Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sous Chef

To appreciate this post you need to know two things:

1) It's been months since I baked bread.

2) I am not a good enough cook/baker to necessarily notice if something seems strange as I'm doing it.

As we often do on Sunday evenings, we planned to have dinner with my in-laws last weekend. I offered to cook because I wanted to be at home while the Packers were on television (not a given in Ohio). Fresh bread sounded good to me so I planned on making some to enjoy with our dinner. Harper was being kind of irritating (not her fault, just comes with being six!) and I invited her to help me by way of distraction.

The kind of bread we were making is cheater's bread because it begins in the bread machine, but you end up baking it in your own pans so it doesn't have a weird bread machine shape or a hole in the bottom. I let Harper help put the ingredients into the bread machine and I happen to set the binder containing the recipe on the other side of the kitchen so I had her reading the (very simple) ingredients to me.

Harper had some trouble conveying the amounts when fractions were involved (1 1/4 tsp salt, for example), but reads pretty well so I trusted what she was telling me. We put hot water, bread flour, salt, sugar, and, finally, yeast into the machine, turned it on, and let it go to work. A few minutes later I looked at the bread machine and was surprised to see that the little window wasn't all fogged up like usual. I looked a little more closely and noticed the dough didn't look right, in fact, it looked more like batter.

I decided to pull out the recipe and double check - maybe Harper hadn't conveyed something correctly?

I knew right away was the problem was. Harper had confidently read to me, "1 cup sugar." I didn't question this, no fractions, and both the words "cup" and "sugar" were easy enough. Unfortunately what the recipe actually said was, "1 tsp. sugar." Just a slight difference there!

We had frozen dinner rolls with our meal. (It was too late to start over.)

I think Harper's going to have to do some more baking with me this winter - and we'll read the recipes together.


Swistle said...

Ha! I love this!

When my brother and I were kids, he tried to make cookies and the batter was reallllly salty. We finally figured out he'd used a TABLEspoon each of baking soda and salt, instead of a teaspoon. Our solution was to triple all the other ingredients. That was a...big batch of cookies.

Chris said...

So cute! And I do cheater's bread often. I never thought of it as cheating...just a nice perk of technological advances. We need to see you guys soon!

CARRIE said...

Boy were you ever brave to trust Harper. I never trust my kids....for anything, about anything. I should probably seek some therapy for this.

bluedaisy said...

The fact that you guys were even baking bread is leaps and bounds ahead of kudos for the effort--and at least you noticed before it went any farther :)

Emily said...

Classic! That is totally something I would do. (not notice the error, I mean. I keep meaning to dig out Brian's bread machine and learn to use it. It feels like a hurdle but...I should be motivated by fresh bread.)