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Wednesday, February 23, 2011
My First Homemade Bread
So I told you that I finally got over my fears and picked up some yeast at the grocery store. Well, I made hodduk (Korean sweet filled pancake) so many times that I decided it no longer made sense to buy the yeast in the packet. I went ahead and got a whole jar of yeast. Whew! Talk about moving fast! I opted for the RapidRise bread machine yeast by Fleischman's because, well, it's fast, and it says it's perfect for regular oven use, too. Thus far, it has worked like a charm. A full doubling of the dough usually takes 20-30 minutes, when covered in plastic and placed in a warm oven as mentioned in my "Conquering Kitchen Fears" post.
Well, having bought all that yeast, I convinced myself that I would have to play with it every weekend. My first venture was a basic poppy seed loaf bread. It is a spin on your basic sandwich loaf. It has a touch of sweetness, a nice crunch and slight nuttiness from the poppy seeds, and a really nice, delicate background flavor of almond and vanilla. I know you are thinking what I was, but, no, this is not a dessert bread. It is still perfect for any sandwich and it tastes nothing like cake or cookies; it's just a more flavorful loaf that what you find in stores.
In terms of process, I am telling you this is beyond easy! You will be so shocked that you've never done it before because it's so easy. Baking this bread from start to finish is much easier than baking a cake. I know, I know, it takes time to let it rise and blah blah blah. Well guess what, when it's rising, you can get on with your life--exercise, go pick up groceries, do your homework, wash clothes, clean the house. The point is, life need not stop because your bread is rising. This bread required two risings and, as mentioned above, generally 30 minutes was sufficient for me, but bear in mind that I live in a hot and humid climate, so rather than going by time, just visually check that your dough has doubled in size.
Well, here goes the recipe. It's not a DF original. Remember, I told you I am still a novice. Just the same, it turned out perfectly, despite my oven, which has a mind of its own. My oven is probably from 1960 and I usually end up setting it at 200-250 to get 375 : /. That's not even the end of it... For fast-cooking foods, sometimes I have to let it brown at 350 then drop the temperature by about 150 degrees or so. If my weirdo oven can make this bread come out perfectly, you have no excuse but to try and see for yourself how wonderful your own homemade bread will be!