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Dough vs. Doh!

Yes, today I am writing about failure. A few weeks ago, I posted that it had not been such a great cooking day for me.

Well, here’s why. I didn’t quite caramelize my onions enough so had to turn my mushroom and caramelized onion salad into a mushroom cream sauce! (Not exactly the same thing.) Also, the same day, I tried to make a white yeast bread (think braided white bread loaf) and instead came up with this:

That’s right — focaccia! One of the other students came up to me at lunch time to tell me how much she loved my focaccia. I managed a small, unconvincing smile before burying my head in my hands. (Yes, I take things in the kitchen way-seriously). Why was I so upset? Because I knew this was a fake!

After kneading my white yeast bread dough forever, an instructor told me that we could only salvage it by turning it into something else. And a focaccia was born. Don’t get me wrong — I have nothing against making thumb-sized dents in my dough and sticking in olives and rosemary, but that day it was so hard that so much was going completely off track.

By the way, here is a real deal focaccia from demo for your perusal:

Later, I learned to take my own missteps more in stride. For instance, I made a white soda bread dough that was too wet and wasn’t quite working out, and was able to transform into delicious scones. When I brought them out of the oven and they were warm and light, the folks in my kitchen immediately dug in — splitting them in half and eating them with jam and cream.

Lesson learned: the best thing to do with mistakes is to turn them into something you can eat.

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