Sunday, January 17, 2010

In Which I Conquer Yeast

I like to cook, but have always had an unreasonable fear of yeast. I know, for thousands of years, millions of people have baked bread daily. How hard could it be? But for some reason, the idea of using yeast made me shy away from trying my hand at bread. It seemed mysterious, difficult, it needed to 'rest' and be 'punched down' and 'proofed.' What language was this?

Then, on Christmas Eve a few weeks ago, I decided, this is it. The year is almost over, and I had mentioned wanting to try to make bread back in January to Lady Scientist S. If I'm going to do it, I should just do it. I had bought yeast in an effort to force the issue a few weeks back. I plunged.

Following a tutorial online, I assembled the ingredients, opened the yeast packet, took a deep breath, and started.

And it was easy! And almost mindless! And the result was delicious! I amazed myself. Who knew bread making was so easy? And no bread machine for me, gentle readers, oh no, I made bread the old fashioned way. And felt this strange cultural memory connection thing to all the women before me who spent their lives making bread every day.

Photographic proof of my bread experiment on Christmas Eve (using whole wheat flour):

It bubbles!

Waiting to rest.

Clever use of solar energy to make it rise. Hey, what's a baker with no radiators and
a pilot-less stove to do?


Flush and giddy with success, I tried another loaf last Sunday, to test whether my first loaf was a fluke. This time white, with scalded milk, and it was even better! I win yeast, I win!


  1. Yum! Bread is a weakness of mine, actually bread and cheese. Especially warm bread, fresh out of the oven bread, bread that just smells like... bread.... Yea, words fail me, but I can just taste it looking at those pictures!!!

  2. Forget it, I ain't making cheese. Some things, like pad thai, which I tried to make once and never will again, just must be bought from professionals.

    Note the cute fuzzy sweater on the cute, fuzzy, snoozing cat. I made that! (insert smiley face here)