Well here we are, yeast breads. For inexperienced bakers like myself, it’s pretty intimidating. However, once you understand the 12 steps (no not that 12 steps, wrong blog), it’s really not that daunting of a task. Matter of fact it’s actually really interesting.
So yeast I learned is a living breathing little monster that is like a two year old. If it’s too cold or too hot, they’re lazy little blobs. Give them a room temperature and some sugar they wake right up and bounce around the room. So basically blooming the yeast “wakes them up”.
So, once the yeast is nice and awake, we introduce the other ingridients, and they begin to devour the sugar and excrete alcohol and carbon dioxide( which is how bread rises) which is called “bulk fermentation”.
So we get it in the mixer so you can knead the dough and really build those gluten strands. The strong gluten strands keep those carbon dioxide the yeast produces trapped. It’s like a net over balloons to keep them in place.
The dough has licked the bowl clean (clean up stage) and we move it to the proof box so the yeast can do its thing. Ready to bake? Nope. Pre shaping, bench proofing and then it’s time for “make up”. No we don’t give our bread wing tip eyeliner, we craft it into the shape it’s going to be for baking. In this case it was baguettes.
So after baking, I learned it’s important to let it cool before cutting it open. So, once it’s cooled if you’re not serving it right away it’s best to freeze it. If you put it in the fridge it will stale much faster.
So, that’s pretty much it! Yeast breads weren’t quite as intimidating as I thought and the results are delicious crusty outside with a beautiful fluffy inside. (Perfect with some garlic butter might I add).