Thursday, January 26, 2012

You Must Have Proof!

I tried to make another batch of bread today.  And after melting the coconut oil and honey, and adding the water and yeast...the yeast never proofed.  Don't know what that means?  Yeah, I didn't either until about 2 weeks ago when I started making my new most-awesome Honey Oat Bread.  If you aren't familiar with my bread recipe, read this post.  And really I still didn't know what the big deal was.  So I threw some yeast in a pan of oil, water, and honey and it started to bubble up, so what?  Well, that is a vital step to bread making I'm finding out!  The first two times I made the bread, the yeast bubbled up (aka proofed).  Then I tried two times to make the bread and the yeast did not bubble up.  Not really understanding the importance of proofing, I just prepared the bread as the recipe said...and the bread did not raise.  So today I tried again, and the yeast did not proof.  I decided it was time for an intervention.  I left the yeast mixture on the stove (No worries...I turned off the burner) and ran (drove) to the local Amish store.  (They don't sell Amish there.  But the store is run by Amish people and they sell various grocery items.  Some are bent and dent and some are bulk foods...including YEAST!)  I bought new yeast and came home to see if it would proof or if my bread-making skills were in fact gone.  I heated the mixture back up to around 125 degrees (should have only been 110...shame on me) and the yeast started to bubble!!  YAY!!  I'm back in the bread-making business once again!  I had every intention of taking a picture of what proofing looked like, but in the midst of my sheer excitement I forgot.  Sorry.  

So when I did some research on how to proof yeast this morning.  I found an interesting fact.  I guess it's called proofing because back in the olden days (is olden even a word?), people would test their yeast to make sure it was good before baking with it.  If the yeast bubbled in the water (with a pinch of sugar added for the yeast to nibble on), they would have PROOF that the yeast was good.  Neat, huh?      

With all that said, I guess my previous yeast kicked the bucket sometime over the past week or so.  RIP yeast.   (Feel free to have a moment of silence.)  :)

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