I mentioned in my last post that I felt as if Loki was in cohorts with the Universe to wreak chaos in my world.
Real talk - that kind of crazy is still running rampant around here, folks.
Like waking up at 5:15 on a Monday morning (as if Monday mornings aren't rough enough already), stepping out of bed and realizing the bedroom floor is soaking wet because a few of the tubes in the water bed decided to spring a leak.
That. Was. A. Rude. Awakening.
I think The Dude might have been suspicious that I caused the leak in order to force the issue of a new mattress (I have been wanting one for a while now...) But I think if he truly believed that, he would be forgetting two major things about me: 1) I don't make major purchases without thinking it to death (so I would not cause anything that would result in a rushed decision making process) and 2) why the heck would I do that to myself on a Monday morning?
Mattress shopping was an eye opener. Between navigating through the gadzillion choices, the sticker shock that ensues once you have made your decision and negotiating when they can deliver to you - it is enough to drive the less stalwart insane.
One thing I did learn - when the salesman tells you that it is going to take two weeks to get there and you tell them "no thanks, I'll go somewhere else with better stock" they have this magical ability to produce stock out of thin air. Hey - she would have felt the same way if she was the one sleeping on the couch...
I should be returning to normal sleeping accommodations on Thursday - and I am sure my disposition will greatly improve right about the same time...
Given the string of insanity that has been my world, I was a little worried about executing this week's Tuesdays with Dorie recipe (visions of oven fires from leaking filling were dancing in my head). I have made Danish braids before; but when it feels like so many things are going haywire around me, I seem to lose my ability to accomplish even the most simple of tasks.
Fortunately, bread making is therapy.
Dry good and butter slightly processed. Gently stir in the liquids. Refrigerate the dough. Roll. Fold. Roll. Fold. Roll. Fold. Roll. Fill. Shape & braid. Wash. Bake.
With each milestone completed, the task at hand become less intimidating and the final outcome felt more plausible.
Since I needed a bit of sunshine in my world, I filled the loaf with a cream cheese based filling and lemon curd - inspired by this recipe. (P.S. If you want a simpler version of a braided loaf, I highly recommend giving this one by King Arthur Flour a shot...)
Instead of an egg wash, I brushed the dough with some milk and sprinkled coarse sugar over top for that "crunch" factor. The coffee glaze recommended in the book didn't feel like a fit with the lemon curd, so a simple milk/ confectioners sugar mixture was drizzled over top.
The lemon, cream cheese and drizzle all worked together to meet my expectations of what a braided loaf should be.
Things are looking up.
This post participates in Tuesdays with Dorie - where a group of home cooks is baking their way through Baking with Julia.