I think we all know the moral: "Pride goeth before a fall".
Today, I am here to offer you this: instead of a beautifully executed loaf of rye and whole wheat studded bread, I bring you a cautionary tale. One that encourages you to listen to and follow your instincts.
This tale began rather inconspicuously. A sponge was left to rest overnight - no big deal. Many a loaf of bread has begun this way in my kitchen. The high amount of yeast added to the sponge did cause a niggling of a doubt in my brain - but I brushed it off.
The next day water and flours and other stuff were added. And more yeast. (Whaaatttt???) A sticky dough was created and kneaded a very long time. Now, here is where I strayed from knowing better to blindly following the recipe as written...
When making bread, there is a certain "feel"/ "tension" that you expect the dough to have when you are ready to let it rise. Different types of breads have different "feels", but depending on the ratio of wet to dry you kind of have an idea of what a recipe is suppose to feel like at certain stages along the way.
At this point, my dough was "sticky" but it didn't feel "solid". Warning bells were going off in my head - a little voice told me to take the ball of dough, add a little more flour and hand knead it for a couple of minutes. I promptly ignored that voice and set the dough to rise. Oh my, it did rise! And rise. And rise.
Finally, I went to shape it - the little voices in my head were once again telling me to stop and knead in some more flour. The dough ball just didn't have enough structure and wasn't holding its shape while I was forming it into a ball. Once again, I ignored the voice of reason - because that's what I do...
After another round of rising, it was time to roll that dough puppy out onto the baking sheet and bake it. This is the point where my folly in not listening to my inner voice first punched me in the gut and I realized that this dough was not going to form a lovely round loaf. Instead, I was going to be blessed with a squat disk. I tried to tell myself that oven spring would save the day. I knew better.
Squat went it. Slightly less squat came out. I put squat on the counter and stared at it for a few days. I knew it was probably still very tasty even though it wasn't all that it was supposed to be (at the least, it would have made good bread crumbs). But at this point, I was so annoyed with myself for not listening to myself that the loaf ended up finding a home in the bottom of the garbage - which made me even more mad at myself because I hate wasting food.
Lesson learned: 1) pay attention to those inner voices - they may just know what they are saying and 2) don't be afraid to stop in the middle and set things right.
This post participates in Tuesdays with Dorie.