One of this weekend’s other culinary projects was to make bread according to the recipe and method given by Alton Brown in his episode “Dr. Strangeloaf.”
The sponge was prepped last night, just as AB says. This afternoon it was added to all the other ingredients, again according to the Gospel of Brown. Mix it up, let the Kitchen-Aid have its wicked kneading way with it, poke. Huh. Seems a bit sticky. Too sticky. Very sticky, actually. This can’t be right. Any other day I’d add more flour since, as we all know, even different bags of the same brand of flour can have different water-absorption properties. But AB didn’t say anything about even the possibility of needing more flour. So maybe this recipe is magic somehow. Maybe after it rises in the oven for two hours all that flour will have soaked up the water and the whole thing will have firmed up and will start resembling bread dough rather than that of biscuits.
Two hours later, doubled in size in the steamy oven. Turn it out onto the counter and… Hrm. Did it get stickier somehow? It doesn’t look like the Alton’s dough. His didn’t cling to his hands like some cook-devouring-proto-blob-creature-thingummy. Should I add more flour now? No, it’s probably too late for that. Well, there’s no way this mass is going to allow itself to be formed into a nice round artisinal loaf. Maybe it can be salvaged. Loaf pan? The only thing for it, I suppose. Won’t be pretty, but maybe it’ll taste OK. I dunno though.
And this is what comes from ignoring one’s common sense and blindly following.