Baking Easter bread--I think I did something wrong


#1

I don’t believe this:crying: …I followed the directions to the letter, but I think something went wrong with the yeast part. Ok, so you know how you have to add 1/4 cup water to ‘activate’ the dry yeast in a cup before adding to the flour? Well I did that, AND also added 2/3 cup warm milk as the recipe indicated. When I went to knead it before putting it into the bowl to rise, it was really gooey and sticking to my fingers. My husband walks in from work…‘hey better crocker":mad: and says…what’s cookin’?:mad: :mad: I told him the whole thing about the yeast, and he said that’s right, that probably the recipe was calling for warm milk, to activate the yeast, but he said I did the right thing, activiating with warm water.

Well, I have it in a warm dry place, covered with a damp towel…bla bla…and we just checked it, and it is only like 1/4 higher…it is only supposed to sit for an hour…my husband said not to worry, that we can leave it there for a little longer if we have to.

I dunno–does this sound right? What size should the dough be rising to in the next half hour or so? (if it was sitting covered for nearly an hour total?)

I finally understand the saying…‘this is the best thing since sliced bread.’ I would not want to bake my own bread everyday from scratch. I dunno–maybe ya get the hang of it eventually.:shrug:


#2

May be just fine. Just keep following directions – and don’t keep peaking at it. Oh, and if it doesn’t look right, don’t “wait a little longer.” If the yeast isn’t working it isn’t going to work. Often, however, dough raises more slowly at first then more quickly. Sometimes, unfortunately, yeast isn’t as fresh as you think it is (even if you just purchased it) and that can effect the bread. Humidity doesn’t help either – “dry” days are the best to bake.

Hang in there and good luck! Keep us posted.

Bread is tempermental . . .


#3

Perhaps the recipe wanted the yeast to be activated before adding the milk? I believe that’s what my paska recipe has you do. Doing it one way or another shouldn’t affect it to the point where it’s unusable, however.

*Well, I have it in a warm dry place, covered with a damp towel…bla bla…and we just checked it, and it is only like 1/4 higher…it is only supposed to sit for an hour…my husband said not to worry, that we can leave it there for a little longer if we have to.

I dunno–does this sound right? What size should the dough be rising to in the next half hour or so? (if it was sitting covered for nearly an hour total?)*

You can definitely let it sit for longer than an hour, if necessary! It depends on the recipe that you are using as to how high the dough is supposed to rise. I would let it go a bit longer if it doesn’t seem to be risen enough yet. Hopefully, though, when you punch it down, it should give a little and not feel like you’re hitting a board. :wink:

I finally understand the saying…‘this is the best thing since sliced bread.’ I would not want to bake my own bread everyday from scratch. I dunno–maybe ya get the hang of it eventually.:shrug:

Oh, you do, believe me you do. :smiley: Good luck with the rest of your baking, and have a glorious Easter!


#4

Thanks Irish! :slight_smile: Yes, I have made this before, but it’s been a while, and off the top of my head, I can’t remember the rising part…but it seems that it should be higher than it is. I know, we shouldn’t be peeking!:blush:

I prayed about it:D …I mean this is a family tradition, just want it to turn out ok. :gopray2:


#5

I’m sorry this happened to you. I couldn’t help but laugh a bit though. See, I bake every weekend and even during the week. You name it, I’ll bake it . . . except bread. lol. Won’t touch homemade bread, especially not Easter bread after trying ONCE (and only once) following my grandmother’s recipe to a T. Now her bread was amazing, and she’d make it for everyone in town. She must have gotten the recipe from Heaven, so I couldn’t touch it. No sense EVER trying again. I made a total and complete mess. Since my dear grandmother’s passing, I buy mine from a local bakery. But, with anything else, practice makes perfect. And I’m sure your bread will be great in the end.

Good luck!


#6

You have a great Easter also–thanks for checking in here…it’s time to go punch it down, if it’s high enough!!:o


#7

LOL–I followed this recipe to the letter too…this was a recipe online I got, my sister’s recipe which was once our mom’s…is gone forever…she moved recently, and lost the cookbook it was in.:frowning: I have the colored eggs ready though to put in…hahaha DD did that part. That might be the only part that turns out right.:stuck_out_tongue:


#8

YAY–IT ROSE A LOT SINCE 30 MINUTES AGO WHEN I FIRST CHECKED IT. See? See? God wants this bread to turn out well. :slight_smile:

Let’s hope it turns out well *after *it’s baked.:o


#9

So happy to hear your bread is working out. Patience is one of the important steps with yeast breads.

