There are few baking experiences more satisfying than making a loaf of bread. Nothing fancy – a tall, golden brown loaf with a delicate crumb is so simple and rewarding, and the aroma of it baking in the oven fills the house with love and comfort. Last Christmas my good friend, Debby, at A Feast For the Eyes, introduced me to the wonderful recipes and products available on-line at King Arthur Flour’s website. Debby is a fantastic baker and you will find more KA recipes and baking tips if you stop by for a visit. I have bought KA flours for years at my local market but wasn’t aware of all of their other products that make baking so much easier and more successful. They ran a free shipping special a few weeks ago on their website and I knew that was my chance to purchase some heavy products that I wouldn’t otherwise try. My first baking attempt with my new products was Cinnamon Bread because slices of it toasted sounded wonderful with some homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam or honey and it gave me a chance to try handling the dough more than just shaping it and baking it.
There are a number of KA products that improve the quality of homemade bread. Their ” loaf improvers” as they call them include products like vital wheat gluten, baker’s special dry milk and easy roll dough improver that you can read about here. Believe me, they make a big difference in the texture and flavor of a loaf of bread.
My first attempt to make a recipe of cinnamon bread started out perfectly. The dough was easy to handle, it rose beautifully and smelled heavenly while it was baking. But everything went south the last ten minutes in the oven and this is what the loaf ended up looking like…very disappointing. I called the customer service line at King Arthur Flours and the very helpful person I spoke with told me that there were several possible reasons for this collapse: too much moisture in the dough, over rising or too low an oven temperature. I knew my oven is right on so it had to be one or both of the other options. On my second try I was very careful about the water I added and made sure the dough didn’t do any more than double on the first rising. I used instant yeast so it didn’t need to be dissolved in liquid.
My second try was just what I hoped for and this morning for breakfast we are enjoying our cinnamon toast with jam and honey. I know that many of you are as nervous as I am about using yeast and hope you will check out the KA products that make the whole experience so much easier. I know I shouldn’t do it, but I’m going to have another slice of toast with my second cup of coffee.
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY TO YA’
NOTE: I didn’t receive any compensation in any form from King Arthur Flours. I just love their products and their very helpful customer service and want to share that with you.
To stay up to date with the latest recipes and travel posts from Wives with Knives, please subscribe here.