Monday, February 7, 2011

Birdman Bakes Bread

       The finished loaf of bread. A miracle.

I’m going to make some bread this weekend.” says Birdman, aka Mr. Downeastdoingstuff.

[pause]”, okay.” I said.

“What kind of bread are you making?” I inquire.

“ You know, regular bread.”

So, a million scenarios go through my head from enjoying a wonderful piece of warm bread and butter, to scrapping dough off of the ceiling.

“Hey,” I say, “why don’t you peruse that little bread book I have in the den for a recipe.”

[blink   blink   silence]

“OK then,” I say, “ when you buy the yeast, buy a strip of it that has a recipe on the back for ‘regular’ bread.” “Make sure it has a recipe, because some don’t.”


So off he goes, to Hannaford, to pick up some yeast and a couple other things on this warm(ish), sunny February morning. 

It’s now near 3:00 I smell bread in the air? 


So I say, “Aren’t you going to make bread?”

(grumble.....grumble....) I hear from his direction. I leave well enough alone.

About 20 minutes later he announces, “OK, I’m going to start the bread.”

Out comes the kitchenaid mixer and the yeast packet.

“How do I do this?” he asks.

“Read the recipe.” I instruct. 

“Where is it?”

“On the back of the yeast packet.”

“What? Oh...... [pause].......[pause]......[sigh].....[cough].....there’s no recipe on here!?”

“Didn’t you look before you bought it?”

“Yeah, I did” he replies, “but I didn’t have my glasses on.”

So he figured that if he saw a bunch of blurry lines and colors on the yeast packet, he was good to go. 


So I start looking up recipes for ‘regular’ bread. I went to the Fleishman’s site and found a perfectly good recipe for beginners. But now he announces he wants to make raisin bread. I tell him that’s fine, but it will be a little more complicated and slightly different.

“Why can’t I just throw raisins into the ‘regular’ dough?” he asks.

“Well” I say, “the dough might be a different dough, maybe a sweeter one.”

So we look up raisin bread on my laptop and grab the first one we get to because, frankly, I’ve got other things to do. 

Anytime there’s a cooking expedition that involves Birdman, for some reason I get involved. 

So I’m eyeballing the closest exit that I could slither into without being detected.

Fat chance.

“Where’s the flour?”

“Over there” I say pointing to the cabinet where the flour has been for 30 years. (Not the same bag....)

“What are all these things for?” (holding up the kitchenaid paddles and whips)

(they are used to paddle, whip and beat life’s small irritations, I’m thinking....)

deep breath.....

So he gets everything out, he gets everything explained (in my opinion) and he’s on his way....

....except for these questions:

1. How do I open the yeast?

2. Where’s the brown sugar?

3. How much is a tablespoon of butter?

4. Can I heat up the milk in this pan?

5. Can you scroll the computer? I have dough on my fingers.

6. And the Piece de Resistance.....”What’s a yolk?” (That one I could.not.believe. I KNOW he knows what a yolk is.....!!!!@#$%&*) 

6 1/2. How do you get the yolk out?

I did manage to escape the room and I did hear some mild cursing now and then, but the result was we had one dang, wonderful loaf of raisin bread in the end.

As they say, all’s well that ends well.

And it ended well.

As I’ve said many times before, it’s a darn good thing I like him!

Thanks, Birdman.

Further photographic evidence of bread making in Maine....

Reading directions on the laptop.

Supplying sustenance for the job...a Patriots cup of iced tea with Powers Whiskey sloshed in for good measure.

OOOPS.....Add all DRY ingredients together. Add all WET ingredients together.
So why is the DRY yeast in the WET milk concoction???

Stirring the pot.....

Iced Tea/Whiskey break.....

Rolling out to a 12"X 8" rectangle and putting on the cinnamon sugar/raisin mixture.

Put into a loaf pan. (I took it out and put it back in so that it didn't look like an old man's butt.)

And, Voila!!!!! Delicious raisin bread.

And in the spirit of Super Bowl Sunday.....1 . 2 . 3 . HIKE!

'Til the next episode of Hell's kitchen.....