When we got up this morning...
The nightmare continues. Isn't spring just a couple of weeks away? Geez. This is supposed to melt quickly, but what does it matter? Snow will just fall again and again and again. Jack Nicholson in The Shining comes to mind.
The first thing I did yesterday was get started on my second attempt at Peanut Butter and Jelly bread. Let me tell you, I was not feeling good about this at all. The dough was very dry and stiff, and the recipe was weirdly written. It contains 2 cups of whole wheat flour. In a later step you add anywhere between 3 1/2 cups and 4 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour. Am I the only one who thinks a variation of a full cup of flour is a pretty wide variation? And I found myself saying, "So, which is it?" The mixer started bogging down pretty badly after the addition of four cups, and so I left it there. Still, the dough was nearly impossible to shape. It looks a little like a human brain in this image.
It was the consistency of hard clay. The recipe said to let it rise until it was "puffy," but something of this density is never going to achieve anything approximating "puffiness." Nevertheless, I persevered. It took twice as long as the recipe suggested, but eventually doubled in volume. It still looked like a human brain, but oh well. Then, it was divided it into two sections and rolled it out in preparation for spreading the peanut butter and jelly over the slab. The dough was very elastic, and I got a workout rolling it out into a 9 x 15 rectangle. Okay...maybe it was 8 x 14 because my arms couldn't take any more.
Then I spread the goodies on and rolled it up like a jelly roll. Being such a dry dough, I couldn't pinch the seams or the ends together because it wouldn't stick to itself. In the end, I just tucked the ends under and shoving it into the loaf pans the best I could. From there it needed a second rise. Mike was watching me through all of this, and I said, "Expect failure." Again, it took nearly twice as long to rise as expected, but eventually the loaves rose above the top of their loaf pans, and so I baked it up. Oh, my, my.
No one was any more surprised than I to see such beautiful loaves. In a show of remarkable restraint, I gave it 45 minutes to cool before cutting into it to see the inside. Well, f*ck a duck. Who would have thought it possible?
It tastes as good as it looks. My friend Marei asked me how one would toast such a loaf. A few of the comments on the King Arthur website mentioned that toasting it allowed the gooey insides to drip into the toaster. We put it on the baking sheet that came with our toaster oven and used the toaster setting to toast it. That worked pretty well. By lining the pan with foil, we also avoided the mess. If you're feeling brave, you can give this a try. The recipe is from King Arthur Flour, and you can find it right here. Baking failure punches are part of the gig in apprentice bread baking, but expecting failure and achieving success is especially sweet...no pun intended.
As for the pinwheels, when I started working with them yesterday I realized I'd mismatched a few and left out a couple of triangles from their respective sets of four. When I had them all matched up correctly, I'd used every single one. While responding to a comment this morning, I said there was something poetic about using every single bonus triangle, but I hadn't found the words to express it. Then, it hit me: that's the name of the quilt. Poetic Pinwheels. Or Pinwheel Poetry. Or something like that. By the end of the day, I'd sewn together 21 of the 35 I'll need.
The colors and fabrics are diverse, and so I'm rearranging them as I go. Originally the plan was to try to achieve some sort of symmetry with the pattern, but I don't think that's going to be possible. Now I'm just trying to achieve a random mix of fabrics and colors. There are 14 to go, but there's also one leftover...a bonus pinwheel from bonus triangles, if you will. I'm thinking I'll have to put it on the quilt back. Pretty sure that using all of them will allow me to achieve nirvana.
Also yesterday, I stitched up a hoopful of Millicent. Now I've moved the hoop to the right, and I'll get back to work on her this morning.
This being Sunday, I'm linking up to