Existential Baking

I found a recipe for biscuits on wordpress over at sexycuisine. It was the sort of recipe that makes you say, “That doesn’t sound at all like it would work.” Naturally I had to try them. They are Palet Breton biscuits that call for yeast. Yeast-ed biscuits sounded like an oxymoron to me, even if by biscuit what is meant is cookie, (you have to be careful on the international waters of the internet).  But sexycuisine was insistent when I inquired. When faced with someone else’s ineluctable certainty, I always yield. I’ve never really related to utter certainty and am always impressed by other people’s declarations of surety. Admittedly, this has not always yielded good results.

I mixed all the ingredients and with the resulting crumbly “dough” I was suppose to shape a log and refrigerate for 2 hours. I double checked the recipe because what I had was a barely congealed mass that would fall to crumbs without the aid of the cling wrap. “That’s not right,” I said to myself. “You know that won’t hold.” But, I reasoned, “It has yeast in it, I’m not a chemist, how should I know what effect the yeast will have. Who am I to argue? Who am I? What is the meaning of baking? If I am merely following a blueprint, what is my role here? Why do I bother?” It was all getting a bit overwhelming so I went for a walk.

On my walk I imagined God as The Baker.
God makes man: “Oh my God (wait – I am God) Oh my Me! That doesn’t look right at all. What shall I do? I’ve already added the yeast-spark of life, it’s too late. I can’t add to him now, what if I accidentally retard his development? I should just try it again.”
God makes woman: “Oh no, that’s not much better. So similar, but so different, they may not mix at all. Don’t be so negative, maybe they’re perfect for each other, fulfilling all the flaws…Oh Me! I just don’t know. I give up. They’ll have to figure it out on their own, I’ll just put them in the oven and hope for the best.”

God’s abandonment has really got me down. I understand, one doesn’t want to make matters worse, but really, if you are the creator- do something!

I add a dash or two of cream so that I can go ahead and cut the dough into 12 disks. I may have ruined it. I told sexycuisine I would give full credit for a failure, but I can not. The failure will have to be mine. I am the creator after all. If belatedly adding cream produces a tile of a biscuit, the fault is mine alone.

My version is the ugly step-child of sexycuisine’s, but by placing a distracting dollop of strawberry preserves I hope to disguise this truth.  I can’t say that I understand the function of the yeast in the recipe, but of course, I’m sure I did something wrong. Certainty after all! Well, they are tasty.

“Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary: rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that, it will be possible for you to sublimate them.” Salvador Dali


3 responses to “Existential Baking

  1. Your biscuits sound delicious and I going to check out sexcuisine. I never heard of it. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Oops! I meant sexycuisine :0)

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