Celebrating Conquering Yeast-Ophobia - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 294134

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating Conquering Yeast-ophobia 
Jan. 10, 2013 12:12 pm 
Updated: Jan. 17, 2013 2:51 pm

I hate sports (please don't hate me), yet I have a competitive personality. Not necessarily with others. Mainly with myself. I hate to not be able to do something I really want to do. For instance, years ago I could never make fudge. That soft ball/hard ball stage beat me every time! Then I discovered the recipe on the back of the marshmallow cream, and I made chocolate fudge. And I found the one on the back of the box of Colonial light brown sugar and made peanut butter fudge. I had overcome my fear of making fudge or at least of not being able to cook my two favorite kinds. (Let's not discuss that I still don't know how to judge the soft ball/hard ball stage with just my finger and a cup of water.)

Another thing I haven't been able to conquer has been yeast products. The first time I made Clone of a Cinnabon, they turned out great. I tried to make them again, and they never did rise. What had I done differently? No clue. I tried to make another cinnamon roll this past Christmas. They didn't rise either, yet I thought I had followed directions to the letter. That just irritated me to the point that I decided I was going to make cinnamon rolls or die trying! I had heard that instant yeast was a no fail thing. So I ordered some from King Arthur Flour, along with a canister to store it in the freezer and a cute little measuring spoon that measures out exactly 2 1/4 teaspoons, the amount called for in most yeast recipes. I was prepared!

So, I decided one evening to make the cinnamon rolls with the intent of freezing most of them. I had heard Keri say on the Buzz that she freezes the rolls in a disposable loaf pan, along with the frosting in a ziplock bag. So that was my intent as well. I assembled all ingredients, placed them in my bread machine, and waited to see if they would rise that first time. Success! So far, that is. So I rolled the dough out and finished the process, cutting 18 rolls instead of 12 because I remembered how humongous they had been the only time they had turned out for me. I put 3 rolls each in 6 loaf pans, freezing 5 but putting 1 in the frig to make the next morning. I could hardly wait to get those rolls out and on the ironing board to rise. (You see, my kitchen is not yeast friendly, so I turn on a space heater in the laundry room and close the door.) A little while later, I went back and saw beautiful, thick cinnamon rolls! If I didn't mess up the baking part, I would have 3 delicious cinnamon rolls to show for my efforts. I gently placed them in the oven, set the timer, and waited. And out came success! And in came my granddaughter and her mother, just in time to eat with me. I must admit I was so excited this recipe turned out for me this time.

But was it a fluke? Could I make something else with yeast? The next day, I decided to try Sweet Dinner Rolls. With a little more confidence, I tackled assembling the ingredients and putting them in the bread machine. Excited to see that the first rise "took," I finished making the recipe and got the most delicious, soft, fluffy rolls ever...or at least the most delicious, soft, fluffy ones I had ever made. 

So now, I am full of confidence that I can do this. I decided to make one more recipe before cutting calories and going on my let's-lose-this-extra-weight-I-still-need-to-lose plan. I decided to make Amish White Bread. I did cut the recipe in half in case I messed up, and I assembled it in my bread machine. But it...was...perfect! I used it to make homemade grilled cheese sandwiches that night for dinner. This bread took the ordinary grilled cheese up ten notches in my mind.

I feel that I can use yeast now. That I can successfully make other recipes calling for yeast. Now the next thing I need to conquer is the kneading by hand process...or maybe in my Kitchen Aid. 

