On Sunday I was in a position that most teenagers dream about: parents gone for the whole day and the house completely to myself. What would any teenager do in this situation? Spend the day baking bread, of course.
Keenly aware of my mother’s lifelong fear of yeast, I knew a recipe for bread would not be welcome in our house. I kept my plans secret from my parents; I didn’t even go into the kitchen until after they left. I began mixing the dough as quietly as possible so the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops. (I’ve heard of this happening to many more audacious teenage… bakers). As the dough rose, I let my guard down a little, though I did place a washcloth over the mixing bowl so no one would know that I was baking.
Next came the most treacherous step, sliding the loaves in the oven. Caught here, I would have no way to hide the fact that I was … baking. An alarming though increasingly delicious smell rose out the windows and threatened to alert passers-by.
With the most dangerous part over, my only challenge left was to come up with a story to explain the two mysterious loaves of perfectly cooked bread that ended up sitting on our kitchen counter.
“Oh the bread? A neighbor brought those over. Which one you ask? Oh you know that one who lives near us…He He. Me? Make bread? Of course not!” Maybe when my parents got home their mouths would be too full of delicious bread to ask who made it. They’d probably be hypnotized by the mouth-watering smell that filled our house. Not that I was being cocky or anything.
In the end, no one questioned the suspicious bread as they cut themselves slice after slice. The best part about whipping up a couple of renegade loaves of bread is that a few scattered crumbs are the only evidence left.
Just Don’t Tell My Mom Bread
6 cups Flour
1 1/2 tablespoons Dry Yeast
2/3 cups Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups warm water (110oF)
1. Dissolve sugar in water and proof yeast
2. Mix in salt and oil
3. Knead in flour one cup at a time, knead a few minutes until everything is mixed.
4. Let rise for an hour, than punch down and knead a bit.
5. Shape dough into two loaves on cooking sheet and rise for 30-60 min.
6. Bake at 350 F for 25-30 min.
7. Pin the whole thing on a neighbor who was “nice enough to bring over a couple of loaves of fresh bread”