I confessed in a recent post that I was going out of town for a few days and would not be leaving pre-made dinners in the freezer for my family while I was gone. I would love to be that organized, but I simply am not “That Mom”.
However, as it got closer to my trip, the mom guilt started to set in, and I discovered a few extra hours on Monday so I decided to make a batch of homemade bread for my family to enjoy in my absence.
I melted the oil and mixed the flour and yeast and added the tepid water and let my handy Kitchen Aid mixer do the kneading, and before I knew it I had a big mound of dough ready to rise. I greased a big Pyrex glass bowl, placed the dough inside, covered it with plastic wrap and set it on the stove to rise while I went upstairs to get a shower.
I noticed that the stove felt warm, but I didn’t think much about it.
I showered and got dressed and came down about a half-hour later, planning to make a quick trip to the grocery store while the dough finished rising. But when I stepped into the kitchen, I noticed that the dough was overflowing the bowl.
How strange. It doesn’t ever get that big, and besides, it had only been rising about 30 minutes!
I figured I’d go with it and I might even get an extra loaf out of the deal, so I went over to the stove to get the dough and prepare it to be put into loaves. When I picked up the bowl, I could once again feel its warmth, and that’s when I knew something was up.
I placed the bowl on the counter, and a quick glance at the stove revealed that I had left the burner on low from when I melted the coconut oil for the bread.
I immediately realized the implications of my oversight. I almost went to the STORE and left the bread rising with PLASTIC on top on a lit burner! We have a gas range. I mean, hello, I could have burned the entire house down!!
Overwhelmed by my idiocy and the possibility for disaster that had been somehow avoided, I started to leave the room to take a minute to get my nerves under control.
I had barely taken three steps when I heard a loud POP!
I turned around to see the glass bowl in pieces on my counter and the dough oozing out through the cracks.
All I could think about was, if that had been 5 seconds sooner, I would have been holding that bowl in my hands when it exploded.
And if I had done the unthinkable and left the house with the bowl of dough and plastic wrap sitting on that burner, I might have come home to find my house in ashes.
I walked outside and sat down on my front porch while I counted my blessings and waited for my heart to return to its normal rhythm. I couldn’t quite get over how bad the situation could have been, and I didn’t have a scratch on me.
Finally I decided I could no longer avoid the inevitable, and I came back inside to deal with the aftermath. I knew I had to clean up the glass but I wasn’t sure how. I moved the trash can over to the counter, but when I went to pick up what was left of the bowl, the pressure of the dough was too much, and it split clean across and slashed two of my fingers.
I guess I’d counted my blessings too soon.
I moved to the sink and rinsed my hand under cold water to clear the blood so I could assess the damage. I had a deep, gaping cut on my middle finger and a smaller cut on my ring finger, and they both hurt like the dickens. All I could think about was returning to the ER for the second time in one week and how I’d never be ready to leave town if I had to spend my afternoon in the ER getting my fingers stitched up.
Meanwhile, my inquisitive puppy was trying to get in on the action, so I started sweeping up the glass while periodically shouting for her to stay out of the kitchen, but I didn’t get very far because blood was dripping from the gaping wound in my finger onto the floor that I was trying to sweep. It was almost comical, but I assure you, I wasn’t laughing.
Finally I decided to call for reinforcements, and my neighbor came down to help me clean up and take a look at my fingers. She didn’t think I needed stitches, so we bandaged them up, and between the two of us we somehow managed to get the shattered bowl and the deflated bread dough into an industrial strength garbage bag without further injury to either of our persons.
Once everything was cleaned up, there was nothing left to do but hop in the car and make a quick grocery store run to stock up on necessities for the family to eat while I’m gone — including a loaf of conventional sandwich bread for the school lunches.
So much for being That Mom.
I suppose you can say all’s well that ends well. It could have been so much worse on so many levels. Believe it or not, this is not my first mishap with a batch of rising bread dough. The last one occurred when I was 20 years old and babysitting for a family in my college town, and it actually DID involve firetrucks.
Maybe I should just steer clear of the kitchen from now on.
All I know is, it will be a long time before I leave a bowl of rising bread dough unattended.