Squaw Bread (adaptation to earlier posted recipe link)
where are you? I need to give you, and my other bread baker friends the low-down on the bread recipe link that I had posted a few posts back for the Squaw Bread.
In the midst of my bread baking, and measuring, I had a couple of phone calls, and an unexpected, but lovely visit with a good friend. Can I just jump right in and tell you that I was not myself? Admit that I had not followed the baker’s rule of all rules, Mise en place? Me, the baker, the one who knows how important being organized is when in pursuit of the perfect bake? Aww-shucks, I was wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, and the only excuse I had for not being fully prepared was due to, The New York Times, post I’d read and responded to along with the ‘fifty-thousand’ (exaggeration), others that are giving their two cents on President Obama’s threat to intervene in Syria (against the will of many American citizens). Well, sure enough, now that I think about it, that is the true reason my attempt went askew, but because I refuse negativity to throw me down and beat the heck out of me. I stood up, shouldered my responsibility for being less than focused and set forth to adjust and amend my mistakes.
Here’s how it all went down
I pulled my rogue self from the pasture and set about messing with the fruit mix, first. The original recipe requested 1/4 cup of raisins. Oh, well that just won’t do for me. I’m as addicted to fruit as I am to coffee. Instead of just raisins I dabbled with some of this:
- 1 ounce of chopped dried figs, organic
- 1 ounce of golden raisins
- 1 ounce of Jumbo Flame raisins
- 1 ounce of currants
- 1 ounce of dried cranberries
Those babies went swimming and simmering in 2 cups of filtered water. Cooled and then pulverized along with Canola oil, Organic Palm Sugar, Organic honey, with my trusty immersion blender (gifted to me by my favorite son).
Proofing my yeast was a blast
Literally. I forgot about it while visiting my girlfriend. So, by the time I got back to the bench to continue culmination of all ingredients I noted that Mount Vesuvius was alive, again, and spilling into the streets with a vengeance. Who knew that a quarter cup of warm water, a tablespoon of molasses, along with three teaspoons of baker’s yeast, could foam and amass such greatness in such short time? (NOTE: I’ll never use sugar or honey to activate a feed to baker’s yeast again. Mr. Molasses, you are the new trick up my sleeve. :)
At some point
I measured my flours, opting for Imperial measurements (ounces versus cups). Organic Rye, Organic Wheat and All-Purpose white flour. This is where the mayhem ensued. In the fog of too much caffeine, I must have over-calculated my ounces, the bowl of flour, while heaping, should have been my hint, but it wasn’t until I added the powered milk, salt, and the liquid mixtures of fruits and Mount Vesuvius foaming yeasties that misfortune threw itself into my face..
That KitchenAid mixer tried to tell me that I was asking a favor that she simply couldn’t offer. She tried to toss things back at me, I yelled at her, pushed things back into her. The fight continued until I just couldn’t shame either one of us for another moment. I lifted her arm and grabbed the bowl off the lock, dumped the mass onto the counter and began hand kneading. Kneading. Kneading, until I NEEDED more caffeine and a diversion. My diversion came via the water spigot on the fridge door. I threw copious amounts of water atop the dry mass, the very dry mass…and crumpling dough. I pushed, I pulled, I cursed, I begged. I grabbed more water. Finally, I divided the mass and threw half of it back into the KitchenAid, tossing the other into the composting bucket. I turned that mixer on, full speed ahead, and challenged that dough to fight for its life. I tossed more water into the glob of goo and messed with it further. AND THEN I REMEMBERED! Rye flour does NOT like over-mixing. It becomes gummy, unfriendly and unforgiving. I was too far in to pull myself out of the mayhem. My OCD was fully activated, the caffeine was pushing me into a stress-induced panic attack. I shut K.A. off for a break and tried a window-pane test. FAILURE. Turned Miss K.A. back on and pushed her into her own panic mode.
Eventually I grew more weary. The coffee pot was empty and I fell into a heap on the couch. Reading and re-reading the recipe. Factoring how much extra water I ‘must-have’ added, and finally accepting that in the wild torrent of my caffeine stupor the calculations could have been anywhere from 12 to 15 ounces. Oh yeah. When I go down big. I go down. Far.
we all know that self-pity isn’t worth two dimes and a nickel. I’ll see what comes out of this whole thing and write a report, if for no other reason than to let my friends know that I wasn’t lying when I said I’d be baking, and hoping they would too, a request that came via my bud, Buffalo Tom Peabody, on his quest to find a bread he enjoyed through traveling the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area.
Squaw Bread recipes are welcome
Please feel free to post them in the comments section.