5-4-09

Take it from a ten-year veteran of the bread war.  It's possible.  You can do it, and once you learn, it really is quite easy.  There are always people who will casually say, "I don't know-I just throw it in the oven and it rises every time."  I know, I know, it's totally infuriating!  Then your bread making friend amiably hands over a recipe like it's a magic potion.  Well you might as well give me the latest mathematical proof for all the good that will do.  Over the years I've tried so many "bread making friends' " recipes that I can boast of ruining, not one, but eight or nine "fool-proof" recipes.  It's amazing really, how easy it is not to get it.  Now that I've learned, I'm here to set you straight, with my bread making friend Ashley's help, of course. 

Some of the key problems I had were yeast related.  It's best to buy yeast in bulk, and store it in the refrigerator.  Don't freeze it, and never buy it at the Bosch store, at least if you live in Utah.  Don't ask me why, but the Utah stores have weak yeast.  Just trust me.  One other problem to watch out for is using hot water.  Lukewarm means barely warm people, not blazing hot.   

The next problem is flour.  Bread is a ratio game, and, unlike rolls, you want more flour.  The yeast needs flour to rise, so sticky dough is going to be dense and gummy.  Ashley's pictures show the dough and explain how to test it, but basically, you want to give it a strong grab with three or four fingers.  They should come away clean, but if not you can add a little more flour and try again.  Don't go crazy, though:  you want that stage right past sticky.  Here's the recipe link with the technical know-how:

I use this exact method with a few flour changes.  While Ashley likes full red wheat bread, I prefer a blend of white and red wheat.  It's lighter in color but exactly the same in nutrition.  You can choose your flour based on your own taste preference.  Get started with some sandwich bread:  Wheat Bread

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-Sierra

     
     
     
     
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