Monday, March 21, 2011

How Does One Fail with a Bread Machine? OR Sometimes I'm a Poor Planner OR the Ugliest Loaf in the World

The faint of heart should look away.

Bah!  Oh...ugh...make it stop!!  Gah, could that get ANY uglier?  It makes my head hurt.  This photo is actually being nice, and is hiding the ghastly pale color.  It looks like an undead loaf.

So last night, at 11 o'clock, I decided that I would load up the bread machine with an olive loaf recipe, and it would be ready for me all bright and sunshiney early when I got up.  I've done this before and have had great success, once I'm asleep I don't hear all the whirring and beeping that makes it sound like a a robot is eating a washing machine.

Surely you see where this is going.

Last night I had an IMPOSSIBLE time getting to sleep.  It was too warm, I had stayed up too late all weekend and couldn't get back in to going to bed before midnight, my brain was thinking about my crazy schedule this week, I was trying to position myself around the cat that had plonked herself right in the middle of the bed, not wanting to wake her up because then it's time to knock stuff off the tops of the dressers and jump on and off the bed like she's stuck in an endless loop.  Yeah yeah, my life is hard.  I know.

I tossed and turned, and at 3:15 in the morning, hear "wheer!  wheer! wheer! whirwhirwhirwhirwhirwhirwhirwhir".  Wuuuuuut.  Are you serious right now?  I can never hear it if I'm already asleep, but since I'm awake it is ALL I hear.  I try to tune it out.  I try to ignore it.  I try to pretend that it's not remarkably loud at 3:20 in the morning.  I flash forward to 10 minutes in my future, when the bread machine will tell me "hey! come! add! nuts! or! some! thing! now's! the! time! right! now! so! you! should! make! use! of! this! beep!"  Actually, those are all beeps, but the only reason I could think of that it beeps 20 times (yes REALLY) is that it thinks it's speaking English and is trying to talk to me.

I hate beeping.  I never set my snooze alarm for that very reason, because I HATE beeping.  Why would I create more beeping?  So I do exactly what you would do - I got up and unplugged it.  After 10 minutes of trying so hard to pretend that I could sleep through the racket - bread making was over for the night.  I was then kept up by wondering, what would happen to the loaf?  It had been roughly mixed, would it rise?  Since it would sit for another 3 hours before getting any more attention, would it rise TOO much?  Would I come in to the kitchen, only to be forced out by a living, breathing, angry lump of dough?  Should I not get it wet?  Should I not feed it after midnight?

I woke up to find a barely risen lump of pitiful dough, with not nearly enough gluten or air worked in to it.  Figuring I had already created a sad pathetic monster, the least I could do was bake it.  Let it believe that it was going to grow up to be a real, honest-to-goodness loaf of bread, and not a pathetic faildough.  I started the "bake only" setting and walked away, going back to bed.  I was tired, after that night!

An hour later, I finally dragged myself out of bed for good, still not having achieved much sleep, and looked in the machine.  It was so pale and awkward looking, that I was actually surprised to find a hard crust when I poked it.  I mean, it made sense - I had just baked it (I actually felt silly being so surprised).  I shook it out of the pan, taking no care to keep it pretty for pictures.  I cut in to it immediately.  If it were truly terrible, perhaps I could chuck it at something more interesting than itself.  Which wouldn't take much.  I mean, just LOOK at it!  I could chuck it at my kitchen floor and improve it, right?

Funny thing...

It's actually quite good.  I've already eaten half the loaf.

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