Someone get Sarah Lee on the phone. She has some ‘splaining to do!
I am on a mission. A mission for the perfect soft white sandwich bread. A bread that makes Wonderbread wonder why it exists. A recipe without preservatives out the wazoo, and I know exactly what’s going in it. Nice, organic, soft, spongy, flavorful, bread, that doesn’t cost the better part of a $10 bill. I know it’s out there, and I’m going to find it.
I found a recipe out of The Chef’s bakery cookbook from culinary school. It’s pretty good. The flavor is there. The texture is still a little dense. I know there are many different elements and factors as to why it could end up the way it does, and believe me, I’ve tried so many variations. My almost 4 year old has the ingredients recipe basically memorized because we’ve tried it so many times, with slight variations to see if it makes a difference.
And I decided to do a bread journey to find the perfect recipe.
I was so motivated and psyched! I knew I had found a good recipe. I puffed out my chest with full confidence that I was just about to make the best bread ever. And God said “Nonono. You’re a little cocky. Let’s make you learn something from this”. And darn it all not only did all the wind from my sails fall, but so did the wonderful “air” from my dough. It fell. And it fell hard. I’ve never seen dough that was so soft with such a lovely gluten structure turn to such mush. It was a sight. A gruesome disgusting sight.
I geared up for another attempt yet again. Everything was on point. It felt even better than last time. And then I got to the second rise, which was at 10:30 pm. At 1 am, it wasn’t as risen as I wanted, so I made an executive decision to let it rise over night. I figured I would just have really huge airy bread. It had happened in other recipes before. I woke up at 7am to find another humility lesson had befallen me and befallen on my bread. What. In. The. World.
I’ll spare the you the details because it’s quite honestly as boring as watching bread rise. I’ve written them out and pushed the delete button until my finger was sore.
I feel as deflated as my bread. I know I will find the problem, I am too stubborn not to. I know this is just a learning experiment to when I DO get on the other side, I will know the ins and outs of bread making, and hopefully help troubleshoot similar issues with fellow bread makers.
Bread making is worth it. This is the chant I will keep repeating as I rock myself in the dark corner of a room far away from the oven.
For everyone out there who is also facing adversaries, keep calm and try again. And again, and again and againandagainandagain…
Here’s to more attempts…and grey hairs.