Saturday, June 27, 2009

Revelations -- Sorta Kinda

Well, Coffee Mates, I just know you can hardly wait to find out what the mystery object really is. Your guesses were really quite astute and even Kate's speculation about its possible use as a bubble wand is probably not that far off. I mean, why not? I bet it would work. We'll have to give Bill (aka The Old Guy) the gold star, though, for cleverly figuring out to mouse over the photo to see if it was labeled in an enlightening way. And it was. And I even thought of changing its file name but it was getting late and I thought, nah, nobody will think to look. Heh, heh.

So, yuppers, that artistically twisted wire and wood thingamajig is officially known as a Danish Dough whisk. Made, I'm told, in Poland. It's apparently not yet well known on this side of the pond but you can get it online at several places like King Arthur's Flour or the Breadtopia website. I got mine at FGPizza, a friendly place run by Frankie and Gail, who want to save for their daughter Natalia's education. Not only do they offer the best price for the whisk, they also have the lowest shipping and handling charge. Works for me. Besides, I watched the video where Frankie and Natalia mixed some cookie dough with their whisks and she's such a cutie, how could I resist, right?

I'm going to reveal something to you now but you've got to promise not to tell anyone because it's a major secret. It isn't really a dough whisk. What it really is (looking around carefully and lowering voice to a whisper) is a rug beater.


They aren't really manufactured in Poland, either. They're put together in the Shire. By Hobbits. That's why they're smaller than the rug beaters our grandmothers used. Hobbit rugs aren't as big as human rugs. I'm not making this up. Look at my face. Is this a face that would lie? No, it is not. Creatively embellish the truth, perhaps, but never lie.

Anyway -- does it work as a whisk? Yes indeed! The whole idea of the open design is so one can efficiently mix stiff doughs without a great deal of effort. It makes sense. Think of the difference in effort needed to sweep your hand through water with the fingers close together and then with the fingers spread apart. The dough whisk easily -- and thoroughly -- cuts through any heavy mixture like dough or meat loaf without putting any strain on the one doing the mixing. And if Uncle Arthur has been messing with your shoulder joints, believe me, the whisk is a blessing.

Just for the fun of it, I whupped up a batch of English Muffin dough with my rug beater today. I used a tweaked version of Alton Brown's very good recipe but I had to get really creative with the cooking part. See, his method allows you to cook the muffins in a pan on top of the stove but you need rings to contain the dough in an orderly shape as it cooks. I don't have any rings or even empty tuna fish cans, as suggested for substitutes.

For that reason, I didn't use quite as much liquid in the dough as Brown did. I ended up with dough (see above) that was almost as thick as biscuit dough but still very wet and sticky. I lightly sprayed the frying pan with olive oil, flopped in a heaping big spoonful of dough and put the lid on. It took a couple of experimental sacrifices before I finally got the correct combination of heat and timing. I ended up with the heat on medium-low for about a minute-and-a-half on each side. The resulting muffins were fat and fairly free form. When they had cooled and I was able to slice them in half, the interiors were done but nicely moist and the flavor was great.

I think I got around ten muffins out of the batch of dough. After inspecting the surfaces of each to make sure I hadn't baked on a religious image I could sell on eBay, I loaded the two halves of one muffin with some cheese and gave it a turn under the broiler. Nom, nom, nom. Most excellent. Just because you don't manage to cook up religious images doesn't mean your eating experience can't be considered a spiritual thing.

What? Oh, the red stuff sprinkled over the cheese is something called Magic Dust. It's pretty cool. I'll tell you about that tomorrow, okay?

Oh. If any of you are skeptical concerning my revelation about the true nature of the whisk, I refer you to the following photograph showing a sampling of some of the many designs rug beaters took. I rest my case.


John Bailey said...

Mine is closest in appearance to the one third from left. Mind you, I covet the one with the ducks. Nice little business idea there, winding dough hooks, for those with energy and inclination!

kate et jim said...

Wow - I wonder if it really glides through meatloaf mixture, Dee. I would think it would be quite heavy for it and perhaps bend? (but then again - when I make meatloaf or meatballs, I make a huge amount, to freeze).

This was fun, Dee. Although, I wish I'd been smart enough to run MY mouse over the photo! ;)

Too bad about no religious images...darn, you could have made more than the 'corn flake' - your muffins are bigger! lol

The Old Guy said...

I agree with John. You could make a lot of dough with those rug beater/dough hook/whiskey things, winding up rich.

Not to cookie cut a solution, but couldn't you just carve a potato block into a religious symbol, stamp it, and create the impression of holy grain muffins? The recipe is in the Bible.

Dee said...

John, I just realized you may be the only person I know who actually owns a genuine rug beater! Do you ever use it for that or do you hang it up for decoration?

Kate, yes, it really glides through any heavy mixture. The wire is quite heavy and sturdy.

Bill, you're presuming I have any reasonable carving ability. Which I don't. (sigh) But thanks for your touching display of faith.

bonnie said...

The rug beater I used to use wasn't as fancy as those. I had a passing thought the mystery object was a rug beater but decided it would be too small. LOL

Dee said...

It's not too small for a Hobbit, Bonnie. (smile)

Maggie said...

They look much like those cookie forms one can deep fry cookies on. :)