Monday, September 19, 2011

Baking Bread

We baked bread, not to learn about yeast, but to provide ourselves with a vehicle for all of the pesto.

Plus I wanted to see if I could pull it off.

We will be baking bread later this year as part of the food chemistry unit. But I was so easily flattered last week when my students enjoyed that smidgen of a loaf I brought in for pesto-tasting purposes. How could I deny them more?

The bread I usually bake at home is from my favorite source of new recipes: Catherine Newman. Her wonderful blog is a source of humor, musings on food, and a window into her family life. Plus great recipes and much more. You can find the recipe in her archives, I hope. It is a 5 minute no-knead bread, and what could be easier at school? Volunteers mixed up the dough at snack time as I casually told them what to do and chatted with another adult who was in the room. Look how easy I make this look, I thought pridefully to myself. Then I looked down and saw that the dough was quite a bit gummier than usual.

"How much water did you put in?" I asked one helper.
"Are you sure you put in 2 1/2 cups of white flour?" I asked another.
"Maybe I should watch them a wee bit more carefully next time," I told myself while dumping in enough flour to make it look "right."

Lesson learned.

The dough rose wonderfully, almost alarmingly, as the morning went on. I shoved a plate under the bowl and moved it off my desk where I had set it out of the way, shuddering to imagine the gluey dough overflowing onto a pile of unsorted papers. Kids exclaimed at how pouffy it was in the bowl, and I veered off course from the usual process and punched it down several times to avoid disaster.

It was baked without issue in the afternoon (more on how I manage this in a future post) and suddenly it was 2 PM and there was the aroma of fresh bread in the room! Excitement! Distraction! Would we make it through the last minutes of the day without totally losing our focus?

It was gobbled in minutes, without ceremony, which I regret. But I needed to get the kids who opt in to chorus down to the music room, and as always time runs short when you most need a few more minutes in the day.

The recipe makes enough for two loaves so I walked out of school with a half-filled bowl of the glutinous dough in my arms. I'll bake it on Wednesday night and bring it in to eat with our next recipe: eggplant dip also from Catherine Newman's blog. I haven't tried this recipe at home as I am the sole eggplant eater in my household, so who knows what will happen...I'll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

  1. I'll vouch the the yummy bread, but the kids can have the eggplant dip... :)