One of my favorite places to get a snack is Great Harvest Bakery. Unfortunately, I don’t get there too often any more, but I love all their different kinds of breads, and you can always get several “free sample” slices. One time I saw they had a bread called “Guinness and Gouda”, made with smoked Gouda cheese chunks and…Guinness beer. (Thank you very much!) Now, being a good little girl, the thought of beer bread seemed very naughty, so of course I tried a piece. It was so good! Every year in March when they make it, I get a loaf and tell myself that this year I’ll learn to make it myself. This year I decided I really would.
In March, I traipsed off to the forbidden territory of the liquor store and suavely bought a bottle of Guinness. The smoked Gouda was much easier, from Trader Joe’s (I asked them if they had Guinness and they said no). Then I couldn’t find the recipe I’d gotten off the internet last year for Guinness bread that wasn’t a sweet bread. I had one for beer bread, but I thought I had better be picky. About a month ago, I found the recipe during my Great Mushroom Bake-off with Kerrie. Today one of the teachers at school (who I asked about Guinness when I bought it) had a bad day, so I told her I’d make it for her.
I am a bad blogger, because I do not have pictures for this. And, dear readers, you most definitely would have loved the pictures! Alas, I was alone, and, as you will hear, was soon in no shape to take pictures! (No, I didn’t drink the beer. Stop that!)
…there were no pictures as I smelled the beer and made a bad face: this stuff smells like something died…
…as I bravely mixed the beer with honey and butter, warming it in the microwave and adding to my yeast mixture (yes, yeast AND beer…this thing’s gonna be skyhigh)…
…as I lovingly cut the Smoked Gouda (cchowda, like Bach, not goo0da) into wedges and then nummy little pieces to mix into the dough…
The Thing that Ate my Hands.
In its defense, the recipe did say a “soft” dough, and to flour the work surface (I forgot. I oiled my hands like my mom does when she makes bread). The recipe did not say this was the Dreaded Dough Monster from the Fire Swamp.
If you ever watched the first Lord of the Rings movie, you probably remember the part where Saruman is creating his “special” orcs and they get ‘birthed’ out of the slime. (That was probably the most disgusting part of the movie for me.)
Imagine that all over your oily hands. And the mixing bowl. And the mat laid down so my counter didn’t get it. And then read the section of the recipe that says, “Form the dough into a round loaf and place in a cake pan.” That was where I began to laugh hysterically and mutter things like, “Just poke it in there”, “More oil”, and “The Swamp Thing!”
Not all the bread dough made it into the three cake pans I had ready. Some was still in the bowl, some was on the counter, and a lot was on my hands.
Luckily I’d taken my wedding ring off first (I’ve done bread dough a time or two). I oiled my hands again and smoothed the scary-looking lumps down so they looked smooth and nice, like I’d formed them into docile little loaves. When we both knew that given a little less oil, they’d bite my hands off again.
They’re rising right now in the oven. Sounds a little scary, considering. I’ll update this after they’ve baked…if I’m still alive.
Dear readers, the Swamp Thing…is alive! I went out after typing the sentence above and checked the oven. Cover your eyes if you’re easily frightened…
I looked at the recipe again, and I was supposed to cut a cross in the tops with a floured knife.
So I did. Maybe the cross will defeat the monster?
Unfortunately, it may have been to late for the cross to have an effect.
I’ve turned the oven on now to bake it. It smells good, at any rate, and there’ll be no shortage!
If we survive…