I started this morning with the full intention of making a loaf of bread, after a successful loaf made last week, despite over-proofing it; chocolate chip cookies, for part of the cookie-making fat debate I have going on for later publishing; and hard-boiled eggs, because there are a little over three dozen eggs in the fridge, 30 of which are farm fresh and need to be used up. All before I needed to get supper on the table, and tonight’s a church night, so I was on a little more of a time limit. I scalded my milk, melted the butter and dissolved sugar while I measured out a cup and a half of bleached flour and three and a half cups of white-wheat flour and mixed it up to warm (I keep flour in the freezer – that may change). I got distracted by stuffing envelopes and sticking address labels (upcoming baby shower), and so when I got back to the milk mixture, the butter had made a skin on top. No big deal – I just warmed it back up to melt, and added my yeast as directed. Last time, I let the yeast sit on top and proof – not this time. This time I got the bright idea to mix it in. I think that may have killed it, because it didn’t proof nearly as well this time as last – instead of a foamy yeast head, there were little blobs of yeast floating in butter and milk. Soldiering on.
I slowly added the milk mixture to the flour, thinking the whole time that I would need to add the whole mix because the air was cooler and drier than last week, and I was working with wheat, so I could definitely use the extra moisture in proofing. I even added an extra teaspoon of yeast to the flour and mixed it in, hoping that even though the proofed yeast didn’t proof well, the extra yeast would help while the dough was rising. The dough got shaggy, and looked too wet, so I stopped short by several tablespoons, and set the dough out to knead before first rise. Even then, I knew something wasn’t right – the dough soaked that “over extra” moisture right up, and felt a little too heavy and rough. Soldiering on.