Jan. 10, 2013 12:18 pm
I would be remiss if I didn't show my appreciation to so many AR Peeps who answered my bazillion questions I had over the past few days. (Too many people to name for fear I would leave some out) They helped me with everything from putting the ingredients together, to baking, to freezing. Your encouragement gave me the confidence that I COULD DO THIS. Thank you!
Jan. 10, 2013 12:35 pm
Paula I'm so excited for you! It feel great conquering that one thing that always trips you up! I am impressed with all of your results. You have made me hungry!
Jan. 10, 2013 12:55 pm
Saw your "sweet dinner rolls" and voted for them on photo voting. I've been married 35 years and consider myself a pretty competent cook but to this day I have NEVER baked anything with yeast. I share your phobia and am thrilled for your recent dominance over the evil germ!
Jan. 10, 2013 1:03 pm
Thanks, iceemama. I'm not sure my fear is totally conquered. I'm thinking I ought to make something with yeast at least once every two weeks just to stay in practice. Don't you think?
Jan. 10, 2013 1:07 pm
Irayd8 (love your name:), thanks for the vote. I've been married 38 years and just now got the hang of baking with yeast. It's never too late to start. I did warm my bread pan with hot water before using it. I think that might have kept the liquid from cooling off too much before mixing with the yeast. Just ask all these nice AR folks any questions you might have. They will be glad to help you!
Jan. 10, 2013 1:25 pm
Congratulations! Your pics are beautiful and now I'm hungry for grilled cheese and cinnamon rolls...
Jan. 10, 2013 1:27 pm
Way to go! I conquered my fear of yeast recipes a year or two ago when I purchased a used bread machine. I've since made all three of the recipes you mentioned and can vouch for each one. May I suggest the "french baguette" recipe from this site as one of your future endeavors? It is a great recipe, as well!
Jan. 10, 2013 1:46 pm
Mother Ann, thanks...now...go make yourself a grilled cheese :)
Jan. 10, 2013 1:47 pm
Mi, I just watched the French Baguette video. I think I can do that. It will be my next endeavor. I just saved it to my recipe box. Thanks for the suggestion.
Jan. 10, 2013 2:03 pm
Paula-your yeast creations in the kitchen look so yummy. How exciting to make homemade bread.I love the grilled cheese with the Amish white Bread. So good. I haven't tried to make French Bread. I did make the French baguettes. I watched some videos on youtubel for different types of bread. Very informative. I need to make something with that new yeast spoon. What an invention!
Jan. 10, 2013 2:11 pm
Paula, you inspire me in many ways! I need to dust off my bread recipes and get going. Thanks for posting, your pictures are great!
Jan. 10, 2013 2:23 pm
Very happy for you Paula,feels good to grasp something.When i got married 38 years ago,is when i decided i would teach myself to make bread.My first attempt,you could use as a doorstop,so i thought make rolls instead of loaves,those you could use as hockey pucks.Like you i would not admit defeat.I gotta say i make the best brown,and whole wheat bread of anyone i know.I donn't have a bread machine,i like kneading by hand.Gives you time to think,and if your angry,something to smack.Love your pictures.
Jan. 10, 2013 2:25 pm
Way to go Paula! Being a sports fan I won't confuse you with softball/hard ball nor will I get into softball/hardball stages of cooking. I too am a Yeast-ophobia. Think I will try a yeast recipe next time I watch a hardball game on TV.
Jan. 10, 2013 2:39 pm
Lela, get cooking, Girl! You're the one who influenced me to buy that yeast, canister, and spoon in the first place! Ha!
Jan. 10, 2013 2:41 pm
Bibi and Manella, I would love to know what breads you make. Even better, I would love to actually watch someone in person knead bread. It looks like there's an art to it...or a feel to it. I just wish I knew someone who would let me do it with them so they could give me pointers.
Jan. 10, 2013 2:46 pm
bd.weld, believe it or not, I played softball growing up. I was the first baseman...uh...woman. And it's the only sport I understand. I wish someone had educated moms of athletes when my kids were in high school. My son was the football center, and all I cared about was that he got up from under the pile! I never understood the game and still don't. I do appreciate the work it takes to be good, though. And my suggestion to you is that you keep your mind on either watching TV or making bread until you get over your phobia of yeast :)
Jan. 10, 2013 3:49 pm
Paula, I am so excited for you !! What a great feeling you must have conquering that feat! Your beautiful pictures sure make me hungry. I have to admit... the word "YEAST" is not in my vocabulary. Good luck in your future baking.
Jan. 10, 2013 5:46 pm
Awesome Paula :) Yeast is a tricky thing to learn. It took me about 5 years to start making bread and not door stops ;) One bad thing about your cinnamon rolls though... I really want one now :(
Jan. 10, 2013 6:11 pm
Misty - Thanks for dropping by and encouraging me. Rae - I'm amazed at the people who say they made hockey pucks and door stops. I couldn't get the yeast to activate properly to even get the bread to rise! Never got as far as baking door stops. Glad we've both progressed beyond that now.
Jan. 10, 2013 6:12 pm
I could have written a very similar blog when I joined AR. I couldn't get bread to rise no matter what recipe I tried. That is how I found the great people on the Buzz. Someone there suggested I go the other way and use regular yeast and proof it and Hallelujah! I never looked back. I no longer buy bread, rolls, pizza, naan, or pita. It has become second nature. I knew you could do it! Have fun with it
Jan. 10, 2013 6:47 pm
Hi Paula, Wow is the word! I'm so glad for you, you'll never be stopped now because you won! By the way, I think that's one of the prettiest pics of cinnamon rolls I've ever seen. Truly.
Jan. 11, 2013 1:45 am
