Baking: Part One

I love watching cooking shows on Food Network. I even try my hand at it sometimes when my mother would leave me at home without frozen food.  But baking is a whole new animal, you can’t really taste as you go, and measurements are even more important than in savory cooking.  The original plan was to focus on making bread, starting with helping to make the bread for the school, then branching out to artisanal breads. The first day I spent my time with Karen making rolls for the next days lunch, chocolate chip cookies for community meeting, and a gluten free cake for snack that night.  The first thing I learned was how touchy yeast is. If the water is too hot, the yeast will die, and if the water is too cold,  then nothing will happen. Bath temperature is just right.  Yeast is very fascinating, and it’s everywhere, even in the air, which is called wild yeast. When the right amounts of water and flour are added, the wild yeast will feast on it and one can make a sour dough starter with it.

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