Yeast I Did!

Please excuse the terrible pun. Given my new home decorating bent, I’ve been reading a lot of Young House Love and the cheesy title puns are rubbing off on my like crazy!

So. Bread. I’ve tackled bread a couple of times before: this delicious beer bread that I mistakenly thought used the yeast in the beer to be yeast, but just is a yeast-less bread; and this banana bread (that is actually more like cake in a loaf pan). Note: Has anyone else ever wondered why carrot cake is called cake and banana and zuchinni breads are called bread? Does anyone out there know?

The reason it has taken me so long to try a “real” bread is only five letters long: Y.E.A.S.T. Those little guys scare the heck out of me. I don’t know how to use yeast… It’s ALIVE for heaven’s sake!

But, living with our friends Sam and Graham for a month inspired me (Graham is quite the baker), so when we went shopping I bought all my bread ingredients: 10kgs of flour, yeast, salt, sugar and other things I thought you needed for bread but in fact you don’t (baking soda, baking powder, etc.)

Then I went googling for a bread recipe. Don’t do this people. This is SCARY. Making bread sounds hard. Everyone has rules. Everyone says different things. I was throughly intimidated. So intimidated that it took me a good five days before I tried. But I’m so glad I did.

Since I bought a loaf pan, I decided to make a whole wheat bread for sandwiches. I found this recipe for whole wheat oatmeal sandwich bread and got started.

I quickly realized that a) I didn’t have bread flour (just all purpose flour, I didn’t realize bread flour was a thing), b) I didn’t have honey or molasses and c) I didn’t have 3 hours to make my bread. So I made some tweaks. Yes… you read that right. In my very first yeast using experience of my entire life, I made tweaks. Some might call me crazy. I call me adventurous.

The bread flour, I substituted for all-purpose flour, the honey and molasses I substituted for 2 TBSP of sugar, figuring that I would lose the colour but maintain a bit of sweetness. The time… well, I’m actually pretty proud of myself for this one. Bread generally rises twice. Once in the bowl and then once in the pan. Each rise takes about an hour. That being said, the consensus on the internet is that it is better to do a long, slow first rise overnight. So I did. And it worked, woohoo!

My bread turned out amazing (though a little deformed), so I’m going to give you my very own (adapted) bread recipe.

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