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.