap to the head.
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