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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Yeast Bread Baking Phobias?
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    Yeast Bread Baking Phobias?

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    Donna M.
    Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:15 pm
    Forum Host
    Post your questions and fears here. Some of us more seasoned bread bakers will help you overcome them. Anyone can learn to make yeast bread--I promise! Once you do it and succeed you will be so proud. Bread is fun to make.
    Donna M.
    Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:48 am
    Forum Host
    Oh, come on........somebody must have some yeast fears!
    Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:02 am
    Forum Host
    Yes, I do. I've been so frightened that I've been avoiding this board altogether, but now Heather Sullivan talked me into coming! icon_wink.gif She already gave me some pointers on what the dough should look and feel like when finished (thank you!), but I'm still a bit iffy with regard to the process of making the dough!! So... the flour. And the kneading. As far as I've understood, there is a relation between the two - you must knead enough so you don't end up adding too much flour or something to that effect? icon_confused.gif So, how much is enough kneading if I'm doing, say, a batch of cinnamon rolls by hand - are we talking about seconds, minutes or tens of minutes?? (Yes, I really have no idea what I'm doing!) And if the recipe calls for, say, 1 litre of flour, should I just dump all of it in or start with less flour - and if so, how much less?
    Mon Jan 31, 2005 12:05 pm Groupie
    Okay, I'll jump in here too. I've been really succeeding in conquering various fears ie; homemade mayo, hollandaise, etc... but bread is kicking my butt. My kitchen is not the warmest place in the house, and yesterday it took about 5 hours to do recipe #100240 only to have it turn out with no taste. I think the 1 tsp of salt MUST be wrong in this recipe. After the first hour, I even heated my oven for a minute or two, and then placed the dough in it to facilitate rising.
    Is my yeast sluggish? Is there a way to wake it up? Add some sugar to the starter?? I hate to throw the whole can out, and since I just opened it, and the exp date is a ways off, it should be fine... 5 cups of flour and a whole day pretty much down the drain, and dinner plans changed at the last minute is not my idea of fun.
    Whew... thanks for letting me get that off my chest! icon_eek.gif icon_biggrin.gif
    Now... what is going wrong here? Any idea's?
    Donna M.
    Mon Jan 31, 2005 2:40 pm
    Forum Host
    Stormy and Gina, I only have a couple of minutes here as I'm about to leave for work.....

    Kneading by hand= It is practically impossible to over knead by hand. Knead it at least 10 minutes. Your dough should be smooth and pliable, not stiff. It should feel like your earlobe, when you pinch it. It should look smooth and not rough and dimpley. DO NOT add too much flour! In the early stages of kneading you will think it is too sticky, but after properly kneading it will lose a lot of that stickiness. I would save out at least 1/2 cup of the flour (for a 1-loaf recipe) and not add it until the end of kneading and then only if needed.

    About the yeast= ALWAYS proof your yeast, even if you think it is fresh. I had a brand new huge package of yeast from Costco that was dead. Just take 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the water (lukewarm) from your recipe and dissolve the yeast in it along with a teaspoon of sugar. Wait 5 or 10 minutes. If the yeast is good it will get VERY frothy in that length of time. At that point you can continue with your recipe, adding the remaining liquid and then the dry stuff.

    Hope this helps you both. I'll check in late tonite when I get home (9:30 MST). In the meantime, I'm sure others will be here to offer help.
    Mon Jan 31, 2005 2:53 pm Groupie
    Hey, friends!
    Think about it- even if your first few attempts bomb- what have you lost? A dollar or two of flour, water, yeast... not too expensive, and well worth trying. Do not be afraid of our friend, the yeastie beastie!
    Botching a rib roast... now, THAT'S serious money!
    Marg (CaymanDesigns)
    Mon Jan 31, 2005 5:21 pm Groupie
    I have found it helps a lot to let the dough rest for about 5 minutes, after mixing the flour in, before kneading it. This seems to help the flour absorb the moisture a little better and it keeps me from adding too much flour in the end. I taught myself to bake bread using the Fanny Farmer Baking Book. She has some great detailed instructions in there. It can seem daunting at first but once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder why it every scared you. icon_smile.gif

