Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Great Bread Experiment

K3 has to do a science project this year.
His project consists of baking bread with different amounts of yeast - more, less, and a control loaf with the right amount. We started last week using the bread machine and a box of mix and just switched out the yeast to put in the different amount. His teacher wanted him to make 3 loaves at once to eliminate some of the variables with the bread machine.
The thing you have to know is besides using the bread machine, I've never made a loaf of homemade bread in my life. My mom used to make bread when I was a kid, so it's not like I've never had any exposure to it, or like I have a hate about making my own bread. I've just never done it before.
Today I got a crash course.
After careful recipe research, the easiest one we could find was one that made two loaves. We cut it in half, measured our ingredients, kneaded, allowed to rise, kneaded again, then baked. I'd show you the end result, but once again, the camera batteries are dead. But let's just say we'll have to do the experiment again, so I'll take pictures next time.
Something went wrong.
The less yeast loaf is the only one that turned out halfway decent. It's much heavier than the control loaf, but it's prettier. The more yeast loaf is just plain weird tasting and didn't rise as much as we thought it would. Our control loaf has an odd texture. It's lighter, but still heavier than it should be. I don't know what we did exactly, but I do have a few ideas. Not enough kneading, our water wasn't hot enough, and not enough salt.
I guess it wasn't bad for a first attempt at bread making, but it stinks for the wasted ingredients, the wasted time, the lump now expanding in my stomach, and the mess in my kitchen.
Oh well. It's all in the name of science. I guess.
That's all.

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