Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bread maker fail!

To underscore yesterday's post about my utter lack of kitchen prowess, I have now failed at the easiest task ever: making bread in a bread machine.

I got the machine, a Zojirushi Home Bakery Mini, for my 4th anniversary. It may sound like a weird gift, but I've been wanting one forever and we agreed that this would be a good "for both of us" kind of gift. As in, I will love using it and Anthony will love eating the bread. Win-win. :)

Let's see - today is the 22nd and I got the machine on the 17th. I've made four successful loaves already, which means I've baked nearly every day since I opened it.  As the name "Mini" suggests, it makes the cutest little mini loaf you've ever seen! It's a 1-pound loaf, and most loaves you're used to seeing are either 1 1/2 or 2 pounds.  It's perfect for us - the loaf is small enough that we can finish most of it before it goes stale.

I've been trying to recreate Anthony's absolute favorite bread in the world, King's Hawaiian rolls. I've been extremely diligent about conducting my experiments, only changing one variable at a time. I started with a standard loaf, then tried substituting pineapple juice for the water. Then I tried substituting eggs in place of part of the water. Then I tried adding a lot of sugar. All four loaves came out good, but I'm still quite a ways away from finding the perfect recipe.

Today I thought I'd go back to a regular sandwich bread before resuming my experiments. I managed to get all the ingredients measured and into the machine before Katie woke up from her nap. I also started the machine at the perfect time to have fresh, hot, delicious bread ready for dinner. It was a race to the finish line. In order to be ready at 6, I have to start the machine by 2:30, and I almost didn't make it.

Katie and I ran our afternoon errands, and when we got back, I checked on the bread to see if it was rising nicely. It wasn't. It hadn't risen at all. In fact, I could still see the little pile of yeast in the middle, unmixed. I reset the machine, cursing that we wouldn't be having yummy fresh bread for dinner after all. I checked to make sure the baking pan was seated properly in the unit, and that's when it hit me.

I'd forgotten the kneading blade.

I poured everything out into a bowl, inserted the blade, and dumped everything back in. I hope it works!  :( :( :(  Stupid failures.

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