BREAD WEEK #6 – Last but not yeast….

Embarking on this journey of learning to bake bread using online resources has been, actually, quite great.  There were tears, laughter, frustrations, some swearing, but also some joy. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I’m impressed with how much I’ve grown in just 5 short weeks. I don’t know why I was surprised about the wealth of information available: recipes, techniques, tutorials, tips, videos, apps, and history lessons from the seasoned vets, professionals, and then just the regular people, like Larry. From regular ol’ white bread, to artisan loaves, to soft and fluffy buns, and from herb-infused focaccia to flavorful bread knots, the online baking community offers a wealth of knowledge and creativity.

Independent, online learning is no joke. It was actually quite overwhelming to see the amount of resources, suggestions, recipes, tutorials, and videos.

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I think it’s really important to read reviews and feedback from those who have made the recipes. This was a crucial step in choosing the right recipe to follow. As much as I was looking for tastiness, I was also looking for recipes that didn’t take hours upon hours, and recipes that were easy for a beginner.  That said, I’ve realized that the online baking community is very passionate and often shares tips on achieving the perfect texture, consistent results, and experimenting with various fillings and toppings to elevate bread making skills. Bread is not something that can be mastered after one bake.  It takes patience and time….kind’ve like waiting for the dough to rise….it’s all about the journey.

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Here are some of my key learnings from the past 5 weeks:

  • Quick rise yeast is the MVP.
  • Before beginning, read the whole recipe and watch the whole video.
  • “Kneady” is a super cool app that I’m legit going to keep on my phone and use
  • Kitchen Aid Stand Mixers suck at kneading dough – USE YOUR HANDS.
  • Breadmaking is a time investment – there’s not quick way about it
    ***pssssssst: you could also just buy frozen dough from the grocery store – I won’t judge you.***
  • Although Jaime Oliver is a superstar, he’s relatable and easy to follow. I will 100p be using his recipes in the future.
  • Coat your herbs in some olive oil or they will have no flavor.
  • Larry is deadly at making homemade bread.
  • Focaccia is the best and easiest bread to make. DO IT.
  • Mamma Val is the best, and she gave me a solid base of cooking knowledge to start this project. Thank you for all the years of teaching me how to cook and bake. Love you.

In the end, I did enjoy the learning process and felt a lot of satisfaction creating my own homemade bread from scratch. My house smelled incredible over the past 5 weeks. It was a delightful adventure, and although I’m no expert, there may be a little bit of a bread enthusiast inside my bones.

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Thanks for following along with me. If you’re ever thinking of trying out basic bread, buns, or focaccia, I encourage you to embrace the opportunity to let the internet (and the “Kneady” app)  be your guide as you experiment, adapt recipes to your preferences, and share your creations with those you love.  Overall, I give this learning project 5 doughballs/5.

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1 Comment

  1. Mike Gerrior

    Great work! My dad was a baker so baking is one of the ways I’ve felt connected to him since he passed. I agree foccacia is a great bread to focus on, there is something satisfying of seeing how it looks after it has risen.

    I’ve found that stand mixers are a good start, but you definitely need to use your hands after. If you want something that isn’t too challenging, but does take a bit of time (depending on the recipe) is overnight english muffins. That has been my go to breakfast gift for my wife’s birthday.

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