Tuesday Thyme: Yeast

Does anyone else have an impossible time getting their dough to rise? Yeast requires a warm, moist (sorry everyone who hates this word) environment. I learned a technique to help this process. It is called a proofing oven.

How to make a proofing oven:
1. Put boiling water in an oven-safe bowl on the floor or bottom rack of the oven.
2. Turn oven to 175 degrees.
3. When oven has heated, turn oven off.
4. Oil a plate and put prepared dough on it, cover with plastic wrap, and place in oven.
5. Leave the dough in there for as long as the recipe says to let it rise, or leave it in for about 30 minutes.
6. Before baking, remove the bowl of water from the oven.
NOTE: Once you take the dough out of the proofing oven, it will continue to rise.

We have the worst oven ever and it still worked!

Now, my most favorite new recipe. I took these to a party and everyone loved them.

Soft Pretzels

4 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ¼ cups warm water
3 ½-4 ½ cups bread flour
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

4 cups water
½ cup baking soda
kosher salt for sprinkling

1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes.
2. In your mixer, combine 3 ½ cups flour, ½ cup sugar and 1 ½ tsp. salt.
Make a well in the center, add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix with dough hook. Add more flour if dough is too sticky. Knead 3-4 minutes.
3. Cover dough with plastic wrap, and set in on a greased plate in proofing oven to rise until it has doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.
4. Gently punch down dough. Before shaping, start preheating the oven to 425 degrees, using convection bake setting.
5. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each one until it’s about 15-inches long and the thickness of your finger. Twist each into a pretzel.
6. Mix water and baking soda in large pan. Bring to a boil.
7. Dip each pretzel in boiling soda water for 5 seconds. Place on greased baking sheet, lightly sprinkle with kosher salt and bake for 8-10 minutes.

8. Serve with mustard, honey butter, cinnamon sugar, cream cheese butter, or whatever you want!


Holly Janeen said...

um, can you come to my house and give me PERSONAL bread lessons? i am so freakin serious.
it is my dream to make such scrum-diddily-umptious things... and i just cannot seem to find the knack.

oh please come save me.

Thais said...

Dude this way beyond my baking capabilities. I can cook, but not so good with the baking!

Camille said...

If I start out my yeast and don't see it froth up a little, I always throw it away and start over, because I HATE putting so much effort into a batch of bread, only to have it not rise.

I've never seen anyone let their dough rise on a plate before. I always use a bowl.

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