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Homemade Bread

homemade breadLast weekend I was in my happy place - my kitchen.  Cooking and baking to my heart’s content!  Some of my baking included whole wheat and honey wheat bread.  Both are yeast breads.  Mmmmm.  The aroma was fabulous, and the flavors were, too!

My friend and colleague, Katie Henry, NDSU Extension FCW Agent in Cavalier county had inspired me to do the baking.  Today I will share with you what she wrote.

Yeast bread typically consists of a flour, a liquid, yeast, salt, sugar, and a fat of some kind.  Each ingredient has its purpose, and must be used correctly in order for the science to work.  The flour is key to the bread and its end result, so be sure to use the flour called for in the recipe. The liquid helps activate the yeast and blend the ingredients together.  The sugar is the food for the yeast. The salt inhibits over-growth.  The fats add richness and tenderness. 

The yeast is a living organism and must be activated with warmth and liquid.  Typically, if the yeast is added to the dry ingredients in the recipe, the liquid should be between 120-130 degrees F.  However, if the yeast is added to the liquid to activate, the liquid should only be between 110-115 degrees F.  A food thermometer should be used to measure the temperature of the liquid ingredients, and the temperatures should not be different than this unless stated otherwise in the recipe.  Yeast needs a warm enough temperature to become active, yet can be killed at too high of a temperature. Sometimes it’s a fine balance, so be careful.

Often times, depending on the recipe, it may only take 15-20 minutes to actually mix the ingredients together.  The time people stress over is often due to the fact that the rising of the bread is a process that takes time.  But, during that time, there is nothing a person needs to do but wait.  Some recipes only require one rise time, some require two. Some require up to three hours of rise time total, some only require forty-five minutes.  It really all depends on what a person is making.

No matter what you make, sometimes it takes time to get things right.  Practice makes permanent, and there will be things that you find you need to adjust or do differently as you experiment with making bread. 

NDSU Extension has many resources available for breads and recipes.  If you would like more information, feel free to visit our website at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/food/food-preparation, call my office (701-724-3355) or email me at cindy.klapperich@ndsu.edu.

Adapted from “You Can Make That,” Katie Henry, NDSU Extension FCW Cavalier County.

Photo Credit:  Image by congerdesign from Pixabay (downloaded 10-27-20)

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