I’ve always told my kids it’s ok to make mistakes. We learn from our mistakes.
As the age-old saying goes, “you never touch a hot stove twice.”
And so, I attempted to make a very easy Raisin Bread yesterday and failed miserably.
The best part was that my kids watched me fail, get frustrated, and try again.
I was dubious of the active yeast that I had purchased for the bread making. It was the first time I used a yeast that didn’t require mixing with water.
When, after 90 minutes covered in a bowl in a warm place, my yeast did not rise one centimeter, I knew the recipe was doomed.
So, I threw out the mangled floury mess, went to the store to purchase new yeast, and tried again.
Making bread is the ultimate baker’s delight. It truly is like conducting a fun science experiment (that is, when everything goes as planned).
There’s no greater feeling of success in the kitchen (for me) when your bread dough has risen twice in size! But, like a science experiment, all conditions must be EXACT. The yeast is a living organism and requires very specific temperatures and altitudes to rise. Make sure you pay specific attention to the directions on your yeast packet. The success of your bread making starts HERE!
So, attempt #2 was not only a success, but, my kids LOVE it. We’ve enjoyed the some slices as a snack after school and toasted with some preserves in the morning.
Don’t be intimidated to make bread. Give yourself the latitude to mess up a few times. I promise, the first time a recipe is successful, you’ll be up for more challenges…..
makes 2 loaves
from Southern Food
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup soft butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 cup scalded milk
- 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine raisins, butter, sugar, salt, and hot milk; stir to dissolve the sugar. Let mixture cool to lukewarm.
- Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the flour; beat well. Add yeast mixture and the beaten eggs; mix to blend well.
- Add enough of the remaining flour to make a soft but stiff dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in a lightly buttered bowl, turning once to grease the surface. Cover with a clean dish cloth; let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down and divide into 2 portions. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape into 2 loaves; place in 2 greased 8x4x3-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise again for about 45 to 60 minutes, until almost double.
- Bake at 375° for 25 minutes, placing foil over loaves the last 10 minutes, if loaves are getting too brown. Remove loaves from pans and let cool on racks.