November 23, 2011

I Did It!!!!

Turns out I won't need to change the name of my blog after all.  It must be some sort of Thanksgiving miracle!  For the first time ever I have a loaf of bread and I have no idea what I could do to make it better.  It's big and fluffy and soft.  It's perfection!   Hello day after Thanksgiving sammies.  Now that I finally have this bread baking thing figured out, I would like to impart some of the knowledge that I have learned over the months to help clear some myths.  Maybe it's just me but I feel like there are certain things about this process that a person is just supposed to know and I was too blonde to figure them out.  So here goes:

  • When "proofing" the yeast, it is important to do this with water that has a temperature of about 105 degrees.  Adding some sugar to this process is important too.  I find that using superfine sugar works best.  
  • After the yeast has finished proofing for 5 minutes, if it doesn't look like the photo below than odds are you won't be baking bread.  You'll be making croutons .

  • Since the proofing process only requires about a 1/2 cup of water, when you add the remaining amount required for your recipe make sure it is the same temp of around 105 degrees.
  • Unless specified by the recipe you are using, the butter should be room temperature.
  • Unless specified by the recipe, sift your flour
  • Don't skimp on the salt to be health conscious.  You'll only be hurting your bread!
  • Make sure you have a large enough bowl to accommodate the rising process. It should be at least 3 times the size of your dough.
Hopefully by following these simple rules you'll be baking your own perfect loaf of bread on your first try.  If you are able to pull off this miraculous feat, know that I will be incredibly jealous.

Not only was yesterday a great day in the kitchen, it was also a great day for knitting.  Look what the yarn faeries from Webs sent to me.

Perfect timing too, considering we leave in one week for our trip to Tennessee and I really need to get started on Julies sweater.  But for now it's off to the gym so I am able to eat large quantities of food tomorrow and not feel bad about it.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!