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January 27, 2011

Epic Bread Quest... baking bread = failure #2!

Here's my second post on my quest to bake a great loaf of bread... and more failure!  
First off, I have to say that I had a wonderful recipe from a great blogger and she also provided me great tips to work with.  Apparently I can't follow written or verbal directions :(.
The recipe is courtesy of 
and the name of her recipe is:

Now you may be asking what happened?  I have that same question swimming in my head too!  As usual the dough started out great, but it never raised to the height I thought it should, but hey... I put them in the oven after waiting SEVERAL hours for the loaves to 'double in size" (I'm beginning to think this is a myth that accomplished bakers say you must obtain just so they can laugh at us fools). OK, back to the oven, I placed them in the oven, set the timer, and because the loaves need to bake about 40 minutes I went back to make some jewelry (no wasted time for me!).  I could smell the bread baking, and my stomach was rumbling, I was imagining the huge pat of butter I was going to put on that first piece of hot sliced bread!
Making jewelry...some computer work...edited a couple of photo's...sorted some jewelry orders...what is that smell?  Is something burning?  AUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!  I didn't hear the timer! My bread had been in the oven over an hour!!!!!!!!!!
Can you say...
Maybe a SLIGHT exaggeration.

pause for this safety tip
Well, I couldn't bring myself to actually post pictures of the results from this episode of the epic bread quest, I do have my pride, and I know you get the gist...
I am going to persevere!  I will try this recipe again, and let you know...  But check out Pam's blog and browse her recipe's-they are awesome!
I swiped this cartoon, don't tell on me-it's just soo fitting!!!


LouAnneL said...

Don't feel bad. I can bake all kinds of breads without a problem, but put a cake recipe in front of me and I go numb and it goes flat and dry! You have beautiful pictures on your blog of all those amazing desserts and OH HOW I wish I could pull that off! :-)

I looked at the recipe you're using.. and WOW on that cooking time and temperature! I've never baked bread for longer than 35 minutes at 350 degrees (been baking bread for 20+ years now), and that's for 6 loaves of whole wheat bread! That might be your problem right there! :-) Ovens were probably very different back in Gramma Bessie's time. In fact, baking white bread, I'd set the timer for 30 minutes, if you're baking at 350, and check them then. At 425.. whew.. 20 to 25 minutes! But honestly, I would back that down. Try 350.

Regarding the dough rising.. if you use "instant active dry yeast" there is no need to activate the yeast before adding it to your ingredients. Actually, you shorten the life of the yeast if you do.. especially if you're just using the kind you purchase off the shelf at the grocery store. Also, make sure the scalded milk isn't too hot to add.. it could kill the yeast. The liquid temp should be no more than 105 to 110 degrees. That feels like a child's bath water.. not a hot soak! :) The total time on the first rise shouldn't be more than 40 to 50 minutes. The second rise should always take less than an hour... it usually takes mine anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes, depending upon the temp in the house.

Sorry about the blog in your comments! Hope this helps. Looking forward to seeing a picture of your soon to be amazing loaf of bread popping out of the oven! :)

Brandie@thecountrycook said...

I feel your struggle when it comes to bread making - I really do. I have my own troubles with bread. I got a nread machine a couple of years ago that I'm getting better at using (nothing fancy, just one of the Walmart ones). I let the bread machine do the mixing and first rising. Sometimes my bread maker needs a little help while it starts the mixing. I gotta go in there after 10 minutes and scrape down the sides and then it seems to go fine from there. But if you don't have a bread maker I guess this advice won't help I do have a good tip that I was given about rising dough. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees. Once it reaches that temp. - turn it off. Put your dough on a cookie pan (or other oven safe pan) and cover and let rise in the warmed oven. I find this works VERY well. I could leave dough out on my counter all day and it would never

Red Couch Recipes said...

Thanks for the funny post on bread making! I usually don't have a problem with white bread, but my husband wanted me to start making 100% whole wheat bread: we had hundreds of pounds of it in storage. I tried and tried but was never really satisfied with my loaves -- they tasted good, but I didn't like the look -- they didn't rise high enough. My sister suggested using smaller bread pans -- which really did make them rise higher! My husband came home with a Bosch on Mother's Day a few years ago (this was VERY, VERY unlike him) and this was the key to be able to knead the bread adequately. WW bread is heavy and hard to knead.

I also agree that 425 is probably too high for bread and I also agree with raising them in a warm pre-heated oven. Good luck with bread making and don't give up! Joni

Frieda Loves Bread said...

Oh, so sad! Ditto on LouAnne's comments. Also with Red Couch...100% whole wheat bread needs a soaking time and also a longer kneading time to be able to develop the gluten and result in a soft loaf of bread. Keep at it ~ you'll learn something new each time you do.

Unknown said...

LOL...oh my~!! Better luck next time~!!

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