Last night I had a bread failure. Actually, two, but I recovered one. I’ve switched to weighing flours and liquids (in grams) and converted all my recipes. Looks like I didn’t quite get flour weight right. Failure one: I was making cinnamon raisin bread and, flush with the previous success of slap & fold, decided to go for it. Except my flour weight was off and I wrestled with a stringy sticky mess for ten minutes before crying ‘uncle’ and adding more flour. Then came the Irish soda bread.
Oh Lord, the soda bread. For the last month or two, I’ve been using a new recipe and had replaced one tablespoon of sugar with one of honey. It felt more natural, and added a nice golden color. Last night I went with all sugar, since I was weighing it out. The dough was like dirt—dry, crumbly and without any binding power. I added extra buttermilk and managed to get a rough clumpy-looking thing into the oven. I prayed it would somehow coalesce and transform in the oven but it came out pale, crumbly, and tough. I had one slice this morning then threw the entire loaf in the trash. I’ve never had to do that but I know what my soda bread is supposed to taste like, and that thing was an abomination. It was for a client, but I couldn’t deliver that manure pile. Tonight I will try again.
I also got my largest order yet: 8 loaves. Someone ordered the entire menu, one loaf per week. Just got another order a few minutes ago, so things are looking good. I might get through those 50lb bags quicker than I thought.
Last night wasn’t all failure, though. I didn’t use the mixer at all and got to slap and fold all my breads. Working by hand is more rewarding and means less dishes to wash. Plus, I like feeling soft dough in my hands. There, I said it.