Sunday, 29 April 2012

The Master Baker

I am upstairs hiding in my arty crafty writing room, firstly, because I have work to do for school and secondly, because the Master Baker aka Andy is downstairs making much a-banging and a-crashing in the kitchen. And I made the mistake of going downstairs to investigate the banging and the crashing only to discover doughy, chocolatey carnage taking place. So I scurried back upstairs again.

'I thought everything was looking quite tidy for me,' shouted Andy from the baking war zone at my retreating back. He had a big blob of flour on his nose. I was thinking, 'His career as Master Baker will never take off unless he gets his image sorted out. You'd never catch Gordon Ramsay with a big blob of flour on his nose.' Mind you, you'd never catch Andy indulging in unnecesary effing and blinding a la Ramsay-style and Andy's face never looks like it needs a good ironing either, so I know which one I'd prefer to cook my dinner for me.

Today, the Master Baker is trying to perfect his large white bloomer. He is attempting to reach the 'elastic window'. The elastic window is that magic moment when the dough has been kneaded to a state of such silky flexibility that you can stretch it so thinly you can hold it up to the light and almost see though it. Something to do with gluten.

After 25 minutes of kneading (I think it's called 'Baking Gym'), the Master Baker achieved a state of 'elastic window that needs its nets washing.' He wasn't wholly happy. I blame the cold weather. If I was gluten I'd be refusing to make an appearance, too.  We're nearly in May and it's freezing. And wet. No, not wet - saturating. And the wind - good grief, who'd have thought the sky had so much wind in it. Hasn't stopped for two days. Where does it all come from, this wind? And, more importantly, where does it all go? A brief gap in the rain, and the popping out of the sun, has resulted in a mass exodus from the top bar hive; bees are bombing in and out in what can only be described as a state of personal desperation aka need to go on a poo break.

Back to the Master Baker. The Master Baker is also experimenting with biscuits. And little beef and chilli pasties. In otherwords, he is multi-tasking. Even though we have a double oven, there seems to have been some confusion between using one oven only in combination with a timer that was accidentally reset during the baking of chocolate chip cookies. This, along with the fact the Master Baker used large chunks of chocolate from a bar rather than your actually chocolate chips, meant that the biscuits lost their form, so to speak, and emerged er...chocolatey, floppy dollopy.They taste good, but texture-wise they aren't the kind of biscuit that could hold their own whilst being dipped in a cup of tea, for example.

There is also something going on which is being referred to as the 'Polenta Flour Disaster.' It's in the fridge at the moment. I daren't look. It's something to do with the chilli beef pasties so I won't be eating them being a veggie and all, but it's causing Andy a lot of angst. Wrong type of polenta apparently. As far as I am concerned, any type of polenta is the wrong type of polenta. When I go to Italy, I shall be steering clear of polenta, you mark my words.

And now, dear reader, he has set fire to a tea-towel! Our oven, you see, has a hot plate. And even when the hotplate isn't switched on, it still gets hot at the back where the gas flames generate heat from the right hand oven. And I soon discovered that if you rested anything clothey or papery on the hot plate whilst the right hand oven was on then the clothey/ papery thing was likely to a) get very hot or b) get singed.

I warned Andy. I did. I showed him the singed tea-towel. 'Be careful,' I said.

'Can I smell something burning?' I said five minutes ago, when Andy appeared to ask if I wanted a cup of tea.
'Yes,' said Andy. 'A tea-towel.'
'Did you leave it on the hot plate?' I said.
'Yes,' said Andy, 'and I know you warned me about leaving tea towels on the hot plate...'
'I warned you about leaving tea-towels on the plate,' I said.
'I know!' said Andy. 'It's because I am trying to multi-task.'
'I've already written about the dangers of that,' I said.
'You're not writing a blog about me baking are you?' said Andy.
'Of course I am,' I said. 'It's the most entertaining that's happened all week.'

He's just been up to borrow a ruler. He's holding a ball of pastry. Something requires 'precise measuring.'

No, dear reader. I didn't ask.


Andy said...

Still not sure about this whole 'master baker' thing! I'm going more for artisan baker. Though it does provide me with the opportunity to ask the question... Why did the master baker wash his hands? Because he kneaded a poo!

Denise said...

I 'll thank you kindly not to leave immature school boy jokes on my highly sophisticated blog, Mr Hunt.

I think the difference between a master baker and an artisan baker is one wears a nice suit and earns a lot of cash and respect and the other says things like, 'I meant it to come out like that.'