Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Making Bricks

Once upon a time, early Americans made their houses out of bricks. They mixed mud, grass, and sometimes manure and shaped the mixture into bricks which they dried in the sun. I make bricks a little differently. First, I put some flour in a bowl. Then I add salt, butter, yeast and warm milk, pray that it rises, put in the oven and viola! One browned, crusty brick for your building pleasure!

I am being sarcastic. Obviously.

I tried to make bread again, this time a super simple recipe for sandwhich bread from an issue of Mother Earth News. And yet again, it did not rise. It got bigger, yes. But double in size? No. I gave it three hours for the first rise and three for the second. You would think that brand spanking new packet of yeast could rise to the occasion if given six gloriously uninterrupted hours of time in a nice warm place. Apparently not. I'm thinking there is something in my body chemistry that kills the yeast the moment I touch the packet.

Gee....I wonder why she's so bad at making bread?
People have been making bread for thousands of year. THOUSANDS. Why can't I tackle this one, seemingly simple task of domesticity? I even screw it up when I do it in the bread machine! I get it. I'm on board with whole foods. Cook from scratch. Good for you, good for the planet. I know, I know. Bread is a big part of my family's day and I would LOVE to be able to make it for them. I'm on try 13. THIRTEEN people!! Thirteen loaves of hard, dense, barely edible, I guess you could call it, bread.
Though my chickens are thoroughly relishing in my failures (they get to eat my rejects) I am not amused.The first person to arrive at my house with a mixing bowl and few hours time gets a prize. Help MEEEEEE!



  1. Oh dear - any chance it could have to do with the climate you live in? I know that can often affect how breads rise...but I don't really know what I'm talking about! I only ever make quick breads that require no rising!

  2. I finally confessed the fact that I don't like yoga. I know I SHOULD like yoga. I know everyone is doing it, and it's good for you, and it will make me svelte and flexible. But I just don't like it. It was a huge relief (and release) to finally acknowledge it.
    Maybe bread isn't your thing. There's a quote I like: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. If you still don't succeed, quit...there's no sense in being a damn fool about it! Haha...I tried the "baking bread" thing and felt so pleasantly domestic. Then I had a KISS moment: Keep it simple, stupid! I buy my bread now. I don't need to add another task to my already insane life.
    I give you permission to give up, if you wish. If not, I'm with Deedee...humidity? altitude? climate? Ask your old lady neighbours for help?

  3. LOL..well I give you credit for trying and trying and trying again! I have never baked bread, other than quick breads so I have no words of advice for you but I really like what Deedee and The Knitty Gritty Homestead have to say!

  4. Well, if only we didn't live in different countries! Come on up here and I will be happy to help! Otherwise, if you aren't keen on making the trip up to Canada (haha), then find a great bakery, and just buy it! Don't beat yourself up, I am sure that you whip up some amazing stuff in the kitchen that many a domestic would envy! Focus on the good, not the bad :).



  5. Okay - there is no reason you should be having this much trouble! Bread dough does very well here in the Valley - I bake bread all the time. We need to talk, Green. I forgot what part of the Valley you live in, but I believe it is on the west side, right? send me an email and we'll hook up.

  6. oh my god thank you! the same thing happens to me. it just happened again. i made my loaf this morning and my friend made hers an hour later. same recipe, same place, same utensils, and the same place to rise. mine didn't, hers did. this is about the 8th time i've had this experience. i didn't have this experience in my 20's. i made bread weekly and never had a problem. i was famous for my bread and salads! it must be something in my body!!