Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lesson in bread dough

I have a tendency to make things harder then they actually are.

I hate admitting that. Because I love multi-tasking, I love making things work more efficiently, I do not like wasting time and I like organization and a system.

For example, when I make dinner, I make an organized dinner. I have ingredients in their little dishes and I know in my head when to start the bacon to coincide with the scrambled eggs and waffles.

Why do my examples have to do with food? My bread-dough making experience tonight prompted the first sentence of this post.

When I make bread dough (yes, by hand!) I follow very specific, regulated steps. For example, I will only mix bread dough in a stainless steel bowl and I will only use a stainless steel wire whisk and later a wooden spoon. Why? Because when I was like, oh, ten and my mom was teaching me to make bread, she told me that anything else would interfere with the magic of the yeast.

Ah, the yeast. The Mecca of bread making. It's a miracle really. It's tiny grains of a substance that lifts up a very heavy lumpy piece of dough. And it must be treated with reverence.

Mom always taught me to dissolve the yeast in just the right temperature of water. Water that was hot enough to hurt a little when you stuck your finger in it but cool enough to not burn you. (It's a science.) And she would always dissolve it in a seperate bowl while mixing the other ingredients to give the yeast time to rise slightly to make sure it wasn't dead.

See, all these steps.

So tonight I printed off a recipe for cinnamon rolls. I wanted to make the dough tonight, let it rise overnight and make the rolls in the morning.

I followed the recipe exactly. And it did not include things like dissolving the yeast first in water or waiting for it to rise slightly or dissolving it in warm water.

That's when I thought that maybe, just maybe, sometimes I have a tendency to make things more difficult then what they really are. What if all those extra steps and attention to detail aren't necessary?

Tomorrow morning I'll find out. When I open the fridge door to see if the bread rose or not.


Amy said...

I think it depends on the bread because that's exactly how I was taught to make it too ... with the yeast and the mixing and the water. But the wooden spoon and stainless steel is lost on me.

The Logarithmic Spiral said...

This is exactly how we make our famous Bologna family pizza dough. And we follow the rule of 8,3,2: 8 cups of flour, 3 cups of water, 2 tablespoons of yeast...also a generous sprinkle of salt and a pinch of sugar to help the yeast rise. Plus we usually throw in a pealed, cooked makes the dough super moist and tasty :)