To anyone particularly squeamish: This blog may not be for you.
For anyone in our circle of friends and family: Don’t worry! Our baked goods are safe to eat!!
Will has always enjoyed the more scientific aspects of cooking. He’s dabbled a bit in cheese-making, and has quite taken to bread-making. I’m sure if canisters of liquid nitrogen were cheap and easily-accessible, Will would be flash-freezing and powdering everything, a la Richard Blais or Wylie Dufresne. Hence, I suppose it was inevitable that he would choose to experiment with the latest fresh, organic, free-range product available in our fridge: my breast milk (or should I say, Stella’s).
At first, he just tasted a spoonful. He found that it had no real taste, but was just slightly sweet. Oddly enough, I didn’t find this grotesque. I suppose once you live with someone for so long, you share pretty much everything anyway, so why not (and I’m sure that most husbands/boyfriends have/would do the same thing). He’s been pushing me to taste it, but as regular milk makes me want to gag, I’m really just not interested.
He started making jokes about my milk hoard, stating that when I wasn’t looking, he was going to take some and make mozzarella. I didn’t find that funny. It’s my milk hoard. The idea of him taking some puts my anxiety level at like an 8. Then yesterday, he started making some bread. Next thing I know, he’s stating that he was going to make a double batch as an “experiment.” I was then questioned about which bottle(s) in the fridge were the freshest. Will was, in fact, substituting breast milk for the regular milk in one of the two batches to see what, if anything, would be different.
This is where I need to interject something to our friends and family. He was absolutely meticulous to avoid any potential cross-contamination. He is absolutely aware that many people will be revolted by this idea, and that since this is coming straight from the source, it has not been pasteurized in any way at all. I would like to say that due to my extreme milk hoarding, I will likely put the smackdown on him if he steals anymore of my milk for this purpose. Hence, if you are given some sort of food item from either of us, you are quite safe!!
I’m not the baker that he is, but apparently there were some differences in the 2 batches of dough. Initially, the starter dough (or sponge) that contained my milk was virtually double the size of the standard milk after letting it sit and do its thing. It also smelled sweeter. Then, when it came time to add flour and mix, “my” dough didn’t seem to want to form gluten as easier as the other.
The ultimate idea is to do some kind of blind taste test between the two. I got up this morning to a house smelling of delicious bread and couldn’t wait. I simply tore into one of the loaves, not knowing or caring which one had my milk. It turns out I ate bread containing my own “product.” It was delicious.
(Research by Will indicated the following: Breast milk contains much more carbs. Cow milk has double the protein. There are no antibodies in cow milk. The fats in the two milks are completely different.)