Wednesday, September 21, 2011

plastic wrap and dry yeast - two deadly foes

In my valiant efforts to pretend I know what I am doing and am not completely worthless at domesticity I am plugging away at my little list. But to prove that I have the opposite of the Midas touch and remain ever the lucky gal I tried baking from scratch with a recipe* that called for bread flour (took me forever to find that in the store, they have special flour for bread?!) and dry yeast. 

I admit, never used the stuff in my life.  Baking experience up to this AM incorporated soley following "recipies" that were read off of the side of the box and said complicated things like "pour mixture into bowl with water and bake at 350 for 20 minutes." So the dry yeast was supposed to do one thing, but of course, for me, it did another. 

The recipie called for one amount of water, the yeast packaging another.  The yeast package also called for sugar, but the recipie said nothing about sugar.  I am sure actual cooks/bakers who know their shat and have done this before may read this shaking their heads and say something like "oh you poor dear, donchya know you just ..." (I do picture it with a Minnesota accent for the record).

The recipe says to dissolve warm water and yeast.  Then let stand.  Stand?  I do know what stand means, don't ask how because I am really not sure.  For how long?  How will I know?  Why in the sam heck did I pick a recipe that presumes minimal knowledge as my first foray into being a big girl?  After staring at the murky mixture for a few minutes I went to go google it ... ah, damn, computer is doing its dying swan act ... thank the techno gods I have a phone.  It says I'll know when standing is done because I will have a hella poofball of foam.  Okay it didn't say that, I am paraphraseing.  When no poofball happens I read that with some yeast you have to add sugar.  Now that makes perfect sense to me because I either need coffee or sugar (not together though) to get my ass moving in the morning. 

Its a blur what I actually did do here, but ultimately I got a foamy looking concoction in the bottom of the bowl that looked like the foam on top of a a beer you pour too fast.

{light bulb momen: beer has yeast in it!}

Mix in other ingredients ... yada, yada, blah, blah, blah ... its supposed to rise.  Baby wants fed, perfect timing!  Then I realize that my five month old, male baby seems to have an intuative baking sense greater than my own which both alarms and discourages me at the same time.  Moving on I feed him and return expecting dough that has risen, but I find dough that has maybe inhaled a bit.  Give it another 10 minutes, I think it looks a bit bigger, but that may be wishful thinking.

Then the story gets ugly and pathetic.  The beauty of this recipie is that I can freeze it.  This means I can make it and swear at it when only the baby, who can't talk and tell on me, can see.  Then all Betty Crocker punk rocker style I can whip a frozen dough ball out of the freezer and make something uber cool like homemade pizza.  But you have to wrap it all up.  I have gallon size freezer bags, but alas, I must wrap the individual balls in *gasp* cling wrap.

I hate cling wrap.  Ever fiber of my being hates it.  On the cellular level I hate it.  If you were to take a swab of my cheek, whip out a DNA sample, centrafuge the crap out of it you would see right there on the 14th chromosone I have the HatesPlasticClingWrap gene.  Right next to it would be the PlasticClingWrapMakesMeLookLikeAMoron gene.  Someday they will find my body laying on the floor wrapped in this crap like a mummy with a bowl of uncovered food on the counter and the coroner will conclude that I died via suffocation while trying to just cover the damn leftovers. 

In an effort to lesson the complexity I cut the !#$%ing wrap into sections so I would have all 16 sections ready and just needed to put the dough in them, wrap it up, toss it in the freezer bag and *POOF* I'd be done, right? Wrong! Wronger than the wrongest wrong.  Because guess what my lazy assed yeast decideds to do NOW?!  Now, after it has had nearly 45 minutes to rise but hasn't?  Now, when I have predetermined size of cling wrap to wrap the balls in based on their size?!

Yeah, the damn yeast finally gets the memo, and it rises.

Long story and half a box of cling wrap later, I have them bagged and in the freezer. 

Now the really annoying part of this fiasco if you ask me is this: the directions explain how to go about freezing the whole batch for use later.  So I freeze all of it once, I swear it into the too-small cling wrap packaging and proudly stuff it in the freezer while smiling thinking that I might have triumphed after all.  When I recall one little detail ...

Now that I have frozen all of the dough, what in the Sam Hill are we having for dinner tonight? 


* Found the recipe at Money Saving Mom, here is the actual recipe if you are a yeast whisperer or something.

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