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Fooding With Flo: Cheesy Mustard Beer Bread

It’s been kind of a long baking hiatus. The last time I broke out the ol’ girl I made Challah. And then we had the baked goods incident. And then that guy turned out to be certifiable and has since been evicted (hooray!!). So it was time, once again, to bake.

But I was not about to attempt simple muffins or cupcakes or even the oh-so-stressful-mallows. I thought: what I need is savor. What I need is a CHALLENGE. What is that challenge you ask? Oh, just some Cheddar, Beer, Mustard Pull-Apart Bread by Smitten Kitchen. You know, no big deal.

When I started making the bread things were a bit hectic because, like most things, I just sort of jumped into it without measuring anything or prepping any ingredients. Usually I set everything aside in bowls. But on Sunday I was really tired, had to back for the business trip on Monday and was the queen of procrastination at that point.

But of course, I thought… why wait? Let’s dive into the most complicated recipe I’ve ever tried. Why not? (Massive running around, back and forth to the computer while sweating from nerves ensues.)

So basically you make beer bread, then you make this mustard beer sauce, then you season some cheese, let the beer bread rise for a really effing long time while you snack on the seasoned cheese and drink beer, then attempt a complicated layering – a layering I gave up on.

And here’s the thing… for me reading instructions on how to physically do things never translates. Like all of those tutorials on how to braid hair or how to put make up on with the still photos next to the 50 instructions? I have always failed at those. I only learn by doing.

And then this other thing happened. I didn’t have the right sized bread pans… because it’s one of those things I don’t think about until I read the instruction on putting the dough in the ____ sized bread pan and I think: Shit, I so don’t have those. But I have these!

So I cut the dough in half, aiming to make two tiny loaves instead of the big one.

Basically this is a lesson on improvisation and figuring out how to work with what you have. Because after I rolled out the dough and tried to follow the measuring instructions that I took as only vaguely understood… I sort of just ended up winging it.

I couldn’t really visualize the whole strips + stacking + layers + making it into a loaf and then slicing it so that it’s easily pull-apart-able after baking. So I abandoned the pull-apart-able and just tried to make noms-ville layered bread.

Which kills me a little bit because I’m all about following the rules and when I don’t I can’t help but feel guilty. And like I failed a little. Especially because I truly couldn’t figure out the instructions… and because I had the wrong pans.

But then I saw how beautiful they turned out, how delicious they smelled and I figured it was ok. I figured I did a pretty good job for not knowing anything at all about what I was doing. Not even a little bit.

12 Comments

  1. My kitchenaid is a blueish-green. Bayleaf, I believe it’s called bayleaf. Every time I see yours I regret not getting the yellow! It was my first choice, but then I decided to color-coordinate with my dutch oven. My engagement-wedding-newlywed brain was really crazy and stressed about matching things and making super important life altering decisions like what color everything had to be FOREVER.

    Also, your nail color. Super cute!

  2. Yes your nails :) And your sweatshirt.
    I also never get the instructions on those pull apart breads, I wanted to make a similar one with Cinnamon and did not try yet. Also because I have to figure out how to do it with dry yeast when it calls for live yeast.
    Anyway I always end up experimenting… sometimes it works, and sometimes you learn something.

    • Oh and it looks super delicious. And that is a Negra Modelo, lucky you that are able to get mexican beer (here only Corona is available, and it has been bought by some big multinational so I am not even sure it is still made in Mexico).

    • I’ve used the wrong yeast before. I think you need WAY more of it, like the whole envelope instead of a tiny spoonful. And I think you have to mix it with warm water to wake it up. I did neither of those things and ended up with way too little pizza dough.

  3. First of all, YAY APRON! :)

    Second of all, that looks so good, I am SO HUNGRY AND HAVE NO BREAKFAST/SNACKS AND THIS IS NOT HELPING.

    Thirdly, crazy neighbor got evicted? Hooray!

    Fourth, gorgeous photos (as always!), Kamel!

    And finally I would like to say, again, that the bread looks amazing. Yum!

  4. YAY FOODING WITH FLO HAS RETURNED! I LOVE FOODING WITH FLO.

    Seriously, this whole thing made me laugh. This is totally me with MOST recipes. The one time I prepped everything and measured it all out (because I was going to blog about it, obviously) it turned out to be the one time I TOTALLY could have winged basically the entire recipe and dumped it all in together at once.

    I’m glad your bread turned out delicious. It sounds and LOOKS delicious.

  5. That looks fantastic! Well done :)

    ps: winging it means you are a real deal now!

  6. I saw that recipe the other day on Smitten Kitchen, and was absolutely terrified of making it. I may have to give it a shot, because OMFG IT LOOKS SO GOOD

  7. love, love, love your apron!

  8. I don’t think I ever measure anything beforehand. I’m not sure why, but it actually has never occurred to be before, you know, to be . . . prepared. It makes so much sense though! I’d probably feel like I’m in a cooking show! I need to keep that in mind.

    So yes, I dive right in and end up like you said, running around from the laptop/cookbook to various cabinets and appliances and grabbing this that and the other and hoping I don’t screw up the timing in any way. It feels really good when it turns out well in spite of the craziness. Glad to hear that you ended up with tasty goodness . . . and forgive yourself for not following the recipe exactly! Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Worst-case scenario, you get to make more. Heh.

  9. that bread looks delish!!! and your nails are totes cute!! also, it stresses me out when i have to improvise with a recipe… i’m working on that though. congrats on making it through, even with the wrong pans! :)

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Who the hell is she?


Lauren

I am a writer living in Seattle and I believe that life is a grand adventure and only boring if you believe it to be. Plus! You don't need money to have fun.

I live with my husband, a photographer by education and a maker-of-video-games by trade, and a baby named gabe in an apartment on the hill.

I am romantic about most things and I cry... about almost anything. I tell stories to entertain you, I spread stories to keep you in the loop. I am not a grammar freak, but I do know how to spell it. I am exceedingly proud of my scrambled eggs and I really could eat an entire pan of cupcakes. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.


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