I determined this summer that I wanted to learn to bake bread. I started a vague research project. It was more of just looking here and there. But not really “learning” anything.
I tried to make a Weight Watchers Sweet Brown Bread recipe. It was a dense bread and fine, but not wonderful.
Then I decided I needed to focus on “real” bread, not specialty breads.
On a side note, during this time Thanksgiving and Christmas pass and I make absolutely delightful dinner rolls from scratch, which just intensified my desire to figure out real bread.
I made a Weight Watchers Plain White Bread. I forgot the salt. The bread was pretty bad and in the trash it went.
At this point, I decided to put my WW cookbook aside and find a good recipe online. I found a recipe for a great sandwich bread (because in the end, that is what I need so I can make bread for Z’s lunches). I made it and Zach thought it was fine, but I thought it was too dense and the crust was too hard.
I start reading the articles and lessons at http://www.thefreshloaf.com. I decide to switch yeasts (also because of some things I watched on TV) and followed lesson 2.
My bread wasn’t done until 10PM. I accidently punched it down, so had to let it rise twice and I set it on a hot burner so the bottom of the dough started to cook during the second rise, then after it was shaped, I put it directly in the oven for a few minutes before I remembered you are supposed to let it double again before cooking. I was sure the bread was not going to turn out. But….
It did! It was fantastic! And if it was cooked in a pan, I think it might have risen enough to make a good old sandwich bread. Now I’m even more excited to continue to learn. I think I’ll follow the rest of the lessons as I think I’m actually learning things and there aren’t that many.