I have been baking scones, brown breads and fruit or nut breads for years. But “real” bread, the kind made with yeast, has always been a bit intimidating to me. All that proofing and rising and punching down. It has always seemed a bit too complicated. But today I decided to take up the challenge.
I gathered everything I would need. I knew what recipe I would use. There is a Cracked Wheat bread in one of the Moosewood books that I know I like. A parent of one of my kindergarten students made it for me one year and gave me the recipe. That seemed like a good place to start. First the yeast.
Proofing is just sprinkling the yeast into warm water with a bit of sugar. The tricky part is waiting for it to foam. If it doesn’t foam, the bread won’t rise.
It foamed beautifully. I was feeling more confident.
Next in this recipe is to cook some cracked wheat and add butter, honey and salt. So far so good.
Add the flour and yeast and knead for 10 minutes. That wasn’t so bad.
Put it in a buttered bowl.
Cover and let rise in a draft free place until it doubles in size. About an hour and a half.
Now it is ready to punch down.
Form into loaves, put in buttered pan and let it rise again for 30 minutes.
Into the oven for 35 minutes. This is not so hard after all!
And here it is. It smells DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to taste it. It wasn’t even that difficult to make!
Another myth dispelled. And it is always fun to try new things!
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