This past week, for #BreadChallenge, I decided to make a loaf of simple oat bread. I looked around for recipes that lacked the fussiness that some bread recipes seem to impart. I had a busy weekend of bottling beers, yard work, class prep and teaching so I knew I wouldn’t be able to give the task the attention it deserved.
I settled on THIS oversimplified recipe. It didn’t turn out so good. I know where the problem started.
The recipe doesn’t require that you proof the yeast. I don’t have any bread starter or poolish yet (I plan to make some this week) so I used dry yeast as the recipe called for and got very little rise. It also just suggests that you combine all of the ingredients (as opposed to dry with dry, wet with wet and then combine), which I think is a sloppy and lazy way to do things.
The end result was a very dense, cakey, doughy lump that tasted just fine but texturally was really unappealing. In the chicken bucket it goes! I wish I could say I am disappointed, but I’m not. I like learning and this was certainly an education in assessing a recipe beforehand. My advice to new bakers is to opt for more detailed recipes when possible. Don’t be lured in by 5-step bread-making. There are nuances to making bread and if you don’t understand them, rely on a detailed recipe to help guide you through each seemingly tedious step. Even the little details make a huge difference in baking.
So, this week I am going to try to improve on this bread. I like the challenge of taking a bad recipe and turning it into a reliable one. Instead of dry yeast, I will make poolish and use that to try and get a rise out of the dough. I think that one little tweak might be enough to salvage it. We’ll see! The proof is in the poolish.
How’s everyone else’s bread baking coming along?