Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Yeast Beast and How I Conquered It

I guess that title makes it sound like an epic battle, but, in reality, I just found a really good recipe.

For some reason, I've always been afraid to work with yeast. I don't know... something about the living aspect of the thing made me nervous and certainly convinced that I would kill it.

But since I've been in Georgia, I've been introduced as "Amanda. She bakes." And, more than once, people have responded with, "Oh... so you make bread!" and I've had to make an awkward face and try to let them down easy with the promise of cupcakes.

Well, no longer.

This weekend I made Honey Whole Wheat Bread following's recipe. And aside from the fact that my mixer couldn't do all the dough work and I had to finish it up on the floured counter, I followed this recipe to the letter. And it worked like a charm.

MeckMom speeds up the rising process by putting the dough in a just slightly warm oven twice. So... though you can expect to devote at least two hours to the bread baking process, it is a relatively quick recipe that turns out 4 loaves of bread. (I cut the recipe in half.)

And, as it would turn out, one of my new "You bake bread?!" friends called while I was in the throes of bread baking. About an hour later when I showed up on her doorstep with a hot loaf of Honey Whole Wheat bread, she knew exactly what to do with it.

Homegirl toasted it with garlic, a move that the rest of us were unsure of in theory but in love with in practice. Then she whipped up a quick tzatziki sauce with garlic, cucumber, and sour cream. It was... amazing.

So will I bake bread again? Heck to the yes.

And how will I respond when new friends excitedly ask "So you bake bread?!"?

I'll smile, raise an eyebrow, and say something smarmy like, "Among other things..." Because we all know that a skill is infinitely more impressive when downplayed.


Evan said...

Welcome to the bread-baking club. It really is a lot of fun.

kmari03 said...

You've gotta get in to no-knead breads! Avoid the super-complicated recipes because then it's just extra steps and kneading isn't all that bad. But the basic one is just like flour, yeast, salt, water and it comes out looking like a crusty, bakery loaf. The "You bake bread" people will be IMPRESSED!

thereddeer said...

Yum! Good on you for conquering your fear. I really need to bake bread at some stage - just a slacker I am.

Ash said...

I love your bread! It turned out amazingly! I think I need to get on that bread making train... my only problem with bread making was the 'waiting to rise waiting'. Apparently I'm pretty impatient!

Anita said...

Looks amazing!