CHENNAI: If you were to scroll through my Pinterest boards (public and hidden) it would reveal to you my secret wish to be a baking Goddess. To aid this dream of mine I have downloaded all the apps. I have purchased baking Bibles. I have the cast iron cookware.
Of course in our home, we use the large le Creuset to store cut watermelon. D’accord? Non?
My on-the-go has been sitting on a shelf for the last couple of years, serving as a stand of sorts for tea towels, paper bags, etc. But this last Saturday my sister posted a picture of ‘no knead bread’, and something clicked in my head. If that masters in science and PhD can do it, why can’t I? (I realised much later, the answer was in the question.)
Bake bread for my children? How nourishing. How Little House on the Prairie. I was galvanised into action. The recipe in the NYTimes promised that even a 4-year-old could bake this bread. So at 36, this meant that I would rock the recipe, like 9 times more, right? I hit my first road block fairly early on when I realised I had no cling film. The item is banned in our home after an incident with a recalcitrant roll, a pair of scissors and a mentally unstable me.
So I think, hey, what’s the difference between cling film and silver foil? One is see-through and one is silvery. It will be fine. So I wrap my giant blue, Ikea bowl in layers of silver foil.
The eight-year-old comes in. “Are you making a model of a space ship for work?” I ignore him and lovingly set the space ship aside to let the dough rest. 18 hours later I am back to the recipe.
“Put dough seam side down on the towel.” Seam. My dough has to have a seam? I cannot find a seam. And towel? There was no mention of this. I’m beginning to think that the 4-year-olds who can ace this recipe are probably on some gifted programme and will be brain surgeons by the age of 8.
I remove the watermelons from the le Creuset and then transfer my seamless dough ball into it. The entire thing goes into the oven and I stand guard sniffing, waiting for that bread smell you get in the bakery department to start wafting around. Instead I can smell burning plastic. What part of the god damn le Creuset is plastic?
Where is my bread smell? I feel cheated. And a little alarmed. We don’t have a fire extinguisher so I pick up a can of Febreze, which in hindsight might not have been such a great idea.
An hour later things don’t look so bad. The slightly charred top can be scraped off right? I present my final masterpiece to the family.
“What happened to it?” “Was it in an accident?” “Is that food?” After some gentle coaxing (aka shrill screaming) they take a bite. We all do.
Cost of Ingredients: `500
Cost of visit to the dentist so we can all have new molars fitted: We’re still waiting for the bill.
Virtuous feeling from baking bread for my children: Priceless.
(The writer’s parenting philosophy is: if there’s no blood, don’t call me)