Saturday, May 24, 2008
A little while back I had finally succumbed to the fact that my bread maker was going to continue gathering dust in the cupboard and I really wasn't going to be making tons of bread for my family. I decided to ask my sister-in-law if she would like to have it. She said, "sure." So the bread maker went to her house. She baked us up some fabulous french bread a while back in my old bread maker and then I kinda got the urge to have a bread maker again so I could make my own yummy bread. I also thought it was a great alternative for the Scout. I am always looking for breads that have no milk or egg products, and this way I could totally control the contents. I was telling my Aunt Sharon of my longing to again be the owner of a bread maker and she said that she had one that she would give me because she never uses it anymore. Score! I was pumped this afternoon to bust out a loaf of french bread. I made a pot of soup and a key lime pie for dessert. We will be headed to the Jazz Jubilee tomorrow and thought this would be the perfect thing for when we got home late and I didn't feel like cooking. I followed the recipe that my sister-in-law had given me. It was easy. I followed the directions on the bread maker. O.k., no problem, good. I hit the button to start, and the bread maker took off kneading the dough. Excellent, I am three hours away from my hot french bread. And then I heard a loud knocking sound and suddenly the thing shut off. Hmmm. Maybe its starting to rise. No, the book says it has to knead the dough for 18 minutes and its only been 7. Uh oh, I smell the motor burning. Uh oh, its not working. Drat!!!!! So I call up my Uncle Tom and Aunt Sharon and shared my dilemma with them. Not like they would have been able to fix it when they are all the way in Napa, but I needed a consult. They said they didn't know what it could be, but that it was probably something that could be fixed. Now my Uncle Tom has been a fabulous baker most all of his adult life. He started working at Napa City Bakery when he was 14 sweeping the floors and eventually moved to Buttercream Bakery where he decorated beautiful cakes for everyone, and I mean everyone in Napa. His cake decorating was well known wherever he went. He told me "Punkin," this is what he has called me since I was born, "just throw it in your Kitchen-Aid and put the bread hook on and let it knead it for awhile. Then just let it raise where its warm and throw it in the oven." O.k. I will try it. I really had my doubts, not in his abilities, because I know his would turn out good, but I was worried about my ability to follow his directions properly. So I kneaded it with the bread hook in the Kitchen-Aid and then let it raise for about 45 minutes and then I threw it into the oven at 350 for about an hour. This was a total guess on my part. I just sat by and watched it. In the meantime I went to work on my key lime pie and the recipe called for me to whip the mixture until it formed soft peaks. I have made my own whip cream on several occasions and know it takes a while for it to form the soft peaks, but I whipped this thing with my mixer for over 20 minutes and then got frustrated and threw it in my Kitchen-Aid for another 10 and no soft peaks. It got a little bit foamy, but there was no peaks. My brother popped by at this time and I was so frustrated with cooking I was about to cry. The kitchen was a mess and the poor guy was trying to tell me about his day and all I could think about was my stupid bread maker not working and the dumb key lime pie not making those foamy peaks. Sorry bro, next time I promise to be a better listener, I was a little to preoccupied with my many mishaps. To make a long story short, the key lime pie came out o.k. minus the peaks and the bread came out of the oven and was "done to a T" as my Uncle Tom likes to say. Thanks Uncle Tom, you really helped me out with your great tutelage! The girls dug into the bread like it was the last thing on Earth to eat and I thought it was pretty great too!