It started out innocently. We were out of hamburger buns. I didn't feel like going to the grocery store and we had a good supply of flour. So I plugged in the bread machine and mixed up the ingredients for French bread. Except I was going to do something I had never tried before. I was going to turn my French bread dough into burger buns!
I have had my bread machine for about 15 years. Maybe longer. And for all its years of service it hasn't been more than a glorified dough mixer. I rarely bake bread in it. I like doing the final knead, shaping it, watching over its final rise before it bakes in the oven. (hmmm...sounds like a homeschooling metaphor!) I think I pushed it too far. My inner baker suddenly decided it would be great if I made cinnamon rolls for the family for Valentine's Day morning. As my bread dough finished its first rise, I gathered ingredients for a batch of sweet pastry dough. That's when things started going wrong.
First, the cat jumped up and landed right on the greased pan I had prepared for the buns. I had to yell at the cat, wash the pan, yell at the cat, and grease the pan again. Then I got my butters confused. Our store has the annoying habit of putting the unsalted butter in blue boxes, but the quarters are wrapped in red. The salted butter is sold in red boxes, but the quarters have wrappers that are blue. I don't know if this added to the problem, but I didn't realize I was adding salted butter to my wet ingredients. I always throw the yeast in with the wet ingredients, even though the bread machine says to add it after the flour. I think I might have killed it. Or at least severely injured it.
Speaking of the yeast, that's what I was measuring when the cat jumped up. I get the jar instead of the packets. I needed the equivalent of two packets, but looking back, I know I got distracted while yelling at the cat and only measured out one packet. Then, after adding the flour, I stopped myself before adding an extra teaspoon of salt. That was fortunate since I didn't know I used salted butter. In between measurements, I pulled out the first dough, noted how it didn't feel very warm after an hour rise in the bread machine, plopped it onto my marble board and quickly poured in my waiting ingredients for the cinnamon roll dough. I noticed the bread dough didn't seem to have the elasticity it should after rising.
The hamburger rolls came out great, although somewhat misshapen. The real trouble began when I checked my sweet dough and realized it didn't form a ball. I must have measured the liquids wrong too. I also noticed that the bread machine was still not warm. I think something is broken in the heating element. Because I'm stubborn, I tried to shape it anyway. I'm reasonably sure I can count that as a 45 minute workout. I never got it flat enough, but I still managed to roll it into the semblance of a cinnamon roll. They didn't get much bigger in their second rise, but they tasted good in spite of their tougher pastry.
Some lessons learned:
~Have the children remove all cats from the kitchen.
~Don't start the next dough until you finish with the first.
~Check the label on the butter.
~The milk that overboiled and spilled over the edges of the pot will change your measurement.
~It's hard to flatten dough when it has the texture of old Play-Doh.
~I need a new bread machine.
Happy Valentine's Day!