I can't help but wonder if, when I'm making any kind of bread, I or my kitchen are suddenly transported to the Sahara Desert?
Or am I, personally, arid?
Because, when I make any kind of bread dough, I systematically exceed the listed amount of water for a recipe.
I'm making focaccia. A recipe I've made dozens of times. I know it well. And while I have seen Jamie Oliver make his with a scant two cups of water, I know I'll use 3 1/2 cups of water, minimum.
Do I have some special ability that leeches moisture from the air when touching flour? I'd complain about the particular brand I'm using here, if this very thing didn't happen to me while in California, too.
I always begin with high hopes. I dutifully measure out the liquid, and when it comes time to pour it in, mentally cross my fingers (because, let's face it, my fingers are kind of busy just then).
Immediately, it's apparent I'll need more water (in this case). So, with my fingers entombed in a crust of dampened semolina and all-purpose flours, I pour a bit of water in a bowl, nuke it for a few seconds, add it to the measuring cup the yeast had proofed in (to get the last remnants of yeast-y goodness), and add it to the dough.
Lather, rinse, repeat.
I'm not sure why I'm so surprised when this happens. It always happens. I suppose I'm just following the traditional cycle; this stage seems to be titled 'frustrations'.
But, the dough has been left to it's own devices, and that magic that is yeast is now belching flavorful gases and exponentially increasing the dough's mass. Soon, I can take out the aforementioned frustrations on the seemingly innocent dough, with pounding and poking.
It always works out. It's an amazing recipe, and I love it. But I'm always left wondering exactly What is up with me & flour?