“Enthusiasm is the yeast that raises the dough.” – Paul J. Meyer
For the past few weeks it seems like every time I visit my facebook page, someone has posted a picture of the beetniks or doughboys that they have made. I also make these tasty treats and recently blogged about the bounty of the beet. But a good friend, after reading my blog, wondered why I hadn’t written about the first time I made doughboys. I had to smile as I recalled that experience.
I was a young mom and eager to make a decent-sized batch to freeze so my family could enjoy this dish throughout the winter. I asked a local woman who was an excellent cook for her recipe. My own mother had made her rolls with rice, so I had no experience using dough as a filling.
Now the one thing about my neighbour’s recipe that I didn’t pay much attention to was the fact that it called for 15 cups of flour. Yes, you read correctly, 15 cups! She had a large family which meant many mouths to feed but also many hands to help out. Meanwhile I was a novice at baking, had no idea what that amount of flour meant and had no helpers in my kitchen to lend a hand.
But I was determined to make this work, so I followed the recipe exactly as written. After mixing all the ingredients, I set the dough aside to rise. I decided I had enough time for a coffee and a few household chores. When I checked on the dough a short while later, I was surprised to find that it had already doubled in size. (No doubt the hot August weather had something to do with that.) I punched down the dough, quickly greased the cookie sheets and set out the beet leaves which, thankfully, I had prepared the night before.
By the time I had everything set up and was ready to begin, the dough had once again grown, but this time it had popped the lid of the fix n’ mix bowl and was starting to cascade down the side. It was time to start moving in high gear! I punched down the dough again and started rolling those leaves as fast as I could, but despite making enough to fill a couple of pans, the dough did not seem to be diminishing in size. In fact, it seemed to be growing bigger and punching it down just seemed to make it angry!
Soon I had run out of beet leaves, so I was off to the garden to get more. By the time I picked, washed and wilted those leaves, well, you know what happened…the dough had grown again. It seemed as if I was in a race and I was losing!
When I ran out of leaves the second time and still had plenty of dough left, I was ready to throw in the towel and admit I had been beaten. (A bad pun, I know.) But just as I was ready to chuck that dough into the garbage, the light bulb came on and I realized that I didn’t need to make more doughboys – I could simply make buns. Big buns! So, I did.
For the record, the doughboys/beetniks (or whatever you choose to call them) and buns were delicious. (Very light and airy from all that rising.) These days when I decide to make them I make sure to use a smaller recipe – 6 cups of flour is enough. Others may scoff at this small amount, but I know my limit.