I’m beginning to think I might be the fool for the whole month of April, not just one day. For the first part of this story please read my post from April 1.
The Thursday after that coffee fiasco, I decided to try baking a loaf of bread in my new to me breadmaker. I’ve been looking at breadmakers for years, dreaming of being able to make the perfect loaf of bread in my own home. As I looked, I would ask myself “How much do you really want to spend for a pipe dream?” After a while, I started looking at second hand machines. A few weeks ago I found one at Value Village that had a full size bread pan, the original instruction and recipe booklet and looked like it had hardly been used. The sticker said $14.99, it was seniors day which meant 30% off for an old codger like me. With GST the price came to $11.00 and I thought I could risk that much on my pipe dream.
So, last Thursday I carefully measured the ingredients, added them in the proper order, closed the lid and pushed the start button. Three and a half hours later I had a fresh loaf of bread. It smelled like bread should smell, looked pretty much like a loaf of bread, but seemed quite a bit more dense than what I had expected.
A light came on in my mind. I remembered how my mother carefully sifted and measured the flour when she baked bread. I had just scooped the flour out of the bag with the measuring cup. By doing that, I had packed the flour in and got quite a bit more than I should have. We ate part of that loaf – it wasn’t too bad; the rest went to the birds.
Yesterday I tried again. The recipe called for the liquid ingredients to be a little above room temperature, so I put two cups of milk and a cup of water into a measuring cup and miked then enough to take the chill off. Then I measured the flour, much more carefully this time, four cups of white, two cups of whole wheat. This time the dough rose – and rose – and rose, to the point of raising the lid of the breadmaker.
I went for the mail and when I returned there was an acrid smell in the house and smoke rising from the breadmaker. I pulled the plug. The dough had made its way over the edge of the pan and down the sides, until it came into contact with the electric element down below. I cleaned up the mess and will leave the breadmaker to air out a few days until I try again.
In between trying to make bread, last Saturday I tried the upside down coffee mug trick again. Both times when I did that I was using a mug from a family reunion. It is perfectly cylindrical in shape, the handle looks the same either way, and because of the dark blue colour the indentation on the bottom can look like the inside of the mug if one isn’t fully awake. That little indentation doesn’t hold much coffee, the rest travels to places it shouldn’t. You see, what I really need is a cup of coffee to wake me up before I make that morning coffee. Being a mere mortal, I don’t have that option.
My wife is somewhat bemused by all this, but willing to let me continue my experimentation. I have discovered that wives are much more tolerant of manly mishaps in the kitchen if they are not expected to clean up the resulting mess.
Oh, I think I discovered the problem with yesterday’s bread making experiment: the recipe called for a quarter cup of water and I used a full cup. I still believe that this is going to work – some day. I can’t guarantee that there won’t be any more mishaps on the road to that perfect loaf of bread.