I love making bread. I love the smell of bread baking in the oven. And of course I love eating it once it emerges hot from the oven, crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. And the flavor….
When you think about it, taste is really complex. It uses all five senses: smell, touch, sight and sound as well as taste itself. The brain, in a way, is the real seat of taste because it concentrates the various sensory experiences. It keeps a personal record of the food we consume, together with the level of pleasure we experience from them. Okay how do I hide the chocolate I just ate from my brain? Well there was pleasure involved. Oh yeah.
This bread is so easy to make, it doesn’t even proof the yeast. I was a little leery because it almost seemed too simple. Speaking of proofing the yeast, for those that aren’t familiar with this term:
To make sure yeast is alive and active, proof it. Dissolve the yeast with 1 teaspoon sugar in 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°). Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. The yeast should begin to form a creamy foam on the surface of the water. You can now proceed to combine the yeast mixture with the flour and other dry ingredients.
Funny story: we purchased a new oven about six years ago. It’s the coolest oven as it has all kinds of settings, like dehydrate, a setting for cookies and convection. Well, I just found out, literally JUST, that our oven also has a “proof” setting. Bonus! I think I’ll reread the manual to see what else it can do!
By the way, I didn’t have the quick acting yeast and the bread didn’t raise as high as I would have liked, but the texture and flavor made up for the height. I would recommend using the fast-acting yeast if you want your bread to raise higher.
I happened to be making pasta sauce at the same time as the bread. Dipping bread hot out of the oven into fresh sauce is the best!