Monday, September 14, 2009

The bread curse is OVER!

I am doing a happy dance! Look at that beautiful bread. Oh my goodness, it is gorgeous. Smells so good, so soft and airy.

I figured out why I was failing time after time at making bread. And I didn't learn it from a cookbook or from a recipe, but from reading the reviews to a recipe. I found a recipe from (for Amish White Bread). I read several of the reviews, and one of them described very well how to proof yeast and what it looked like while yeast was proofing. Knock me over with a feather, I have been doing it wrong all these years.

The tip? I knew that liquids need to be about 110 degrees (I had been doing that!). And then I would add the yeast and stir it in. What I didn't know is that you need to allow the yeast to proof, to foam up. Now this can take several minutes, five to ten, so just be patient and let it work. It starts to look a little bit like tan cappichino foam. Wait until the entire surface of the liquid is covered and then start stirring in the rest of your ingredients.

As for the bread itself? A bit too sweet. Another reviewer said that the recipe was too sweet and to reduce the sugar by a quarter cup (which I did do), and I still found it to be sweeter than I would like. Still, I now know what I was doing wrong, and feel far more competent to try other recipes!

Brings me to the thought that so many of these homemaking skills are being lost. My mother would on rare occasions make bread when I was a kid (very rarely). And she didn't want to be bothered with teaching me how to bake bread. I can understand the feeling, it takes a lot of effort and extra time to teach a child skills. Usually when I would help in the kitchen, I would get stuck on peeling duty (meaning peeling potato after potato, or cutting up things) while she would do the technical stuff, and now that I have a household of my own, I am missing all this knowledge! Like proofing yeast. So when I have these ah-ha moments, I love to pass them on. Hopefully, they are helpful to others.


  1. Thanks for the tips! I use an Amish white bread recipe too and I like to use honey instead of yummy! Your bread is gorgeous! Glad it turned out for you!! :)

  2. Congratulations and thanks for helping me solve the same problem.

  3. While the bread wasn't a hit with me, my family LOVED it. Two loaves, GONE in three hours. If that doesn't say "we love it" I don't know what does.