You know when you are making something and you are so sure that it is not going to work? In this case, bread that isn’t rising. The 1.5 hours suggested by the recipe pass, and then 2 hours… despair sets in, time and ingredients seem wasted – the dough hasn’t seemed to rise enough and no matter how much you poke it and pile sweaters over it, it is expanding as quickly as a cactus in the desert.
But, whatever, you’ve got this far. So you roll out the dough, and maybe it’s not so bad after all. It spreads to about the size you need to cut into three rectangles. These are loaded with a filling of shallots, poppy seeds and parmesan, and it’s looking not too bad. And it smells heavenly. And it goes into a braid without completely falling apart, which is always a bonus. An hour later, after a second rising and time in the oven, and it’s beautiful.
After we tasted the bread, it was deliciously flaky, and we decided that maybe the high ratio of butter in the recipe was why it didn’t rise as much as the average loaf. I did some research (read: a google search) and this does seem to be the case. Mystery solved, bread devoured. All in a day’s work!