Wednesday, February 06, 2008

sadly, this isn't success in the area of treating my headaches (yet).

first, a bit of history.

i've been having difficulty making bread that rises. you'd think this would be fairly straightforward, but for some reason my bread has been.....brick-like. my husband has been very nice about it, still appreciating (and eating) it.

but i've been frustrated. why wasn't this working? i love baking, and baking bread seems like something i'd be good at. but i'd been having a rather bad run lately.

so i was over at my sister's house the other day, visiting. she started making some pizza dough for dinner later on. so then i remembered my problems and told her all about it. because her bread is always good.

she gave me a few tips. 1st was to use a plastic or glass bowl (instead of metal). she wasn't sure if this was important for all bread or just sourdough bread, but i figured i'd just go ahead and make the switch.

2nd was to measure the temperature of the water (that i added to the yeast) to make sure it was warm enough but not too warm. i bought a little meat thermometer today for this purpose.

and 3rd was to take the yeast out of the fridge for an hour or two before i make bread, so the temperature difference wasn't so great.

so i did these 3 things, and voila! bread success. it rose, it was light and delicious! hooray!

thanks, Edge. :-)

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OpenID conniekellis had this to say:

Something basic and satisfying about making bread to feed hubby:) Some other things I have learned: All ingredients work best at room temperature . If eggs are called for, put them in hot water from tap and let them warm. I don't like to scald milk so have found using dry milk works very well. Just add liquid in the amount of milk called for. There is a yeast that you don't have to proof first. It can be added right to the dry ingredients and cuts out another step. I like to keep my yeast in the freezer. It has never been ineffective since then. Dinner rolls don't need as long a kneading as bread does. Bread works better with bread flour, even using a few cups in the initial mixing makes it better.

6:31 AM 

Blogger Muum had this to say:

these are some great tips. Here's mine; check your yeast and make sure it is not expired!

8:17 AM 

Blogger deborah had this to say:

yeah for you! here's how domesticated I've become; I have a bread machine. I used it twice. lost the book, it's now a wonderful catcher of all things.....well, dust. now that I think of it, I don't even know where it is. hmmm, hey, I'll take a slice of that bread Em.

11:30 AM 

Blogger Terri had this to say:

Em, congrats on your bread. I am impressed! I come from a long line of bakers and I am a good baker (((whispers...but I have never baked bread!))) Don't tell!

Fresh bread rocks!

12:34 PM 

Blogger Karen had this to say:

Everything at room temp is good for bread making. But...I must say that since I've had kids, I rarely make homemade bread - I let my bread machine do it because it's so. much. easier. (or you could say that I'm lazy. yes, that would work too.)

12:40 PM 

Blogger Edge had this to say:

I'm glad it worked!

4:53 PM 

Blogger kimberlie had this to say:

good job!!

5:46 PM 

OpenID booklady had this to say:

Yay! That's fantastic! In my quest for the perfect bread, I actually bought or borrowed several books on making bread, and they were very helpful. I learned some of the chemistry behind the process, and then the whole thing made more sense. I also cruised many of the bread recipes and forums at You can also find plenty of other stuff about it on the internet. Soon you'll be baking like a pro, and will even be able to make substitutions and create your own recipes. You'll be unstoppable. :-)

9:18 AM 

Blogger HolyMama! had this to say:

THAT is what scares me about cooking! OH. MY. GOSH.

Thermometers, timing, all of that? That's at least ten steps ahead of hamburger helper, which i regularly mess up.

1:32 PM 

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

I'm 25 - married, and recently graduated from Brigham Young University, studying music; I play piano. My husband is just starting his PhD program at the University of Utah in computer architecture.



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