On Sunday I made my first steps into the world of yeast. It wasn't a totally successful expedition, but it wasn't a total failure either. I had been thinking about trying a bread recipe for awhile, but then when it was announced that the theme for this month's Waiter There's Something In My... event would be bread, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to take the plunge. When I was growing up my mom never had any luck baking with yeast. I remember her many failed attempts and the resulting frustration. So, I was a bit nervous to say the least. But I tried to be as prepared as I could be- I had my instant read thermometer, I turned the thermostat up since it was kind of cold in the apartment, and I preheated the oven far in advance to heat up my tiny kitchen. I was going to take a crack at a Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bread I saw on bakingsheet, now Baking Bites. Well, the first time round did not go so well. I guess it's kind of hard to know what each step is supposed to look like when you've never done it before. I'm not sure I got enough reaction out of my yeast, then I started mixing things, but it never really seemed to come together. I used the larger of the flour measurements, but it still had the consistency of runny oatmeal. I made an attempt to knead it, but that was just unbelievably messy. I scrapped the dough, and decided to take a crack at another recipe. I noticed a recipe on the back of the flour package that seemed easy. The steps were different than the Cinnamon Raisin bread, so I thought I'd give it a shot. I decided to add cinnamon to the Whole Wheat Walnut Bread recipe, but that was the only part of the recipe that I changed, initially. This time around I decided to use my stand mixer, instead of my arm and a wooden spoon. I measured out and mixed all the ingredients. As it mixed I had something along the same consistency of the last bread dough. I called my mom, who had little advice for me. I called Stephanie who didn't answer because she was at Edgefest. And I just decided to start chucking in more flour. I also decided to proof my yeast, to see if that was somehow the problem. So, between adding flour I measured out some warm water and sugar. But before I was able to add the yeast my mixer started making a funny noise. It was working hard to mix my dough because it was actually the consistency of dough! I whipped the mixer off, floured my work surface and quickly went to work kneading, lest things progress downhill in any moment I wasted. I worked my dough, with relative ease, and once I'd finished I put it back in the bowl, on top of the oven for warmth, and covered. I let it rest for a bit over and hour and it had actually risen! I was so surprised that it had worked. Mistake #1 occurs here- I probably should have let is risen even more. I removed it from the bowl, molded it into the loaf shape and put it in the pan. I let it rise again on the oven. Mistake #2- should have let it rise more again. Popped it in the oven and 40 minutes later a lovely looking loaf emerged. It did look lovely, but it didn't look that big. And when I cut into it yesterday it was very dense. So, next time I think letting my dough rise much more at each stage will help. Please correct me if I'm wrong though. I'm not unhappy with the way the loaf turned out. I set out to make a loaf of bread, and that was the end result. I think it could definitely be better, but since I had serious doubts that I could even get something remotely resembling bread I would say it was overall a success. However, I'm going to take another crack at working with yeast this weekend, because I would like a better WTSIM entry. But, for those who are interested, you can click the link above for the recipe. The addition of cinnamon was nice, but I should have added more sugar to help balance it.