After the triumph of the hot cross buns I decided to up the stakes in bread making.
Up to now I’ve used my mixer and a dough hook to knead the bread. But I decided if I want to become a bread master, I’d need to learn the knack of kneading by hand.
Plus it would combat the potential appearance of bingo wings. Everything’s a secret vanity project with me.
I decided to stick with simple white rolls. I made another batch of hot cross buns in the mixer at the same time, and worked out the timings so they’d bake one after the other.
According to Bertinet, whose book I’m using for my bread recipes, working the dough should take the beginner ten to fifteen minutes, and with practice, five.
Half an hour later, and with lots of blobs of dough spattered all over my kitchen, it started finally to come together. By this point my arms were tired and although deep down I knew the dough still needed a little more work to be ready, I didn’t have the patience or the inclination.
‘It’ll be fine.’ I thought. Anyway, working it some more would throw all my timings out. So I left it to rise, then shaped it and left it to prove. My dough was just a little too sloppy but I persisted nevertheless.
The results speak for themselves. Hot cross buns made with the mixer turned out immaculately. White rolls made by hand without patience – flat and basically inedible.
Success and failure in the same batch, all for want of some patience. If that’s not a life lesson about complacency, I’m not sure what is.