Sunday, 25 November 2007

Too Daring?

I have nothing but endless respect for all those people out there who manage to have a full time job, study, look after a house, live and still post a blog more than once a month. If my track record is anything to go by I can't. I have also discovered that taking attractive photos of the food you wan to put on your blog is a lot harder than so many others make it seem.

I think organisation may be the key and the harsh truth is I am not an organised person. I wish I was, I buy lots of really nice notebooks from Paperchase along with the fab pink and violet pens full of organised intent; then I forget the notebook. The point of all this is I have joined the Daring Bakers, an incredibly organised group of like minded people who love to cook and eat. I see now I was hasty, they all practice the monthly recipe, they all make changes where they are allowed to (probably planning them well in advance), they all write brilliantly funny posts and take mouth watering pictures. I must practice.

This month Tanna from My Kitchen in Half Cups gave us Tender Potato Bread as our challenge. Now I can make cinnamon buns like a pro, well maybe not quite, I can rustle up no knead bread which everyone loves but apparently I am a failure at tender potato bread. It takes a lot for me to admit that I wanted it to be perfect for my first challenge so anyone that happened to stop by and take a peak would think how marvelous I must come by again to see what beautiful photos and food this clever girl has on offer. That is not going to happen, my blog will fail to gain even one comment, I will never write a cook book and there will be no TV show from my houses in Vail, Cornwall and New York. Damn.

I was so excited when I got the secret blog that all Daring Bakers can log on to and I had planned to practice with the bread until it was perfect however 3 friends birthdays all demanding cakes & cupcakes put paid to most weekend baking. There was no practice.

I started the bread late on Sunday - yesterday - and managed to mash my spuds, cool and then add the yeast and flour fine. It was mushy but I was primed by Tanna's descriptive recipe so I was not shocked, I was all out of whole wheat flour so soldiered on with plain adding as required. Just as I was about to start kneading (by hand if you please) the dog walked in with poopy feet (yes feet covered in poo), stomped the length of the lounge and hopped on the sofa. I was torn between kneading and scrubbing, the smell won out and I scrubbed foolishly leaving my dough on the counter. It stuck all gooey and sticky and almost unmanageable like some icky alien, I scrapped and pulled got some stuck in my hair, swore and emptied nearly a bag of flour all over myself, the dough and the floor.

I composed myself and kneaded for England, it was saved (ish). It rose like a down pillow in the morning once my fat head has been lifted. I shaped it as best I could in to lovely rolls and thought I was being clever by bunging some in heart shaped casserole dish. I wanted to add Parmesan and caramelised onions or garlic but I had started too late. However I was happyish with the results and had high hopes...

I daringly baked the bread as instructed, forgot about it, remembered it, took it out and forgot to put it on a rack. In short my rolls had soggy bottoms and my heart got stuck and had to be scrapped out in chunks.

Daring Bakers, I promise I will do better next time. Please come back and check!