Just a couple of things about yeast :D. It is the temperamental part of baking bread. There are a couple of things I learned in my years of baking yeast breads:

  1. don’t let my husband knead it, he kneads too hard and actually kills the yeast

  2. proof your yeast (that is what you are talking about activating it). You can do this in any liquid you are adding to your bread but use about 2 tablespoons of your sugar too. Yeast lives on sugar and if your yeast bubbles in the proofing (takes about 5 minutes) then your yeast is alive and well. The newer yeasts often don’t need this step but I will still do it. Better your liquid be a bit too cool than too hot, you can kill your yeast with heat.

  3. Knead adding flour as you go just until no longer sticky and very elastic - your dough should stretch back if pulled gently. This one is very much a practice makes perfect step and very hard to describe with out showing.

  4. Only punch down once, let rest and then form - sounds like you are making that braid with the colored eggs in the middle. So, shape and put on your pan, cover and let rise for another 30 mins. to 60 mins. then bake per recipe directions.

  5. Wheat free breads are soooo much easier to do, you just mix all the proper none-wheat flours with your other ingredients and the yeast, put in the pan, let rise and bake :rotfl: (Oh, wait most of you won’t need this tip!) Just so you know, the hard part is definitely in getting the right mix of the non-wheat flours because just one (like rice flour) doesn’t work on its own.

Brenda V.


#10

Thanks Brenda:D --I should have posted this earlier–you would have been a big help.


#11

Okay folks–it’s in the oven. In braiding it, it just didn’t seem a ‘fluffy’ as I remember this in the past…I think it will still be ok, but it will not be as airy–something went wrong, can’t pinpoint what I might have done wrong. But, something definitely went wrong. It did double in size, so the yeast was working, but still not as high as I’ve seen in past years. Oh well–hopefully, it will taste good. I like a moist bread, if that makes sense, so maybe the error will work in my favor.:smiley:

It looks pretty though, as it bakes…does that count?:stuck_out_tongue:


#12

ok, sadly, we sliced the bread already:blush: :smiley: :blush: I just HAD to taste it to see.

Scale from 1 to 10:

appearance: 10 (really looks beautiful)
taste: 7.5 (lacks as much sweetness as I have had in the past)
texture: 7 (ok, I figured it out–I didn’t knead the dough as much:rolleyes: that’s it, my dh and i thought about it, and i didn’t knead it enough)
effort: 12:thumbsup: :smiley:

Anyways…it will ‘do’ for tomorrow’s breakfast–my kids didn’t like it that much though-:frowning: I need to try this again soon, so I can make it like I had when growing up…it’s a real treat if it turns out perfectly. (airy) Thanks for letting me share. May all your holiday dishes turn out for the best!:slight_smile:


#13

Okay, I gotta put on my food editor’s hat here (despite having taken it off some years ago) – Do you suppose you mismeasured the sugar? The yeast feeds off the sugar, and if it isn’t as sweet that would seem to explain the problem . . .

Just speculating.

(And I really do have a life, despite posting this at 12:30. Stopped by the computer after Easter Vigil to check on the basketball scores and got sidetracked . . . :smiley: )


#14

I was going to bring up proofing the yeast and the sugar thing too, but others beat me to it.

Give yourself credit for making it, please!!! I am making cinnamon rolls out of the can tomorrow, as DH has been home for a week, and we are celebrating a very quiet Easter.


#15

I’m glad the bread came out fine. I don’t have much of a talent for baking, but my Mom bakes often. Sometimes, the yeast might have been exposed to either hot or cold temps in the store before you purchased it. Yeast is alive, so I guess anything could change its performance.

Also, my mom blames humidity for baked products not coming out right. :shrug:

I love cooking, but I’m afraid of baking with yeast.

Happy Easter.


#16

I was going to suggest this - but not necessarily that you mis-measured the sugar but that the recipe wrote it wrong:). I have had to adjust recipes in my cookbooks because of this and recipes I have gotten off the internet can be far worse than those in cookbooks (they don’t usually have an editor to at least go over the recipe once it has been typed up).

Still sounds like you did okay with it. I was going to make hot cross buns yesterday (both with wheat and wheat free so I could have some) but somehow I had no energy yesterday - I had a bad headache which wouldn’t go away so I kept lying down which helped some. Because I didn’t I made cinnamon-raisins biscuits this morning from the rest of this wheat free biscuit mix I had. They were very good with the Easter eggs for breakfast. Oh, and we aren’t going to Mass until the 11 a.m. which is why I can be here right now :p.

Brenda V.


#17

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