Bread – Because Your Life Is Lacking In Infuriating, Time-Consuming Endeavors

13 December 2008

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This newly discovered photo of a WWII-era French lieutenant sheds light on how the Germans were able to circumvent the Maginot Line. As we now know, baguettes, though delicious, were woefully inadequate for use as telescopes.

I held off for as long as I could, but last weekend I felt it was my duty to finally undertake the daunting and fist-sized-hole-in-the-wall inducing tasks of baking bread, then reporting the arduous process to you.  I figured that I’d written about a lot of my favorite foods on this illustrious blog, but have neglected perhaps the most basic and delicious of them all, simply because it’s difficult to make.  Some may call this cowardly, others wise.  Others, still, might wonder what the fuck they’re doing on this blog in the first place.  Before I started baking, I did some research on-line and discovered that looking at naked girls making out with each other after a tough soccer practice while their coach watches for a while, but then decides to join in, is way easier than baking bread.  After that, though, I dedicated myself to the notion that I would bake some bread in the afternoon – right after this nap.  Then I did some research not consisting of videos of naked girls making out, and thought to myself “you know, I was under the impression that baking bread was going to be hard, but it turns out that I was mistaken!  It’s fucking impossible.”  Thus, my search for girls making out with one another after various sports activities resumed.  My unwavering and annoying sense of duty, however, commanded me to move forward and try my hand at making my first loaf of burned-on-the-outside, wet-on-the-inside bread.  If for no other reason than to piss off the ghost of Robert Atkins and the legions of his mongoloid followers who eat hamburgers wrapped in fucking lettuce.  Yeah, fuckface, because it’s the bun that’s going to get you fat, not the greasy red meat and two slices of cheddar.  Whore-bag.

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Let's see: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, maaaaybe, yes, yes, yes.

Anyway, I did my research and steeled myself against the frustration to come.  I gathered my instrumentation, put on Kind of Blue  to help temper my temper, then commenced with staring at everything splayed out in front of me, wondering “How the fuck do people do this?!?!?”  Four scotches later, however, and with a cold Hoegaarden in my hand, all of a sudden baking bread seemed as easy as punching a toddler in the face and taking his candy, then throwing that candy in the trash just to show the toddler that you didn’t even need the candy in the first place, because “fuck him,” that’s why.  Waltzing around the kitchen with a swagger not seen since the previous day, when I punched a toddler in the face, I was ready to cook – I mean, bake  – my first loaf of bread, which I was sure would put Pierre Poilane to shame (the dead French bastard.)  But first I needed to figure out how the fuck the mixer worked.  I should have mentioned this, but in order to make bread you’re going to need a stand mixer.  If you don’t have one, just ask a lady over the age of forty if you can borrow hers – I don’t care if she’s a meth-addicted shoplifter and part-time prostitute, she’s going to have a fucking Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  They’re more ubiquitous than Beyonce.  But I digress… 

 

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Unless that pendant stifles your ability to speak and/or sing, you most certainly may not "upgrade" me, you omnipresent fame whore.

A quick note before we get started: much like new things and minorities not on prime-time TV, measurements scare me. And I’m not talking the good kind of measurements, either, like “Giada’s gotta have at least full D’s,” or “Why, thank you, Guinness – girls always told me it was big, but ‘biggest ?’  Well, that’s just great!”  So In order to assuage my crippling fear, and in an attempt to trick my brain into thinking measurements are fun, I’m going to rename all the units we’ll be using.  They are as follows:

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Compare: "Dude, I was so fucked up last night - I musta had 15 cups of punch at the Christmas party, and ended up discovering I'm a huge homo. AND a Steelers fan!" Or: "Dude I was so fucked up last night - I musta had 15 Lazer Falcons of punch at the Christmas party, and ended up having a three-way with my secretary and the boss's wife. She talked him into giving me a promotion!"

Things To Begrudgingly Buy At The Store:

1 Epiglottis of bread flour
1 Kerfuffle of instant yeast
2 Kerfuffles of kosher salt
2 Zooey Deshcanels of Water
2 Kerfuffles of honey
10 Englebert Humperdincks of bottled water
2 Thunder Cats of vegetable oil
2 Thunder Cats of corn meal
1/3 Lazer Falcon of tap water
1 Thunder Cat of cornstarch

I Never Thought I’d Write This On My Blog, But “Bake!”

Combine 5 Engelbert Humperdincks of flour, 1/4 kerfuffle of yeast, two kerfuffles of honey, and ten Engelbert Humperdincks of water (in a bowl, Einstein, not just willy-nilly on your counter.)  Cover as loosely as your mother’s reputation and stash in the fridge for 8 – 12 hours.  I’m sure that what we just made has a very proper and stupid baking name to it, but I got my degree in Registered Scientisting, not Fruity Bread Making, so I’m just going to call it “Steve.”  In your stand mixer, combine 11 Engelbert Humperdincks of flour, 3/4 Kerfuffle of yeast, and 2 kerfuffles of salt.  Throw Steve in there, too.  Knead with the hook attachment for 3 minutes, then cover the bowl and let rest for 20, because apparently our dough is a Teamster.  Kneed on medium for 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes sticky, but not too sticky to work with.  If you know what this feels like then you need to let me know, ’cause much like Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman, I’m IN THE DAAAAHK HEEEAH!!!  Let’s say, hypothetically, you get to the right consistency – place the dough ball in the center of a large pan greased with a Thunder Cat of vegetable oil.  On a lower rack of your oven, place a pan you’ve filled with 2 Zooey Deschanels of hot water.  Place the rack with your dough above it.  In about 1 to 2 hours, the dough will do it’s best “The Chef’s Prerogative stares at the new secretary’s legs” impression, and will double in size.

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Lt. Colonel Frank Slade sez: "How many tiiiiiimes...are we gonna hafta...REST THIS THIIIING?!?!?!?"

Grab your dough and turn it out onto a floured board like it was a mid-western girl straight off the bus after running away from home.  Fold the ball into itself twice (whatever the fuck that means), and let the dilatory fucker rest under a kitchen towel for 10 minutes.  Fold it several more times, then lightly pass the dough ball between your hands on the counter-top, forming it into a tight ball with a seam on the bottom.  Put the infuriating cocksucker on a pan, cover with a towel, and (surprise!) let rest for an hour.  Combine 3/4 of a Lazer Falcon of water and one Thunder Cat of cornstarch.  Uncover the laziest dough known to man, and slather your mixture on top of it.  Slash the top of the bread in the shape of a square and, it doesn’t say this, but I’m sure we have to let it rest under a towel some more.  Either way, that gives you just enough time to throw a pizza stone (or a slab of fine Italian marble – whichever you happen to have laying around) in your oven and pre-heat to 450 degrees (oh, and replenish your water pan, too, and keep it in there).  Bake for an hour, then let cool for 30 minutes before slicing.  You now have your very own loaf of homemade, fresh from the oven bread.  Now, you may be a little disappointed in the finished product, and discouraged at the Herculean effort it took to produce it.  And I’ll tell you right now that, admittedly, this is not the best bread in the world.  But then again, neither are you, so maybe lighten the fuck up.

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If it takes you longer than 24 hours to bake your bread, you have to pay it time-and-a-half.

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