Yeast #5: Happy mother’s day

058I am not sure why, but I had the bold and brave idea that maybe my yeast skills had progressed enough that I could share.  I was also eager to try to make the Cuban Bread recipe but to correct for all of my mistakes the first time.  Plus, knowing that it is transformed while cooled, I thought it might be a bread even my picky father would enjoy.  I decided to make another batch on Saturday and surprise my mom with it on mother’s day.

I only had one of the “instant” yeast packs left so I had to use a combination of two types.  Instead of starting with 5 cups of flour, I used 4 and gradually worked in a fifth cup through the initial stirring and the kneading.  Unlike the first time, most of the flour got added in at the kneading stage.

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I will say that the dough going into the bowl to rise appeared to be pretty much the same as my first attempt, so perhaps my mistake wasn’t fatal the first time.  In my climate, 5 cups of flour total seems to be the maximum that my dough can incorporate.  The dough went into an oiled bowl to rise, be divided in half, and formed into loaves.

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After a short rise, I actually corrected a mistake I hadn’t realized I made the first time.  I think because my original plan had been to boil water and pour it into a glass baking dish to sit under the bread while it baked, I hadn’t changed my strategy once I changed my plan.  I decided at the last minute to use a shallow dutch oven, but instead of boiling the water in it, I still boiled the water in my kettle and filled the cold pan.  Of course this reduces the water temperature quickly which makes for a less steamy oven for the bread.

056This time I was able to boil the water in the dutch oven.  I noticed the oven window fogged over right away so I’m sure I had a better humidity level during this second attempt.

I started with a cold oven (mistake corrected!) and a much hotter pot of boiling water and set the oven to 400 degrees.  The bread continued to rise as the oven heated but I still really only needed about 42 minutes of baking time total.054 055057

Ironically, my bread loaf went into the freezer for another day so I’m not sure how it turned out.  My mom has started eating hers and said she liked it.  I’m not sure if dad tried it.  Either way, it’s a nice recipe since it can be started and finished in 2 hours and it doesn’t take a lot of work.  The most active time is the 8 minutes or so of kneading.

Onward with the yeast project!


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