Wednesday, March 6, 2013

the cooking challenge (week 6): happily ever...no

Here’s a little story that typifies what happens when I try to bake.

Once upon a time, there was a recipe for chocolate-swirled brioche rolls, and this recipe called for a room-temperature egg and room-temperature butter. Why room temperature? No one knows why. But, fine, I’ll go along. Like most normal people, I keep my eggs and butter in the refrigerator; unlike most normal people, I don’t own a microwave. So to expedite their transition to room temperature, I did what most normal people would and set my butter and egg in a patch of sunlight on the rug in my bedroom. My dog, who thought all patches of sunlight on the floor were his personal, if itinerant and ephemeral, property, was pissed.

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So was I, when I walked through the bedroom a little while later and accidentally kicked the egg across the room.

But no matter. Eggs basically grow on trees. Or in refrigerators, anyway. A new one came up to room temperature on the countertop while I warmed half a cup of milk to between 110 and 116 degrees. Why between 110 and 116 degrees? Because baked-goods recipe writers are sadistic power-trip types who take great pleasure in making bakers submit to their will. But like I said, I’ll go along. I sprinkled a packet of yeast on the exactly 114 degree milk, but the yeast didn’t foam like it was supposed to. So I did it all over again, this time while cursing the egg on the counter, which was definitely smirking: warmed the milk, measured the temperature, sprinkled the yeast. This time there was a very subtle foam, so I made the dough and left it to rise. But it didn’t. Why? To fuck with my head. That’s why.

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Incredibly rude dough not rising.

I want pretty much more than anything in the world to be able to make chocolate brioche rolls. Actually, what I really want is to be able to eat chocolate brioche rolls at will, and you know what the lord, says: Teach a woman to buy chocolate brioche rolls, and she'll eat one whenever she’s near a bakery that makes them, which is not actually that often. Teach a woman to bake chocolate brioche rolls, and she’ll eat one whenever she wants, or maybe a couple of hours after she wants, because she’ll bake and freeze a batch and then when she wants a roll she’ll thaw in out in a of patch of sunlight on her bedroom floor. Anyway, fuck brioche.

I gave up and made scones. I’m not a huge fan of scones, but I was going to a brunch with some ladies and needed to bring something, and fuck brioche, and ladies like scones. But not these scones.

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The ladies didn’t even get to try these scones. These scones were so bad I “accidentally” left them in the car when I went to the brunch. Actually, calling them “so bad” is giving them too much credit. What they were was bland. So bland they don’t even deserve “so” as a modifier. They were the perfect texture (moist yet crumbly) but







that blank space is the taste of my scones.

The end.

3 comments:

  1. That brioche was a dick. By which I mean I think you got a bad batch of yeast or an old batch or something. When I make yeast dough I don't even get out the thermometer, it's truly not that fussy.

    How could those scones have been tasteless? They look like there were going to be delicious. Maybe I should be the judge of our baking. Henceforth, send me a portion of everything you bake. I'll judge honestly, promise.

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  2. Who needs brioche when you can eat sugar butter lemon flour? And a little yellow squash......

    I promise the ladies will like it.

    http://www.heatherchristo.com/cooks/2011/08/01/lemon-summer-squash-bread/

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  3. That brioche really was a dick, Moj. But as often the case, that just made me want it even more. I'll send you a portion of everything I bake if you do the same: You owe me three pieces of chocolate stout cake, and I owe you a tasteless scone.

    That bread/cake looks delicious, l-rye; I can't wait to try it! After which I'll send a slice to Mojie, and to you, too!

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