Great job Paula! Yeast baking is addictive and soon you will be doing all sorts of yeasty things with great confidence. I learned to knead by hand, went through a bread maker stage and now use my KA to turn out several loaves/batches a week. There is nothing better than a grilled cheese made with homemade bread. It is THE comfort food in my opinion. Your rolls looked amazing. I will be interested to see how they work for you coming out of the freezer. Keep us posted.
Jan. 11, 2013 5:49 am
BigShotsMom, Seeker, and Cookin Up a Storm - I've considered making all of our bread. It's just the two of us now, so it wouldn't be hard to keep us stocked. I'm hoping the bread and rolls coming out of the freezer will be just as good as the day I made them. That's yet to be seen. I'm planning on getting another loaf pan of cinnamon rolls out today and letting them thaw to cook for my husband tomorrow. He let me know he hadn't had a chance to taste them :)
Jan. 11, 2013 7:39 am
I just took a piece of the Amish White Bread from the freezer and set it on the counter while I took my shower this morning. When I came back, it was thawed but I nuked it for about 5 seconds to get the chill off. Perfectly delicious!
Jan. 11, 2013 7:44 am
Oh Paula - you're the one I want to talk to - - - I too am "yeast challenged" - - it's not for lack of trying - but I've thrown out more failures than I can count. So I am in the research process now (as we speak) of buying a bread machine - - what bread making machine do you have?? I too want the machine to do the work and then I'd like to finish in the oven - - so it sounds like you've got the kind of machine I want - - please help me - - I want good bread too!!!
Jan. 11, 2013 7:48 am
BTW - your pics look WONDERFUL - your results are "to die for" - - how did you cut your loaf bread so evenly? Thanks again for any "crumbs" you throw my way (lol)
Jan. 11, 2013 8:37 am
luv2cook, I've had my West Bend bread machine for a long, long time. Don't even remember getting it. If I bought it, I know I didn't pay a lot of money for it. As for cutting my bread...I used my electric knife. Today I am going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond just to look at one of those bread slicing gadgets...the kind that helps you to evenly slice. I'm not sure I want another one purpose gadget in the house, though.
Jan. 11, 2013 8:59 am
Thank you Paula - - I'm on the hunt for a machine - - and hopefully I'll have bread - not door jams - soon!
Jan. 11, 2013 10:04 am
Paula, I'm just now finding your blog, but I've been admiring all your wonderful pictures of delicious rolls and breads showing up in the photos lately. I'm not much of a bread/roll eater unless of course the bread is fresh baked out of the oven...then I savor every bite. I actually have a bread machine under my cabinet that my Dad found at a garage sale. Maybe I'll just dust that baby off and make some of those fluffy crescent rolls...or gosh homemade bread grilled cheese. You've obviously inspired me. :)
Jan. 11, 2013 2:18 pm
luv2cook, check out thrift stores and craigslist. I've read on the buzz how some people have bought their bread machines that way.
Jan. 11, 2013 2:21 pm
*Sherri* - Thanks for the encouragement. Enjoy your crescent rolls. They are so good!
Jan. 12, 2013 8:38 am
Thanks Paula - I hadn't thought of trying CL - I'll give that a try!
Jan. 12, 2013 7:56 pm
Awesome job Paula. I think you will find that yeast is very addictive :)
Jan. 13, 2013 12:11 pm
A French bread baking friend always proofed her yeast. Dissolved it in warm water with a teaspoon of table sugar to feed it. Within maybe 10 minutes the mixture will froth up as the yeast consumes the sugar and releases carbon dioxide. It sounds like your earlier attempts had yeast as dead as a doornail.
Jan. 13, 2013 12:35 pm
Thanks, mauigirl - I agree about yeast being addictive. If I weren't needing to lose weight, I would be finding more yeast recipes. vwlinney - I think you are right about the yeast being dead. It was fresh from the store or within the time frame, so I must have done something to either kill it or not activate it. This time I warmed my bread pan every time with hot water so it wasn't cold, hence, cooling down the liquid. I think that might have helped.
Jan. 13, 2013 2:22 pm
You go girl..... You put me up to the challenge now!
Jan. 16, 2013 5:03 pm
Good for you, just started working with yeast, don't you just LOVE the smell of it? Fresh bread oh YUMMY! Love the pictures here!
Jan. 17, 2013 10:40 am
KIM - You can do it! I'm rooting for you. BROKENNECKCOOK - Yes, I DO love the smell. Almost as good as the taste :)
Jan. 17, 2013 2:23 pm
Great work. I have conquered by year problems using the "Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day" book recipes -- no machine, no kneading, embarrassingly easy and so delicious.
Jan. 17, 2013 2:51 pm
I've heard of that book, Dulcinea. In fact, it is on my Amazon wish list. I guess I ought to break down and buy it, shouldn't I? Thanks for reminding me.
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About Me
I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
My favorite things to cook
I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
My favorite family cooking traditions
Holidays bring out the traditions: chocolate chip cheese ball; crockpot chicken and dressing; and broccoli salad, sweet potatoes and butterscotch pie handed down from past generations. Another thing that must be tradition in my family: we all make new recipes when we have company! My mother, sister, daughter, and I all do this. My daddy never understood why we would risk making something we had never made before. Actually, none of us has ever served company a new recipe that didn't taste good.
My cooking triumphs
Cake decorating: wedding cakes, bridal and baby shower cakes, birthday cakes: Little Pirate, Cinderella, Elmo, Strawberry Shortcake. My friends call me Betty Crocker. When my daughter got married, she had a bridal shower where the guests were asked to write something on an apron. My best friend told her if she needed a recipe or help in the kitchen to ask her mother. If she needed a good place to eat out, ask her.
My cooking tragedies
A 4 tier huge wedding cake that fell apart at 2:00am. Thankfully, I still had time to salvage the cake.
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