Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's Alive! It's Alive!

I started my attempt at Refrigerator Bread today. I have never made anything that requires the use of dry active yeast, so I think I might have needed remedial cooking lessons before I started.

The instructions say to dissolve the yeast in warm water until it foams. I heated the water to the correct temperature and dumped the packets of yeast in and started to stir. In retrospect, I should have probably stirred it in more slowly so it wouldn't be so clumpy, but oh well. Then I waited. I saw a couple of big bubbles, but nothing foamy. And I waited some more. And started to mumble some things like, "I hate everything!" and "This is why people BUY bread!" Then I turned to the internets. I saw some advice that said that yeast won't act right if you don't give it some sugar to eat. By this time, my yeast-water had cooled down, so I added a little more warm water to try to revive it and stirred it again--finding that some of it still hadn't dissolved...and added just a sprinkle of sugar.

I left the room to consult the internets again. When I came back into the kitchen, my yeast was foamy and had puffed up in the bowl. The angels sang the hallelujah chorus. Or maybe it was just me.

Anyway, I carried on with the rest of the process and am now at the point where I have to leave the dough in the fridge to rise for 45 minutes so that I can punch it down. Here's a picture of the dough after I finished kneading it. If this bread turns out well, I will feel so accomplished. It smells like dough. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


The Dennie Family said...

It looks good so far-but you put it in the fridge to rise? That is strange...isn't it? (I don't know-we just buy our bread)

Mercy's Maid said...

You put it in the fridge to rise for the first 45 minutes and then you punch it down. Then when you get ready to bake it, you have to take it out and form it into rolls or loaves or whatever and let it sit outside of the fridge to rise again....for an hour an a half.

You store the part you don't use in the fridge until you're ready to use it and you have to punch it down a couple of times a day because it continues to rise while it's in there.

I'm giving myself 24 hours until I forget to punch it down and it takes over the fridge.

On a happy note, I made some rolls earlier and they were yummy!