Sunday, June 3, 2007

Bring On Da Braid!

OhMAN! I feel like the 97-pound weakling who took lessons from the Pillsbury Doughboy (the baking equivalent of Charles Atlas) and now they don't dare kick flour in my face! That's because, as you can plainly see, I have braided my very first loaf of bread. Let me intensify the brag just a bit. I have done a SIX-STRAND braid. Hooboy.

That might not sound impressive to you more talented folks but I've never braided anything with more than three strands in my whole life. I don't even know how to French braid, that's how iggernut I am.

I can't take credit for any brilliance, however. All the gold stars go to a nice young woman named Tracey who has put a terrific video on YouTube demonstrating just how to do this. (Video at end of this post.) If you watch it a couple of times, you'll be able to do it, too. Actually, if you watch it a couple of times, you'll see how much nicer her braids look than mine but, hey, I figure she has a teensy bit more experience. Right? Riiiiight!

In any case, she does such a good job of demonstrating, the whole experience was great fun. You can't help but grin when you start rolling out those long dough snakes for the braid. The tricky part is trying to get them all more or less the same thickness and length. It's a bit disconcerting to get to the end of the braid and find you have some strands significantly shorter than other strands. Yipe!

I just went with the time-honored tradition of the fine art of fakery. You sqooosh up the long strands just a bit and tug ever so gently on the short strands and then you fiddle them all together like a nest of cohabitating snakes and call it good. I figured if it didn't work out, I'd just eat that end first.

Mage, I want you to know I was thinking about you all the time I was doing this. You've mentioned your love of braided bread so often, I figured you were probably the resident patron saint of such things. I know you're too kind to snicker at my efforts but a gentle chuckle is permissible.

So, okay, Coffee Mates. The gauntlet (aka oven mitt) has been thrown. If I can braid a bread, so can you. And you. And, yes, even YOU. Think of it as one of the fun things you can do with your clothes on.


John Bailey said...

I think that's one on which I'll pass, Dee. I know I'd get confused. I just know I'd get confused... :-)

Bex said...

I'm positive I'd get confused! But how lovely! That is the FIRST You-Tube I've EVER watched. Thank you for sharing it! Now if only you could share a slice of that bread! I'll probably never get around to trying it out.

Stephanie said...

Good job!

bb said...

Well good for you lady! I'm afraid I wouldn't remember all that and I can't set a bread board in front of the computer. Besides I have no baking stone. :-)

Wendy said...

Dee, I looked at your picture and my first response was, "Oh my stars, that's beautiful!" Just so you know. Now I'll go watch the video.

Dee said...

Thanks, everyone! The huzzahs are appreciated, believe me. But I have to tell y'all, I thought it was too confusing also -- until I'd watched the video a couple more times. Then it all slowly made sense. I even tried practicing with some ribbons but they kept moving away from wherever I placed them. The dough is much better behaved.

Also, a braided loaf makes for some strangely interesting shapes when you slice it for sandwiches or toast!

And, Bonnie, not having a baking stone doesn't get you off the hook. I don't have one either. Cookie sheets work just fine. (grin)