Sunday, April 29, 2007
Why the bread wouldn't rise
I used to be able to make bread, specifically, the Milk Bread described in the Joy of Cooking that we got as a wedding present. It was just as they described it, a delicious, rich white bread, perfect for French toast or rolls, etc. But since this Christmas dinner, during which I inflicted on my in-laws and other guest rock-hard Vienna rolls, I have had dough after dough refuse to rise. I've ascribed differnt reasons to different times--a cold draft, I punched it so hard it wouldn't rise a second time, etc.--but what I finally realized is that I've been killing the yeast!
I bought yeast and bread flour on our vacation, determined to get it right, and after succeeding with the Quick White Bread, I tried the Milk Bread again. I reread the incredibly helpful ehow.com article on my Treo, then dug a little deeper to find out that not only can liquid not be hot enough, it can be so hot that it kills the yeast. Mystery solved, and look forward to a photo of loaf-shaped (not flat) bread here again.