JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Monday, March 24, 2008

Crocodile bread - a disaster

When I saw Tanna's post about making crocodile bread, I decided to bake some too. So I began the three-day process, thinking that I could buy the equipment I lacked after I got going. I forgot about all the preparations I'd have to make for our annual Easter invasion (14 on Saturday night, 16 for Sunday lunch, down to eight last night, and now back to normal).

So I made the first starter - mixed a bit of yeast and water, left it covered. Two minutes. Next day, mixed the second starter, added it to the first. Read day three instructions, realised there was no bowl big enough to take the rising final dough. Went to Henley to buy a large bowl. Nothing big enough. Went home and carried on sorting out Easter prep.

Day four dawned (Good Friday). MUST sort out bowl problem. Decide, while in Henley, to go to Reading, as Lettice would like a little pre-test driving practice. Telephone home to ask Horatio to look up shop times. Fine, fine, it's open til 9. Arrive at 5.35, shop firmly shut. Gggrrrr. Morrisons, the supermarket opposite, has a large bucket made of food-standard plastic, which usefully also has volume markings.

Finally mix up dough - 20 minutes' beating in Kenwood. Leave to rise, should be ready to bake at about 9.30-10pm. Re-read instructions. Realise for first time that the recipe calls for a baking stone. Shops all shut. Hot metal tray will have to do. Serve dinner for 12. Collapse into bed. Remember unbaked dough as dropping off. Too tired to get up.

Day five. Easter Sunday. The dough now looks too disgusting to bake - it's risen and fallen, and has a slightly brownish edge to it.

Easter Monday. Tip dough onto compost.

Does anyone know where I can buy a baking stone in the UK? Then I'll try again. The dough is really beautiful, lovely stretchy sheets and strings of gluten. Fascinating, unlike any dough I've ever made before. It seems a shame not to have managed to bake and eat it. Next time.

Related links

Karen's crocodile bread
Breadchick's crocodile


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Yikes! This croc can bite.
The hot baking sheet will work fine. And plain unglazed floor tiles are much cheaper than a stone. My tiles are 4x4 but there are also 6x6 and 8x8. Just be sure they're unglazed terra cotta.
Maybe another croc now that all the fun of Easter is quiet.
You sure gave it a wonderful go Joanna.

Lien said...

O Joanna, brave girl starting this along with all your easter preparations. It seems that you can't leave a croc alone too long, it'll snap at you. What a shame the dough didn't make it to the oven. I'll send you a buddy badge anyhow, you can put it up in your post (if you don't want to that's alright too ;-))), because even though you didn't bake with us, you sure as hell made dough with us and that counts for something I'd say!!!!!

Lien said...

Oops I can't find an email adress to sent it to you? could you mail me?

gillie said...

Oh dear. I have to confess I too tend to leap in both feet first and then realise that I haven't got one of the key ingredients ... of this great and awful meals have been born. Sounds like yours was one of the latter. Still, next time you will be all prepared (and I have learned from your mistakes!) I have two stones from the pampered chef. Most of thier stuff is horrendously expensive and unecessary but the heritage ware (I think that's what they call the stoneware) is excellent.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hello... you've been awfully busy. I can't wait to see the pic of the pergola.

The lamb sounded wonderful. My husband cooked lamb too, Jamie Oliver style, thankfully it was just the 4 of us.

The pistachio marzipan sounds good (Hannah's very inspiring).

Great tip about unblocking the sink too. The old ideas without all the nasty chemicals are the best, we use vinegar and paper for cleaning the windows.

Thanks for the well wishes.
Amanda x

p.s. We use a pizza stone for bread.

David Hall said...

You sound a bt 'snappy'? Whats wrong, the dough got no 'bite'? Dear me, shocking. Bad news about the Dough Joanna, better luck next time. I had a clay pizza slate for years but I dropped it! So I'm back to stainless steel trays again. Type it in Google, I'm sure something will come up.