Making bread is something that is a mystery to many people and I was among them for a long time.
I went through numerous recipes and it is now that I can say that I’ve understood the art slightly better than before.
I still am not a pro at it and every time I make one loaf, I learn something new.
Of the various things I have learnt while making bread, one major milestone is that the better your yeast is proofed, the better your bread will turn out to be. Yeast proofing basically means activating the dormant yeast.
Yeast is a living organism that needs the basics to survive: Air, water and food. A moist / humid environment provided by lukewarm water accompanied by starch/ sugar for the yeast to feed on, one sees in a few minutes that the yeast starts to foam up. This is all yeast proofing is.
Once yeast is proofed, flour is knead with the active yeast to form a dough. The dough needs to be covered with a wrong out towel and then kept in a warm place till it doubles in size.
Once that happens, , the dough is knocked down to redistribute the yeast again, formed into a desirable shape and kept aside covered with a a wrong ut towel till the dough rises.
This dough is now ready to be baked into bread.
From personal experience I can give one tip that you need to be patient during the entire process and things like too hot water while proofing the yeast resulting in killing the yeast, dough not rising enough etc. can turn tables and result in a not so desirable outcome.
Hope this resolves some of the queries one has with bread making. Coming up next, how to make your very own yeast bread..