Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Great Stromboli Disaster

Some time last week (or month...I can't keep track of time), Carrie over at The Gremlin Wrangler posted a lovely tutorial on how to make stromboli. It was inspiring. All the melty goodness, pepperonis and pizza sauce and....heavens to betsy, bacon! I checked my pantry, made note of what I was missing and did a quick grocery run. Dinner for our family had been planned.

I took my laptop to the kitchen for easy access to the recipe and we carefully we set out all of our ingredients. My very curious and overly helpful three year old wanted to join me for dinner prep. I acquiesced.. (another big word for my friend JoAnna).

I decided to bump up the nutritional value of said recipe by substituting SOME of the white flour with wheat flour. I knew this would change the texture and consistency of the crust some, but also know this makes dishes more filling and nutritious. So, we measured out the flour into a separate bowl. I let Daci do the scooping and dumping (can you say messy?). What I didn't consider when making this simple switch was that the volume and consistency of our dough would increase, a lot.

The dough grew and grew, encompassing not just the dough hook, but the flat top and even the spring. Possibly the worst part though, was that the kitchen aid attachment on the front top of my mixer was not firmly attached and after some vigorous mixing, it fell off into our dough. Which then caused the mixer to go all wonky and bumpy and throw flour all over the counter and surrounding appliances. This caused a ripple effect in that my helpful three year old became a quaking, shivering blob of "It's very noisy! Make it stop, mommmy!!" Much screaming ensued (she hates the blowdryer too...anything besides her that makes shrill noises is positively frightening).

I took the bowl from the mixing stand and tried to find the missing piece. You'd think finding this big piece of metal would not be very difficult, indeed, even simple. However, the dough was like quicksand and for all my mixing and stirring, I would get a glimpse and plunge my hand in to come up empty, time and again. Time is getting away from us, hungry boys are coming through the kitchen wondering what's for dinner and why am I playing in a vat of play-doh?

"It's bread dough." I correct, rather tersely and gesture to the beautiful pictures on Carrie's blog. "Wow, that looks good. Can I help, too?" "NO" I say through gritted teeth. With great determination I plunge in again for that missing mixer part, fairly certain that baking it into the stromboli and offering a prize for the winning slice would not go over well with the family.

Finally, I fish it out and we move past the tears over the noise and onto tears over using all the flour up and having no more to dump and scoop. Between her dumping and scooping and the wonky mixer, I probably had a whole cup of flour on the counter, floor and surrounding appliances.

Hungry teen passes through wondering what's for dinner. I gesture towards the laptop and draft him to lay out the Roulpat so that I can do some kneading by hand since the dough has grown up past the dough hook attachment onto the actual mixer itself and I love my new mixer too much to sacrifice it to the pizza gods.

By this time I am so flustered and frustrated (and hungry) I am just trying to hurry to finish. The three year old is no longer interested in helping, but thank God the crying has stopped. Now, she is enjoying licking the flour off of the countertop. Although I told her she wouldn't like it, there are worse things she could be licking (like say, batteries), so I let it slide.

I spread the dough out and although I followed her directions, I have enough for TWO strombolis. Thank goodness I grabbed extra sauce and cheese! In my hurry though, I used only one bag of cheese, completely omitted the bacon and frankly, not enough sauce either.

Here is my finished project. Notice the time on the stove. I started this project at 4ish. Clearly, I just need to go to Carrie's house next time.

LOL, Carrie just added an addendum to her blog that explains why I ended up with two loaves. And it has nothing to do with wheat flour! I inadvertently doubled the recipe because her original document listed double the amount of water. Since I am not much a of a measurer , I just added flour until I got the right consistency. No wonder it was eating up my Kitchen aid!!


Mrs said...

I am disinclined to acquiesce to comment. Or something like that!

Watch out, Daci! Tell Mamma to pick up the phone next time.

Our dog hates the vacuum. He's fine until we turn it on, because evidently that's when he can hear the howler demons.

carrie said...

that was painful for me to read since I feel responsible.


again, I am soooo sorry.

(going to crawl in a hole now)

P.s. they looked good anyway!

erin said...

That looks yummy. I am going to have to give it a try.

Love your new blog!