Let’s say that as a part of your job, you bake baguettes. A lot of baguettes, all at once, on a daily basis.

Of course, if this is the case and you’re in a modern kitchen, chances are good you have a ginormous mixer handy in order to facilitate the making of said baguettes. Like this, only pretend there’s just one of them.

Crazy Mixed-Up Kids

Believe me, these come in very handy when you need to mix up approximately 20 pounds of baguette dough. You just weigh out your ingredients, tip them in, twist some knobs, pull some levers, and you’re good.

Except, of course, if your mixer stops working for some reason…


Here’s a handy guide to what you should do in just such a situation:

  • First off, don’t panic. Panicking never baked…er, *solved* anything.
  • Next: call reinforcements. If you and they are apparently of similarly equal cleverness and none of you can figure out what the problem is, move on to the next step, which is the one you’ve been waiting for…
  • We’re like the postman…well, like that old slogan about the postman, anyway. “Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor bite of werewolf shall keep us from our appointed bread-bakery!” Or something like that. So what’s left? DOING IT BY HAND.

Lucky for me, I have my particular brain AND we happen to have a steam kettle in our kitchen. Which means we have a gigantic whisk and also a nice, big paddle, like so:

Super Janni-O

Never let it be said that video games rot your brain and/or do nothing to further your intellectual exploits later in life. If it wasn’t for Super Mario Bros. 3‘s Big World, would this particular solution have come quite so readily to mind?

Possibly…I mean, I am after all me. But.

If you should find yourself in a similar situation, use the paddle to stir all your ingredients in your giant mixer’s bowl just until they come together. Hopefully you’ve got reasonable upper body strength, as you’re going to need it. Or really, you’re going to knead it. You think it’s just a painfully bad use of homophony, but I assure you that it isn’t.

It’ll take a bit longer than doing it in the mixer, of course, but with a bit of effort, you too can wrestle your baguette dough into good proofing order, thus facilitating as many delicious breadstuffs as you like. You’ll also get a good workout into the bargain, and should the entrepreneurial spirit strike you, this experience might lead you to consider marketing a bread-kneading workout campaign to obsessive gym rats, so they’re actually paying you to do your work for you because they know they’ll get a great upper-body workout.

Finally, if you’ve done your job well, stand back and marvel at how much more beautifully the bread seems to be proofing since you did it by hand. Have a cup of tea or three and relax those aching arms; you deserve it.

Whatever you do, don’t scream and throw things when you find out a few hours later that it was, in fact, just a tripped circuit breaker and the mixer was in fact fine all along…

Categories: Food

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