Saturday, December 31, 2011

December Daring Bakers Challenge

Again, I know this is a couple of days late.  Hope they don't kick me out.  Whoops.

I think I'm the Daring Bakers rebel this month.  I post late, I utterly FAILED at this recipe and I'm going to talk about how disgusting my recipe turned out.  And I didn't try again.  Because this particular baked good took A WEEK to make.  So, um, sorry.  Although I did follow through and do the whole challenge (it included using the baked good in another, original, recipe).  I hope next month is something better.

Our Daring Bakers Host for December 2011 was Jessica of My Recipe Project and she showed us how fun it is to create Sour Dough bread in our own kitchens! She provided us with Sour Dough recipes from Bread Matters by AndrewWhitley as well as delicious recipes to use our Sour Dough bread in from Tonia George’s Things on Toast and Canteen’s Great British Food!

Sourdough.  Yum.  I was totally excited.  Although my last couple of attempts at anything involving yeast have been humongous thumbs-downs.  So Sourdough doesn't involve yeast- at least the kind you buy at the store.  You make your own by letting flour and water sit on your counter and ferment for 5 days.  Appetizing...not.

There were 3 different options to choose from: French Country Bread, Russian Rye Bread, or Rice, Brazil Nut and Flaxseed Bread.

They all had strange flours that I thought I would never find anywhere except online, and I didn't think I had the time to find them, order them, have them shipped, and have the flour ferment on my counter for a week.  So I chose the French Country Bread.  It had the least-weird ingredients of them all and I figured I'd be able to find whole wheat bread flour.  Um, no.  I even went to the organic stores.  No dice.  So I just bought whole wheat flour.  I know bread flour has a higher protein content, but I figured if it's fermenting, it shouldn't make a difference. 


So the flour and water did ferment.  Sort of.  I almost don't want to show you a picture because it looks so gross.
I said almost.  Bahahah.  It looks like a lump of puke.  That was after day 1.  Days 2-5 didn't look much different so I didn't take pictures.  Each day, you add a little more flour and water.  It did start to grow and take up about half of that bowl, and it smelled yeasty, but it just wouldn't bubble up like the recipe said it should.  It had a few bubbles in it, but I knew it was wrong.  Oh well.  I kept keepin-on.  So on day 5, you add some more junk to the yeasty rotten stuff.  More flour, salt, water.  Let it rest for awhile. 

Still looks nasty.  Whatever.  Then you make a loose dough without the yeasty junk.  Form it into a ball, and then add the yeasty junk (it's really called "starter" btw, but I can't bring myself to call it that) on top.  Like so:

It just looks hard and lumpy.  Ugh.  Then you fold it all together for like 20 minutes or something (good arm workout at the least!).  Then you put it in a basket with a blown-up grocery bag around it.  Huh?  I don't think I read this part before I started the recipe.  It said a "proofing basket."  I'm sorry.  I'm not a stay-at-home bread maker.  I don't bake fresh bread every morning.  I have a job.  So I have no clue what a proofing basket even is.  There was a handy youtube video, so I watched that.  It looked like the basket I have in my room that holds magazines.  So I removed the magazines and of course cleaned the basket.  Then you line it with a kitchen towel, dump flour on it, and plop the loaf in.  Then you're apparently supposed to put a grocery bag around it, blow it up full of air, and tie it.  So the bread is in a balloon, sort of.  Well, my basket was too big for the Target bag I had ready, so I used a garbage bag.  Which was way too big, but whatever.  I blew it up and felt like a total weirdo.  I let my bread sit for 4 hours and guess what?  It didn't rise one bit.  It looked like this:
Whatever.  So I baked it anyway.  I'd come this far.  When it came out of the oven, I got a little excited.  It was still flat and looked like a big rock and weighed about 10 lbs (not kidding), but it had a nice crust.  And it smelled pretty good. 

 This was the toughest, chewiest bread I have ever had in my entire life.  It didn't TASTE bad, but I got a jaw-ache from trying to eat it.  My loaf of bread was so sad and flat. 

Well, I still had to make a recipe out of this crap.  So I made an open-faced buffalo chicken sandwich.
Here's the recipe, if you can call it that.
Open-Faced Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
makes 1 sandwich

2 slices sourdough bread (preferably not MY sourdough bread)
1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken breast
a few Tbsp buffalo sauce
2 Laughing Cow Blue Cheese Wedges
2 Tbsp shredded cheddar cheese

1.  Spread each piece of bread with 1 wedge of cheese.  Toast.
2.  In microwave safe bowl, combine chicken and buffalo sauce.  Microwave 1-2 minutes, until heated through.
3.  Top toast with buffalo chicken mixture, then sprinkle with cheddar cheese.  Pop in the toaster oven or under broiler for a few seconds until cheese is melted.

1 comment:

  1. I laughed the whole, entire time reading this. Seriously. So funny. I wish I could be there to assist you with these baking adventures. First of all, I heart baking. Secondly, I heart hanging out with you. And lastly, I love to eat. So it will be WAY fun when you're closer, and we're more neighbor-like. Although let me warn you, I lack patience for things that take a month to make. (Or more than a couple of hours, really...) - meeee