Thursday, July 18, 2013

Dough and Beans and More Experience

I finally had my first experience with frozen bread dough. It wasn't all as negative as I was anticipating. Nor was it one of those experiences that keeps you from ever doing anything remotely similar again. I didn't break out with a bad case of hives, either. But I wasn't bouncing with thrilling exhilaration, though. So was it good or bad, you might be asking yourself. Well, not so bad I wouldn't do it again but not so good that I'd use the frozen dough - probably make my own dough. It did stir up long ago memories of another all nighter, however.

I decided to bottle chili beans. I'd gone to college, eventually majoring in home economics education. I'd taken a lot of cooking classes. I'd been raised by a mother who was a home economics major and raised during the depression and big on being self reliant so I'd had a lot of learning experiences. I knew that beans expanded so I got a really big pan to soak them in. They're supposed to soak overnight. I put them in the very large pan and covered them with water. Before I went to bed, I checked them again.

Holy growth spurt!!

I plugged the sink and dumped them into the sink and again covered them with water. Then I went to bed sure that I had them well under control. Next morning, they had expanded and were flowing over into the other side of the sink.

Needless to say, although I spent a lot of time bottling chili beans that day, I didn't have to can them again for a few years.

So, back to the freezer dough. I was making some Mexican Monkey Bread for a morning meeting at work. New recipe. I know. That's the first rule of Cooking 101 - never try a new recipe when it's for company or a work meeting. It's the rebel in me, I guess, that thinks it will be different for me.

Working backwards from when I needed to leave for work, and {believe it or not} reading the instructions on the package, I deduced I needed to get this freezer dough out at 1:00 am to begin the thawing process. I cut each roll in half and didn't even fill a cookie sheet. Panicking, I opened the other package and cut them in half. Now I should have enough for two layers like the recipe called for. That means it's 2:00 am when I'm trying to go to bed.

5:00 am and my alarm goes off. I get up to get started on the remainder of the process, {having thought it all out in my head several times when I should have been asleep} and stopped dead in my tracks. The dough on the cookie sheets had overflowed and grown together and, all in all, became two pansfull of yeasty grief. That's when the chili bean experience came back to the front of my brain.

Needless to say, I got to work separating the overgrown pieces of dough and putting my concoction together. Might as well have been working with a bowl full of dough as individual pieces were indistinguishable. The baking process caused the dough to grow even more. I had to pull the top rack out of my oven before I could even pull them out. Awesome. I guess you realize that means that I didn't put nearly enough cheese in between the layers of dough since the layers of dough had multiplied two hundred fold. Oh, well. It was okay. They ate it.

I've bottled chili beans a couple of times since my first experience and I'm sure I'll try this recipe again. Manned with more experience and more reasonable expectations, of course!

1 comment:

  1. I'm still waiting for the recipe! It was tasty :)