Friday, January 29

Lavender Mint Love Bread



In my defense, I had heard before from a variety of sources (and... obviously the cookbook I'm using) that Lavender was a rarely used but extremely powerful and delicious addition to a recipe. (Mistake number 1) So I determined it was time to think outside of the box and try this dubious little piece of work. Not yet having a bowl large enough to mix bread dough in, Erin and I instead invaded Spenser's house to begin our attempts.

For those of you who know me and my cooking, you are looking dubiously at the picture above and wondering what on earth happened because it does - in fact - look edible. We began by heating the milk and (half and half?) to put the yeast into. After talking to Spenser's mum about the subject, I was quite stressed about whether or not the milk was too hot and I was going to kill the yeast (which I have done before). After feeling it, we determined it was, and it was suggested we add the eggs we had noticed on the recipe page to cool it down sufficiently. (Awesome trick, no?) While adding the eggs, Erin (or Spenser?) read over the recipe again and realized that the eggs were not for the bread itself but the wash to spread on afterwards. (Mistake number 2)

Luckily this wasn't a terrible mistake, and we could just continue on without having to worry too much about it. We added the tablespoon of yeast and let it sit for five minutes. After a few minutes, I checked on it and realized I didn't actually know how to tell if it was active. We examined the yeast and determined (after hurriedly searching the internet on advice for such things) that it had in fact died and we scooped out what we could and put some more in (determining that the milk was cooler now.)

This happened again precisely as above. Finally, the third time we added yeast, we decided to continue on regardless and hope for the best - because it was supposedly NOT working in the least. (Mistake number 3)

We finished the dough with little difficulty and set it on the oven to rise before going downstairs for homework and Sega Dreamcast.

An hour later or so we discovered - to our utter surprise - that the yeast had in fact been perfectly active.

All three times.

The bowl was completely full of rising dough, so we smashed it down and spread it out into two 9x11 sheets to spread lavender-creamcheese-basil-mint-yogurt concoction on. (It looked positively gross, but it smelled good so OBVIOUSLY it tastes good, right?) Then we perilously rolled them up and frantically - before everything leaked out of the bread roll - dropped them into well-buttered pans.

The two small loaves were a lot larger than the bread pans had anticipated, for the record.

We then realized we'd forgotten to put cheese inside the roll. (Mistake number 4)

After a bit of lamentation (needful, of course. I mean, who forgets CHEESE?) we decided to cut slits into the top and just... *stuff* the cheese inside. This process was absolutely disgusting and quite entertaining. Given the consistency of dough and the feel of lavender-mint-filled yogurt gross, it was a bit like reaching into someone's cold intestinal tract.

Finally, after sprinkling the remainder of the cheese on top, we put them in the oven and that was pretty much it. They looked reasonably nice, so neither of us was very disappointed. (Spenser was in the den doing usual dubious activity.)

They grew... precisely six inches out of the pans. But they looked lovely and smelled pretty good, so we weren't very upset. I removed them after an hour, and after letting them sit, pulled them out of the pans. (Erin and Spenser were playing Super Mario Bros.) Brenna and Lizzy came to watch, and we ripped a bit that had broken off up and tried the now infamous lavender mint love bread.

It was positively disgusting. Like... when I dislike a food (fish, peanut butter, pickles) I'm still very tolerant of it. Eating such things doesn't really upset my stomach or anything. I just don't enjoy the taste. But this bread made my stomach wrench.

Erin doesn't mind it, being (I think) a bit more foreign in her tastes due to the fact that her parents are amazing and widespread cooks. But the rest of us were utterly confused as to how homemade bread could taste this undesireable.

So there you have it. First project a success. But not in the way I wanted...