    It can be really helpful to knead on a table rather than the counter. With it being lower, it is easier on your shoulders and you'll be more willing to knead the 8 minutes or so you need to. icon_wink.gif

    Like Donna said, proofing your yeast in a must. Considering the description of your problems, I'd say you need new yeast. I buy mine from a bulk specialty store because they keep store it cool rather than just on a shelf. I then store it at home in the refrigerator. Heat can kill it very easily and I've always had bad luck with the yeast off the shelf at the grocery store.

    Keep trying! It is worth it! icon_smile.gif
    Mon Jan 31, 2005 6:02 pm Groupie
    I can see I need to do another class on yeast bread. There is nothing to be afraid of if you understand the basics.
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:09 am Groupie
    Only fear of homemade yeast breads I have is - Did I make enough! I get requests for family gatherings, parties, etc. (I and whoever else is around will eat about half a loaf while it is still warm out of the oven, yum) Then people call me aside and ask if I would bake a loaf or batch for them, if I only had the time.

    I agree with Donna on the kneading and the proofing of yeast, I don't proof my yeast everytime I make bread, but when in question definately, especially bulk yeast. Batter breads are good for beginners too, no kneading required (good active yeast and rising temps still apply), could help overcome the yeast fear factor.
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:42 am Groupie
    MEAN CHEF wrote:
    I can see I need to do another class on yeast bread. There is nothing to be afraid of if you understand the basics.

    I would love to be a part of a class! 1 success out of 5 attempts is not a good record. icon_eek.gif
    First though, I apparently need to get my hands on some better yeast. icon_rolleyes.gif
    I like the kneading part of bread making though. So I'm not inclined to switch to batter recipes until I've declared myself a complete failure at regular bread.
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 11:59 am
    Forum Host
    Thanks for the tips everyone! icon_smile.gif I'd love a yeast bread class too!!
    Elaine Kirk
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 1:45 pm
    Newbie "Fry Cook" Poster
    That's the spirit we like to hear. Batter breads are OK, but yeast breads are much more fun to make and in my personal opinion; yeast breads are more fun to eat too. Just take it one step at a time, RELAX, follow the direcitons & you'll make some yummy yeast bread to enjoy. You'll get so excited, you'll eat half of the nice hot loaf as it comes from the oven. Spread it with butter or maybe add a bit of honey or jam. Now it's time to make another batch of yeast bread, there's hardly any of that 1st loaf left. I'm off to the kitchen. After telling you how easy it is to make yeast bread, I just remembered I need to make some fresh yeast bread for us to enjoy. Have FUN making yeast breads. It gets easier, the more times you make yeast bread, the easier it gets. You fall into a routine & it just comes naturally. I've been making yeast breads for many, many years starting out as a teenager in an Iowa 4-H Club, now I'm retired and still really have fun making yeast breads. I haven't bought a loaf of bread in a store for almost 20 years.
    Elaine Kirk
    Tue Feb 01, 2005 7:36 pm Groupie
    I agree, dough breads are generally a better bread then batter. When I mentioned trying a batter bread I did mean the breads that still rely on the yeast to rise, I make a few batter recipes that are very delicious and wouldn't change a thing in them, one is a dill bread that uses dill weed, creamed cottage cheese and egg incorporated into the batter.

    I have read a couple of Mean Chef's classes, one on bread (Mesa Grill bread I think, a Bobby Flay recipe) He is very informative and thorough in the classes I read.

    Anyway, hang in there, if I can make bread anyone can icon_smile.gif . Just don't rule out batter breads all together or as a last resort.
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:42 pm Groupie
    Classes?!? I"m in! Where might one find these?
    Donna M.
    Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:51 pm
    Forum Host
    What kind of class would you like? For instance what kind of bread would you like to learn to make? Give us some requests, and whatever the most people would like we can start with.

    I know Mean Chef is willing to do another class, and I could also.
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