Failing Deliciously

The humans have taken it into their heads to try their hands at baking bread again. And when I say, “taken it into their heads,” I mean, “I planted the subconscious suggestion while they were sleeping.” Their results have been. . .mixed, to say the least. There’s a good chance they’ll have another spectacular failure with which I can embarrass them for years to come.

The human female has seized upon a recipe for a “Harvest Loaf” pictured in a flour-manufacturer’s catalog.

What do you think, Sigyn? It looks like it might be edible, if it comes out right. Let’s take a closer look at the recipe.

The page is messy already! The recipe itself doesn’t look too hard. But look at that eight-hour rising time! This will require planning, which is not the female’s strong suit. This could be a glorious disaster!

Let us commence! Flour, first. Careful measuring is important. (I’ll add or subtract some later.)

There’s whole-wheat flour in this as well.

That practically guarantees it won’t rise like she wants it to!

Sigyn, if you are going to fall in, do it now before things get sticky.

Salt is important, too.

Keeps the yeast beasts in check. Or so I’ve heard. Next loaf I’ll magically remove it and we’ll see what happens.

And the yeast beasts themselves!

Rats! I could have sworn I super-aged it, but it’s still within it’s best-by date. I was hoping she’d have to run to the store mid-recipe.

Water!

Yes, Sigyn, the measuring cup does make you look funny.

Is it supposed to look like swamp gunk?

Or easy-set concrete. One or the other…

The dough is coming together.

Don’t stand there too long, my love. You’ll either get stuck in the concrete or smothered by rising dough…

Time to make big pieces of fruit into itty bitty pieces of fruit. Sigyn thinks snipping dried apricots with the scissors is fun.

Are you sure you don’t want me to do it with my dagger? Because you know how I love using my dagger.

That is a LOT of fruit and pecans!

If this doesn’t work, it’s going to be a sad waste of apricots, cranberries, and pecans.

Everything’s mixed in. Nothing to do now but let it rise.

The loaf bakes in a Dutch oven. I think this is a good idea.

Not because the enameled cast iron conducts and retains heat well, but because it is GREEN.

Don’t forget the pan of hot water for the bottom oven rack!

(much, much later)

Well, here it is. Such as it is.

Vindication! As I predicted, the rise leaves quite a bit to be desired. It’s not a loaf, it’s a rather large, starchy hockey puck.

But it smells good…

The human female has looked at the recipe’s feedback online. Apparently many others have had trouble getting this recipe to rise. See, mortal? You’re not the only one who sucks at bread! Just the worst one.

(poke, poke, poke)

Hmm. It didn’t rise much, but the texture is fairly open for a loaf with whole-wheat flour. It’s not as dense as I thought it’d be. Perhaps it will be edible after all. (If all else fails, we can pick out the fruit and nuts.)

(nibble, nibble…CHOMP!) Great Frigga’s Corset! It may look like a paving stone, but this stuff makes toast fit for a god. But I can’t let the human female know that! Run along, human. Go look up other bread recipes online or take a nap or something. No, no! Don’t worry about cleaning up after your failure. I’ll take care of that.

(Like heck, I will.)

Sigyn and I are going to spend the afternoon with this bread, the toaster, and a crock of butter.

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