Monday, July 2, 2007

My Ups and Downs on Yeast Breads

After two failed attempts on yeast breads, I was beginning to think that my very first successful one was just beginners luck. I've followed the recipes word by word, I've used the correct ingredients, and yet it seemed like the bread itself doesn't want to cooperate with me. After pondering over and over what went wrong, re-reading the recipes if I missed something and going over the bread book for the last time on techniques and procedures... I finally had an "a-ha!" moment. It turned out that either I wasn't kneading the dough correctly, or I just didn't give it enough time to be kneaded. I don't have a Kitchen-Aid mixer, so I only knead by hand. Something I really don't mind doing, because for me, it's something that every baker should know. Civilizations from yesterday was able to create classical breads that we still enjoy today without the help of modern machines and electric mixers. But then again (going back to my story), I wasn't doing it right.

An example was this Dinner Roll that I made a couple of weeks ago. I got the recipe from Williams-Sonoma Bread. It was pretty on every angle, but it turned out tasteless! It was a little bitter for me, and lacks a certain taste. It definitely missed something. I was really dejected.

But then, after learning from my mistakes, I made another one (also from the same book). It's called Classic White Bread. I kneaded the dough (still by hand) for I think twenty minutes! I wanted to make sure I was doing it right. My God, did my arms got tired! :) But it was all worth it. It turned out a success. The bread has a nice perfect crust and an unmistakable taste and aroma of the real thing. I was so happy. My Tita, who was visiting for the weekend, actually complained that I only made one loaf because she wanted more! As for me, I regained my confidence. I know I should be able to make another one whenever I feel like it. As they say: there is nothing more satisfying than a loaf of homemade bread. ;o)


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