Friday, April 27, 2018

Y is for Yeast

You know, I'm about worn out from Pinterest projects, so I looked for something easy (I hoped) and delicious (I hoped) for Y.  

I love bread. And if you don't love bread, too, then it means we can't be friends, unless you ask for extra bread and give it all to me instead. I buy yeast by the pound. By. The. Pound.  Do you know how much one of those little packets of yeast at the grocery store weighs? I don't, either, but I know there's only 2-1/4 teaspoons of yeast in one, and that can't possibly weigh very much. Fun fact: I keep my yeast in a late 1970s Tupperware container that belonged to my mom.

Anyway, here's the Pinterest pin:

The recipe swore it only took two and a half hours to make this, with the caveat that the FIRST time might take a little longer, with all that recipe reading you had to do. Stopwatch set....

In my trusty Kitchen Aid mixer (a wedding gift and 25 years old this summer), I proofed the yeast with a teaspoon of sugar and some warm water (for you non-bakers out there, proofing is feeding the yeast a little sugar and giving it a nice drink of warm water, and, if the yeast is still alive, it repays you by getting all foamy and ready to go to work. If it doesn't get foamy, throw it out and buy fresh yeast, because you are no longer baking yeast bread and instead will end up with something that resembles a floury stepping stone.

Next, kosher salt and flour was added and stirred with the dough hook until the dough gathered itself into a ball. The dough hook was then removed and the dough ball lightly floured, then turned over and the bottom floured as well. Then I covered it with a tea towel (my friend's 90+ year old mom makes awesome tea towels and I am the lucky recipient of several of them that I use when bread baking) and left it to rise.

Dough obligingly gathering itself into a ball.

Ready to be tucked into a tea towel so it can rise.

After an hour, the dough was flopped out onto a floured surface, more flour was sprinkled on top, and the dough was shaped into a round loaf, then turned upside-down and laid in a well-floured, small mixing bowl and covered with the towel again. 

Much sprinkling of flour in this recipe. 

Floured again and in the small mixing bowl
for its last rise.

While the dough sat and cogitated, I turned the oven on to 460 degrees F (a strange number, I thought, because we tend to bake things in 25 degree increments) and put a dutch oven in the oven (same one used to make the stove top chocolate cake last week). The dough was then tipped out of the bowl back onto the floured surface, then gently laid on a square of parchment paper (for ease of putting it in the now VERY HOT dutch oven), The lid went on and into the oven it went for 30 minutes.

Shaped and ready to bake.

And in the (very hot) dutch oven,
ready to pop into the oven.

Ohhh, the smell as it baked! Trust me, it was heavenly.

After half an hour, the lid was removed, my husband pulled the parchment paper out from under the loaf, saying I didn't need it any more (I refrained from saying BACK OFF, BUDDY, THIS IS MY PROJECT), and it went back in the oven for another ten minutes, which I thought it didn't need and my husband, Mr. I've Made Bread In The Dutch Oven Before, said it did, and OF COURSE, I was right, because the bottom was a little browner than I personally like.

Isn't it simply lovely? And plenty brown enough?

It was supposed to cool for 20 minutes, but as my family has proven repeatedly in this Challenge, they are incapable of waiting for food to cool and want immediate gratification, which leads to cakes sticking in the pan and taffy burning your hands and bread that is ENTIRELY too hot to cut, but I did it anyway.

And it was delicious.

And it was pretty easy.

And it took three hours.

And I'm going to make it again. Soon. Often.


  1. Dutch oven bread is the best! Glad you tried it!

  2. Wow, it looks wonderful. I'm sure it tasted just as good. Nearly done! 2nd last letter of the alphabet in the 2018 A to Z Blogging Challenge. Y is for Yes!

  3. It looks so delicious. We make a lot of bread in our bread machine but it's not the same as fresh baked like this. Yum! Weekends In Maine

  4. I love hot bread and this looks great! I only make pita now-a-days to avoid eating a whole hot loaf.

  5. Oh No! I was really hoping this one would be a fail so I wouldn't be sitting here contemplating the jar of yeast in the pantry! But it truly looks delicious and I love the whole concept of cooking it in a dutch oven. Might just have to try it, but better wait until a day when Papa Bear is home or it's likely to disappear before he even knows it existed! :-))