A NEW DESCOVERY IN MY KITCHEN has me energized to once again tackle making homemade breads.
The discovery? Simply switching my "leavening agent" produced great results and cut down on that precious commodity we call time.
Could it be this simple and fool-proof?
After months of trying to work with yeast, I discovered this newer approach that used baking soda (aka - bicarbonate of soda), replacing the yeast. When activated, they both produce CO2 that gives bread its airiness. I’m not skilled enough to tackle the actual chemistry behind these reactions, but let’s just marvel at the air bubbles it produces that helps make a loaf of bread.
This switch in ingredients came to me both out of the blue and out of frustration. This was after months of bumbling in bread-making with yeast, and believe me, I tried many brands of yeast with inconsistent outcomes.
I never found that perfect “warm spot” in my kitchen that helped the dough rise. My land mines included sticking pans, collapsing carcasses, and bad toast. I also lived through the hours of “proofing” only a saint could endure. As we know, I am not a saint. And yes, for those of you who are bread aficionado's, my yeast even foamed in warm water - a sure sign it was active.
All old school.
As I moved on with this newer approach the first few loaves arrived under the baking soda regime producing great crusts and excellent toast - two attributes that are high on my list of desirable traits.
Remember, I arrived here because I was determined to succeed in bread-making thanking a childhood hero, Thomas Edison, who reminds us that there is no such thing as failure.
I bet he was also a fine baker.
Might this discovery be lasting?
Bob’s Soda Bread
4 cups flour of choice (mixing Spelt and Whole Wheat flours, so far)
¼ cup packed dark brown sugar
2 tsps. baking soda
1 tsps. kosher salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup stout beer
1 TBS butter/oil
¼ cup walnuts
¼ cup currants
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients.
Add the yogurt and beer and stir with a wooden spoon forming a ball of dough. It takes a little muscle.
Place the dough on a floured surface and work it for two minutes with your hands.
Place it in a cast iron skillet in the shape you desire and make a few slits with a knife to make it look homemade.
Bake the bread for about 35 minutes.
How easy is that.
Thanks for help from www.jessicagavin.com