Don't let the title fool you. This isn't "lean" in a healthy fitness sort of way. It's just a yeast dough that does not contain fats or sugar. So I decided that since this was the first section, indeed the very first recipe, I'd give it a try. Why not? Bread making is a big thing in bakeries, right? You walk in and smell the doughs and the fresh bread baking in the oven. You can see all of the loaves on display with their rich colors and aromas. Yes, bread was definitely the way to start. So I looked at the recipe,
then I got out my ingredients--5 pounds (lbs) bread flour, 2/3 ounce (oz) instant dry yeast (NOT the same as Active or Rapid Rise), 53 1/2 fluid ounces (fl oz) water, and 1 3/4 oz salt--and I got started.
You might have noticed that the recipe called for 5 pounds of bread flour. Not cups, not tablespoons. POUNDS. That's an entire bag, ladies and gentlemen. I'm here to tell you that anything short of an industrial size stand mixer or a VERY determined and strong person will not work. I have a Kitchen Aid Pro600 series mixer.
After adding the yeast and the water, I let the mixer go for about 2 minutes--the length of time the recipe said I should wait before bumping the speed from low to medium. Now, if you own a Kitchen Aid, even a Pro series, then you know that the Instruction manual and the dough hook were both COVERED in warnings about not using the dough hook past speed 2, no matter what the recipe called for. I figured, okay this will be fine, it'll take just a touch longer without the medium speed, but I got this. So after 5 minutes at speed 2 this is what my dough looked like:
This got me really excited, because after each tablespoon, the appearance of the dough changed. After half a cup (8 tbsp), the consistency started to change as well. I was still scraping the bottom and sides, hoping against hope that I'd make this work. Alas, it was not to be so. After an hour of mixing and adding no less than another cup of flour (possibly more; somewhere along the line I stopped counting), the dough still hadn't reached the clean up stage. Basically, it's stage 2, in which the dough incorporates the flour into it and cleans the sides of the bowl of any remaining ingredients as it mixes. By this time, the gluten was starting to break down and the dough was climbing the hook. I was starting to worry that it was going to get into things it shouldn't like some sort of '50's B horror movie villain. My fiance came in and took a look.
It made me wonder if the recipe really was just too much for the motor to handle. That's how I arrived at the conclusion that I'd simply have to do math where these recipes were concerned... *Shudders*
So next week, the recipe will be cut down and I'll try again.