As indicated by the disproportionately high number of sweet recipes on this blog, cakes and desserts are my forte. Yeast, however, is my nemesis. Despite numerous attempts, I have only ever managed to successfully bake one thing involving yeast. (A super-delicious stollen, since you ask.) I think I just need to take the time to learn the basics of baking with yeast so that I can look at a recipe and tell if it’s likely to work out or not, and have a rough idea of how to tweak it. This lack of knowledge is compounded by a lack of confidence.
Consequently, when I saw that this month’s Random Recipe challenge was “bread” – randomly pick a recipe from either a specific bread book, or the bread section of a cookbook – I may have let out an expletive or ten. I don’t have any specific bread books, so I randomly picked cookbooks until I found one with a bread/yeast section: Baking – 100 everyday recipes. I duly picked a recipe randomly and ended up with mango twist bread. Which sounded totally delicious so I was rather excited. Maybe this time the yeast and I would get on and I’d successfully manage to produce a loaf of bread.
It wasn’t to be. Blaming the recipe might sound too easy, but I really don’t think it was particularly reliable. From the very first step (before even adding the yeast), the contents of my mixing bowl did not match the descriptions given in the book. The dough ended up extremely sticky, even after adding plenty of extra flour. The two strands of dough that were supposed to be twisted around each other to give a pretty shape basically merged back into each other and there were no strands or twists in sight within about five minutes (photographic proof below). The dough did not rise as much as it should have, and it didn’t quite bake all the way through either, despite being very browned on top (which granted, could be a simple oven problem, but I do know my current oven quite well now, so I’m hesitant to lay the entirety of the blame on it). And to top it all off, it didn’t even taste of mango. Basically, it was an all-round fail, so I won’t be sharing the recipe.
Conquering yeast will clearly have to wait for another day. At least I tried though, right?
Enjoy the rest of your day, wherever you are in the world.