|The Baker is baking!|
We fixed up the mixing situation, and I used my innate Ukrainian sense of all things wheat-related to knead the dough into a beautifully elastic ball. Seriously, I'm pretty sure that all Ukrainian women come out of the womb with the ability to make bread. I wouldn't be surprised if some over-achievers were busy baking inside their mum's tum instead of kicking! You feel a consistent pushing in there - oh yeah, that's just little Katya, refining her kneading technique!
So, bread kneaded and needs to rise. "Cover and leave to rise in a warm place" the recipe says. The only warm place in our house - warm being not frostbite territory - is on or near the oil heater. Therefore my brain says to put it in a bowl on top of the heater, coz you know, heat rises. And oh baby, rise that sucker did.
|Rising to infinity, and beyond!|
I went back and had a wee squizz at the recipe and realized I skipped one very important step - splitting the one big dough ball into two smaller dough balls to make, you know, TWO loaves of bread. Like the recipe says. Huh. Two loaves. ......Ooops!
Then a bit later I was perusing one of my favorite magazines, Cook's Illustrated, and they had an article where they tested different rising temperatures. Turns out that either putting your dough in the fridge for 24 hours or leaving it out in a cool area (read: my kitchen between June and October) over night. So the lazy method works! No need to rush the rising for only an hour, let it sit, they say! Well in that case, I should make the best darn bread in New Zealand, because I am the queen of leaving things out over night, intentionally and not. I'm pretty sure that's where the cats got their taste for certain human foods - snacking off last night's dinner left on the bench top! Oh well, what doesn't kill me makes me stronger, and I've shared my milk with Spice before. She's a very clean kitteh! She wasn't too impressed with our monster bread though.