Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Results of Barley

Well, my barley bread turned out edible.

Actually, I like it. It's moist, a lovely brown color, hearty, filling, not too sweet or salty....

...and very time consuming.

Oh no - mixing the dough isn't time consuming. That part is pretty easy. It's the baking that takes awhile. If I counted correctly, that one loaf baked for at least an hour and twenty minutes! I kept taking it out every 15 minutes to see if it was done and, nope, it wasn't; the knife kept coming out sticky.

But it finally finished, and I'm pretty satisfied with the results. I'll tweak it some more before I post the recipe, however. ("Tweaking" meaning I'm gonna try to find a way to decrease that baking time!)

Having gotten the oven so nice and hot, I thought of one more recipe to try while the oven was still hot; barely cereal flakes. I could just taste the homemade raisin bran. Mmmmm!

I didn't have a recipe, but that didn't bother me. I'd read plenty of times that the secret to making flakes was to pour a thin layer of batter over a cookie sheet and bake until brittle.

Lovely.

I mixed 1/2 cup water with 1TBS molasses, 2TBS oil, 2TBS flax seed, and 6TBS barley flour. It made the perfect consistency. Thin enough to pour, but thick enough to have sustenance.

I got out two baking sheets with high edges, and poured enough batter on each one to just coat the sheet. I had a little batter left over.

"Oh well - I'll have that to try again with, if this try doesn't work," I thought cheerfully.

Why don't I listen to my own thoughts? They contain predictions so often.

I popped the sheets into the 350-degree oven, turned speed bake on, set the timer for 10 minutes, and sat down at the table to eat lunch.

While we were eating, the flakes starting smelling really good. I smiled and continued munching.

Food must dull my sense. Why let food stay in the oven when it smells done?

When the timer went off, I got up and opened the oven door.

And slammed it shut again.

You must understand that we have an eat-in kitchen. All my family members, with the exception of Dad, were at that lunch table, just feet away.

"Oh no. Do I have to take this out with them all here?"

Too late. They had already noticed my reaction, and were eager for a sight of the disaster.

I removed the cookie sheets - such as they were.

"Mom, I think I gave you new pans. Do you like the new look?"

She didn't reply.

Have you ever seen the wall treatment where the painters mix sand in the paint, and coat the walls in a lovely textured finish? Picture that. Paper thin. Black. On cookie sheets.

"Did you have a recipe, Amber?"

"No, Mom. ...But this is what I've heard works!"

You must forgive my brothers, but they started snorting at this point. I felt like joining them, so it didn't bother me in the least.

"Whose turn is it to wash lunch dishes?" Curtis sounded worried.

"Mine," Heather said. "Am, you can either wash all the other dishes, and I'll scrub those, or you can scrub those."

But she didn't carry out that threat. I cleared the dish rack for her, and she washed those pans while I finished my lunch. Isn't she the sweetest sister ever?

I was very relieved that the pans weren't ruined.

Now, here's the slightly insane part of the story: after I finished my lunch, I decided to use up that leftover batter.

Yup, I wanted to try again.

This time, I oiled the pan.

REALLY well.

And the dough...well, it fried.

I checked it every two minutes, and each time it was still soggy. I finally just turned the oven off and let it sit in there to dry up.

When it cooled some, I took it out and scraped it into soggy flakes. It wouldn't have made 1/4 a bowl full.

They actually tasted good! Like sweet bran flakes. Um, I mean sweet oily bran flakes. (Yup, I tasted them. All five flakes.)

Now you cast your vote: does this experiment qualify as a success, or should I put it on the list of "Amber's Flops and Falls and What She's Learned from Them"?

1 comment:

Alethea Jordan said...

I'd say success. But I haven't tried it, so maybe you should have me over! =D Just kidding. Half kidding. lol.