Saturday, April 03, 2010

No Butter?! You Gotta Be Kidd'n Me?

I quickly read the posts below to find out where I am chronologically in this whole posting thing.

When I'm heated, more errors arise. You can read where my mind was racing and I changed the way I was stating something but didn't eradicate all of the previous thought.

But new day and all. There are still things that need to be worked out.

So, I was told that sixty people would be there after I asked the question and after I committed myself to baking the bread.

How much bread are you supposed to bake for sixty people? I still don't know.

It was billed as a simple supper of soup and bread. The whole point of the event was to get people to interact like they were at a family meal.

I pictured the event in my mind; people talking, tearing at a piece of bread while they were listening.

I think that eating bread puts people at a certain ease during a mealtime conversation; it's gives a person something to do to be involved even if they don't have any words to contribute. They are engaged in the process by merely eating bread and who doesn't like good homemade bread?

So, I thought ample bread would be needed and to gauge what quantity ample bread would be, I thought of how much bread I eat once I've baked a loaf.

I can easily eat half a loaf and often do. Sometimes, I have to make what seems to be a great effort in to limiting myself on the amount of fresh baked bread I eat, mostly because I know that the lean breads I bake will not be nearly as delicious on the following day.

But, thirty loaves is a lot of bread to bake in one day using one oven; and walking in with thirty loaves would surely look a bit excessive. But I thought back to the previous year, when I baked for the same event. I wasn't happy that I was given a bad estimate on the amount of people that might show up and even though I baked what I thought was extra bread, I didn't feel that there was enough.

But, thirty loaves? It seemed like a lot. I think the most that I ever baked in one day was sixteen; and I thought that was tough.

But, I thought, if that I could pull it off, it would be something I could look back on and say, "Remember that day you baked thirty loaves? That was crazy."

I was a better baker than a year ago and I felt that I would be able to better handle all that dough rising at different times; I would better handle the temperature of the dough by moving it to cooler rooms in the house if needed. I had a plan.

When I thought the deed was possible, I decided to do it. I wanted a lot of my favorite loaves, the ciabatta but I felt that I had to bring a variety, so I added French, and a Vienna wheat bread to the mix. I then added wheat pita bread.

The day before I needed all the bread, I made all of the starters and I made the dough for the pitas and at the proper time everything went into the second refrigerator.

The next morning I started at 5:30AM and pulled the last loaves out of the oven at 4:50PM for the 6:30pm event. I left three loaves of French bread unbaked because I ran out of time; rush hour traffic and all and plus I think someone said that set-up was going to be at 5:30PM so I didn't want to be too late.

I left the house right at five. I had fourteen loaves of caibatta, twelve loaves of French, eight loaves of a wheat Vienna, along with twenty or so wheat pita breads.

Thirty four loaves, not counting the pita. I was impressed.

At the event, there was not one sharp knife. The best of the lot was an original Ginsu knockoff but I managed to filled every basket for every table and then a half sheet tray so folks could refill their baskets.

I sat at my assigned seat. I noticed that there wasn't any butter. I thought, that without butter, there was too much bread, that most of my effort just went for naught because someone either forgot, or didn't think it was necessary or didn't want to pay for butter.

Whatever, at least no one left the dinner table wishing that they had more bread.

There were six ciabatta, three Vienna, and three French loaves left which were all given away at the end, but I did wonder how much would have been left if there had been butter.

Because, come on now. Who doesn't bring butter to a simple meal of soup and bread?

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