Respectfully disagree. I find bread is very forgiving, and that there are all kinds of in between. It may disappoint in that it is “too this” or “not enough that”, but most often it is bread and it is edible (and if not, there are always bread crumbs to be made).
Alas (or fortunately) my first attempt at bread baking: A Cautionary Tale
Setting:Late ‘70s. Bread baking was a lot less sophisticated then. I had a recipe for “French Bread” from an old sorta bf. So … I Did The Bread Stuff. A lovely-looking loaf emerged, with a nice crust. I sawed off a good hunk, buttered it, and chomped. Shattered a molar (tbh, the tooth was full of fillings and evidently fragile). Had to trundle to the dentist for a restoration/crown. So it was a very expensive loaf! Rule #1: do not trust recipes from exes of any level. Rule #2 is never knit a sweater for a boyfriend/significant other . This rule is well-known among knitters because of the similar havoc that will ensue. It is obviously a corollary to Rule # 1.
ETA: I characterize that fiasco as the Betty Crocker Black Apron Award for Baking Disasters.
if its edible serve it. this is a home baked pie, not a professional effort (or a store bought crust) so congratulations! You do not have to display the whole pies, I suggest serving cut pieces with some whipped cream on them.
I started baking bread when I lived in a food coop senior year in college in 1976. Each resident was required to take a turn baking 6 loaves of bread each week. We had trusted treasured recipes we all shared and when you were having a tough week academically, some residents were known to make Irish soda bread to save time.
We also each were responsible for a 3 course dinner for the entire residence every 3 week so so. I am so glad I had this experience! Saved a lot of money living in the co-op, especially because the dining service food was so bad back then there were many pizza runs.
I’ve been baking with yeast ever since and I’ve never had yeast fail. I used to proof but stopped decades ago. I’ve been using SAF instant red kept in the freezer for a really long time. Before that, I used the little packets of Fleischmann yeast, always kept in the freezer. I did use outdated a couple of times with that, only by a couple of months, always worked fine.
Maybe I was just lucky. Maybe the freezer helped me be lucky!
I’ve been baking with yeast for 50 years, starting in my mid teens. Always used Fleischmann’s active dry in packets stored at room temp. Never proofed and never had a problem. About 20 years ago the yeast, with plenty of time left to go until expiration failed. Ever since then I’ve been proofing with a pinch of sugar just to be on the safe side. It only takes 5 minutes and imo helps jumpstart the rising process so I’m not out any time or trouble. During the pandemic I started buying active dry in jars and now keep it in the fridge. I know from past discussions that I am definitely in the minority here when it comes to proofing yeast, but it gives me peace of mind. Especially since I still knead by hand.
I would love to be able to knead by hand! It’s the most relaxing, meditative action for me. Unfortunately I developed a lot of arthritis at an early age, and my hand condition means I mostly use the food processor for kneading. The kneading effort is certainly worth proofing the yeast…time protection for all the kneading is very significant!
Ugly Bread! I’ve been making sourdough successfully for years. But I guess this guy had to show up for Halloween. I’ve been trying to revive my starter after not baking all summer in the heat, apparently it wasn’t ready yet. This is the lowest, doughy, ugly bread I’ve ever had. It wasn’t edible either! Blick!
I’m not going to have a baking fail, because I’m not even going to try. Why? Behold: a friend of mine is visiting her family in France. This is what they picked up at the local boulangerie to celebrate Halloween -