French Bread Rolls…(prep.. if you can call it that!)

Famous last words….“seems pretty easy”

Oh let me count the ways I think I screwed this up. Yeast is such a pain!

IMG_0976I would have bet money that I put warm enough water together with the yeast and sugar. But after I mixed them together and let stand, it didn’t really get ‘creamy’ as I read it should. Maybe too much water, but I don’t know. When I felt it, cold. Not warm. IMG_0977

Naturally this concerned me so I held the bowl over a warm burner for a little while… and then for maybe a little while longer, until I just became completely insecure. I just don’t know what ‘creamy’ means, especially given the fact that maybe the water was not as warm as I thought it should be. I’m afraid I may have ‘activated’ the yeast too quickly in this process. Sucks! (Image taken on cold burner, by the way!).

Even so, I carried on. Added the flour gradually, but I think I may not have put enough in before I took it out for kneading.. it was relatively sticky. I kept adding tiny amounts of flour in the kneading process to get that to go away but I’m not sure I succeeded. My lack of experience with proper dough is truly showing!
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The recipe said to knead for 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Well, it was definitely smooth, and it had definitely be longer than 8 minutes. I just wasn’t sure if I had to add more flour before I was truly ‘kneading it’. So, in a nutshell, it was chaos- in the sense that I was admitting the possibility of defeat. In terms of elasticity, I’m sorry but, how elastic? When I poke it, it would sort of bounce back but not completely… and if I kept kneading it, I’d keep heating up the dough so it would become sticky again. I was afraid that if this continued, it’d just be a block of dough. When I pulled it apart, it did stretch a good bit but it did break eventually. I didn’t know what this meant ha.

Again, lack of experience.. Being my second attempt with yeast, I’m not feeling overly confident.

But, I hope each time I’ll learn the lessons that will eventually bring great bread!

It’s rising right now, by the stove. It sort of rose, but again, I don’t expect it to go crazy. That’d be insane. I will say, it won’t just sit for an hour- I’m going to let it sit for at least 3.

Before & After First Rising

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Considering I didn’t even think the dough would risIMG_0989e, let alone double in volume (or so I’d say)… I’m feeling pretty good right now! I had to deflate the dough as the recipe said I would, and then proceeded to break it down into 15 even pieces (I tried for 16 but wasn’t gonna make it)- putting them on a greased baking sheet. Now they need to rise for another 40 minutes, which, for me translates into 2 hours or so, before putting them in the oven 🙂 Surprised the dough came out as light and puffy. As I was deflating, I could practically see and feel the bread texture that will hopefully come through to the very end. SO EXCITING!

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