Thursday, January 12, 2006

REAL bread again...at last!

It turns out that it wasn't my fault, after all. Well, it was, but it wasn't. It wasn't anything I did, but rather what I didn't do or didn't change. Confused yet?

For the last year or even two, I've been having trouble with my homemade bread. It used to be that I was known for my lovely, yummy, soft-as-white bread made from freshly-ground wheat. It began to seem that my bread wasn't rising as well as it used to. I tried all sorts of bread-baking hints--use only filtered water, add the salt later, get new yeast, add a crushed vitamin C tablet, let it rise only twice instead of three times. But, the problem just seemed to get worse. My "flat bread" was becoming a family joke!

Finally, I ordered another fresh package of "instant yeast" from the co-op and tried again. Yikes! That batch was even worse; it scarcely rose to the edges of the bread pans...and soured in the hours it took to rise that much. That did it! I decided the problem was all the fault of that compressed Red Star Instant Yeast and hied myself off to the grocery store to buy a jar of regular Fleishman's Active Dry (AKA "slow") yeast...and...

Oh, JOY! Bread. Real bread. Dough rising up to become lovely, soft, puffy bread...like magic! Ahhhhh.

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