Knead It Monday: Wherein Baby D Tried to Foil Me

Baby D decided that I wasn't making nearly enough posts about him, so he decided to totally hijack my breadmaking post today. In fact, even at this moment, he is being absolutely angelic for the first time today and is trying to lure me away with false promises of actually being happy today. Away, ye tempter!

So I decided to try my hand with the whole wheat recipe from my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It called for 1/3 cup brown sugar. Silly me, I decided I would have no need of any brown sugar in my Sugarless 2011, so I didn't bother refilling it when it ran out a few days before New Year's. So I substituted about 1/4 cup honey instead.

The directions requested that I mix the yeast with some of the flour, then heat the water, sugar, butter, and salt in a saucepan, and then add it to the yeast/flour mixture-- and then mix with a hand mixer for 3 minutes. I thought that was a bit odd, but I followed the directions (besides adding the salt; I thought I'd do that later, with the rest of the flour).

As I turned off the mixer, I heard a pathetic cry from the bedroom. That darn mixer had woken Baby D! So I let this weird yeast soup sit while I nursed Baby D back to sleep again. I tiptoed out, mixed in the rest of the flour and started kneading, when...

Baby D let me know in no uncertain terms that HIS. NAP. WAS. OVER.

So I washed all the gunk off my hands and brought him out. I finished kneading, put it to rise, and realized that I never remembered to add the salt. ARG.

Baby D was great until about ten minutes before I needed to punch down the dough. Then he made the mother of all messy diapers just as my mom called, so I was juggling a naked baby and a phone while the dough sat forlornly in the oven. I finally rescued it after a two-hour rise time, and separated it into two loaves. I forget why, but that also sat there for a while before I could put them into loaf pans for the second rise.

Fast forward to the end of the second rise, which also went way too long. Baby D was very angrily insisting that I feed him RIGHT NOW, and I was tired and hungry. For an instant, I started to take the loaves out of the oven so it could preheat for a few minutes, but I stopped with a very dignified, ladylike phrase: "Aw, SCREW IT!" I turned on the oven and let it preheat with the loaves inside and sat down with Baby D. Happy mom, happy baby, unhappy little loaves.

As you can guess, they didn't turn out the best. But one of the things I just love about homemade bread is that even when it doesn't come out perfect, it always comes out delicious, nonetheless! I might try this recipe again in the near future, but try mixing the yeast and water conventionally, and use brown sugar. And give Baby D away.

Just kidding about that last part, but I'd love it if he'd just sprout some teeth already.

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