Monday, November 15, 2010


Loaf #6 is an utter failure. It appears I did not get the bread pan properly seated in the oven of the bread machine. That in turn meant the axle of the kneading paddle did not engage with the motor. When I opened the box to reshape the loaf about an hour into the cycle, the ingredients were scarcely mixed at all. I mixed them manually ("kneading" is too kind a term) and put them back in. I'm allowing the cycle to finish, but I have a feeling the result will be inedible. Damn.

Oh well; education comes from experience, and not all experience is good experience.

UPDATE: The results are in. Flavor and aroma: very nice. Texture: how does "aggressive" sound? How about "brick-like"? This bread is within my personal tolerances, and I really wanted some 100% whole-wheat bread today. But I won't be serving this loaf to anyone else.


  1. No worries, even someone who has been baking for 30 plus years has the occasional failure. I have been on a quest to duplicate the famous pain Poilane for years and my last attempt was delicious but horribly ugly. It made great croutons however so all was not lost.

  2. fallenmonk, I expect occasional failures in the kitchen; it just comes with the territory.

    Baking bread is relatively new to me... I did it in my early 20s, but didn't learn much about it and haven't done it since... and given that I've had 4 out of 6 complete successes (to my own beginner's standard) and only one real failure, I have no cause to complain.

    I am hoping, not unreasonably, that I turn out to have a knack for this. Nothing so far has convinced me otherwise.

    Yesterday we went to Half Price Books (our favorite used book store chain in Texas) and I came home with a bread book, something with a grandiose title but obviously aimed at novices. Earlier in the week we went to Barnes & Noble (sigh... that store is in decline) and I came home with an amazing bread book, a personal collection of mostly relatively easy recipes by Paul Hollywood, a master baker (pronounce that carefully! :) ) in London in a succession of fine restaurants and hotels. I read the book, spellbound, and skimmed its recipes, most of which left me with the sense, "I can do that!" I've also started on the other, more generic book; among other things, it has a section on how to transcribe conventional-oven recipes for use in a bread machine. It's fun to learn completely new skills at my age!

    BTW, congrats on your new job. Nothing like that has happened here, but I'm not yet in desperate need, or even non-desperate need. Enjoy, if possible!

  3. (Stella would remind me that both of those bookstore trips were actually on the same day. The lifespan grows longer; the memory, shorter.)



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