The Making of a Bread Thief

I have been sick as a dog this past week. But that didn’t stop me from agreeing to a virtual mother-son bonding experience with Jake who studies on the east coast. Jake proposed we make the same bread and compare notes. As you may recall, my sons gave me The Bread Bible as a Christmas present. I suggested Raisin Pecan Bread on page 404.

I sent John out to get ingredients because I was too sick to leave the house, and in between short naps and longer naps, blowing my nose and coughing up my lungs, I crawled down the stairs to make the bread in its various stages.

Having a foggy brain is a bad time to make bread. I forgot to use the water the raisins were soaking in, and used tap water instead for the sponge. Then, I realized I didn’t have enough instant yeast so substituted active yeast. After googling the difference, and discovering that active yeast needs water to activate, I drizzled raison water on the dry ingredients (that were now on top of the sponge) and attempted to knead it. But it was a sloppy mess because I had added too much water. So, I added flour, and then more flour and then more flour.

The great news is that after I made these “corrections” the dough did exactly what it was supposed to do, doubling in size, and then doubling again after I did a perfect business envelope fold. I put it in the oven, and then realized I had forgotten to slash the top; took it out of the oven; “corrected” again. The bread finally emerged looking pretty good. I texted Jake the picture, and went back to bed.

John got home looking forward to my bread, and homemade cauliflower soup. He couldn’t find the bread and wondered where I hid it. I insisted I had left it on the counter, but it clearly wasn’t there.

There was, however, chewed Saran Wrap on the living room floor and our dog Jessie nowhere in sight.

“Bad puppy,” I yelled.

As you know, Jessie (my nine year old goldendoodle) had major ligament surgery a few months ago and still hobbles about. She puts her chin on the edge of our bed and whimpers to be lifted up, because she can’t put enough weight on her back haunches to jump. She had led me to believe she was disabled, which apparently she isn’t if she can reach for bread on a kitchen island that is twice the height of our bed.

This isn’t the first time bread has disappeared off the counter. Two weeks ago, Henry, my sister Anita’s dog, was staying with us while Anita traveled on business. Henry is Jessie’s half-sibling and the younger and more nimble dog. Then, as in this most recent “bread caper” incident, I had found Saran Wrap on the floor and no ciabetta that I had made earlier. I tattled on Henry, advising Anita that she really did need to get her dog in line. Perhaps if she worked fewer hours and was home more she wouldn’t have a delinquent as a son.

Now I had to admit that I had falsely accused her canine child.

Anita posted this on Facebook yesterday, taking a jab at Jessie and me—the older siblings:

“Why everyone needs a good defence lawyer…and an alibi! Email from my older sister, Sue:

Remember the bread I slaved over? It’s all gone with a suspicious chewed Saran Wrap in the living room. Guess I need to apologize to Henry. He was my main culprit in the previous bread disappearance. Now I have my prime suspect.

When in doubt, it is always the “older” sibling!”

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