Determination is an amazing quality to have and to say I have that quality is an understatement. I’m a girl that grew up with social anxiety and depression without realizing that was my problem until I was 14 years old, it lead to many years of missed classes and assignments unfinished because my anxiety was to great to finish the project. Many teachers, counselors didn’t know if I would be able to finish high school with a diploma but I was determined and ended up graduating high school on the honour and with more then one award. I’ve been through abusive situations and have been able to get out with determination and strength. I’ve been a single mother for four years, I plan on opening my own business and when people told me I wasn’t able to do it a I am determined to show them wrong.
When I started on a whim a few days ago I decidd to master making a simple loaf of white bread I used that same determination that has gotten me through life…and that determination was needed because at first it was an epic fail.
Here’s my first tip, make sure your yeast isn’t expired. Growing up my mother would keep yeast in the cupboard, not in the recomended refrigerator. It made sense when we were younger because my mother made bread much more often and it was used up quickly but know that yeast is not used for months at a time keeping it in the cupboard is not the greatest idea which I learned after waiting three hours for my dough to rise and it hadn’t moved at all.
The second tip I can give you, if you don’t have a kitchen thermometer that perfect temperature for yeast to activate is lukewarm. I was trying three different temperatures for water, hot from the tap (which is actually 130 degrees F) tried boiling water, and tried just steaming and of course it never worked, you don’t have to throw away the idea of bread making just because you can’t be exact at the water temperature, try lukewarm and wait for those bubbles ( go drink a cup of coffee by the end of the cup your yeast should be perfect)
Third tip is add flour half a cup at a time, if you add to much it is difficult to work it all together again (if that does happen a couple drops of lukewarm water should fix that problem) work the dough but make sure you don’t over work it, and trust yourself if you don’t think you can add that last cup of flour without it turning out to dry, then don’t.
Be patient let that dough rise, it might take you all day but it’s so worth it, and let it rise in the pan, don’t just plop it in there and rush it into the oven, let it rise and grow into the corners of the pan.
It might take a couple tries, it might take a few more then that but it is so worth it for a loaf of bread that you can feel proud you made yourself.
* I used the Joy of Cooking white bread recipe*