The little McGill men could. They love bread any way you fix it…bread rolls, biscuits, croissants, scones, whatever! So they were extremely happy when my husband ran the electric for the stove in the kitchen. Now we can bake all the bread we want!
I have had electric in the kitchen for weeks now, but the stove has to be ran separately off its own breaker. It wasn’t until yesterday that we found the time and money to take on this project. (It ended up taking only two hours time and a little over $100, but sometimes both of these can be hard to come by.) Until this weekend, I was cooking all of our meals mainly in crockpots. I have also been using a large flat griddle for pancakes and grilled sandwiches, toaster for pop tarts and toast, bread machine, small countertop oven and a coffee pot.
So it isn’t like we’ve done without over the past 8 months!
However, my bread machine broke on me the other day after a long life of 11 years and maximum use and wear! It was a wedding or bridal shower gift from our “grandma who lives on the hill” (as my children call her, lol). Thus our fist meal after plugging in and cleaning the stove was meatball hoagies on homemade bread buns! Delicious! And pretty, too!
Homemade bread is something that I think scares most of us, because so much can go wrong to ruin it. I know I personally became aggravated during my early attempts because, for what felt like no reason, it wouldn’t rise or it would finally rise only to fall and never rise again! lol I began researching years ago the science behind bread and discovered a few little key points to making bread that have ever since made the endeavor more successful, consistent and actually fun! Now we love to make bread as much as we love to eat it!
These little tidbits of info have made my breads rise two and three times bigger and more consistently while using less yeast or baking soda!
If your recipe calls for yeast (breads that rest and rise in a warm place until double their size, usually around 1 1/2 hours):
- Yeast does not like milk or butter. If your recipe calls for either of these, substitute water and olive oil instead using the same amounts.
- Yeast loves eggs and sugar. These items make yeast rise! :)
- Water needs to be warm to activate yeast, but not too hot. Perfect temp. is 100-110 degrees. For example, my hot tap water the perfect temp.
- Add your yeast to the warm water just before you add it to the main mixture.
If your recipe calls for baking soda (biscuits, corn bread and other quick breads):
- Baking soda reacts best to acidic ingredients including buttermilk, sour cream, brown sugar and fruit juices. (Because I don’t buy buttermilk, I mix apple cider vinegar into regular milk and let it set until it has soured naturally. Any vinegar will work, but apple cider vinegar is my favorite!
If you aspire to bake breads then I hope this helps you as much as it helped me. I know my boys appreciate the personal cooking lessons I underwent and am still learning from. The learning continues, especially now that I have my stove back!
I uploaded a clip of my funny kids helping me make bread dough below. Let me translate so you will understand what you’re watching: “Blah Blah” is Amo’s lingo for bread. For instance, when you tell him to say “Panera Bread”, he says “Panera Blah Blah”. lol