stress baking: raised breads edition

Work has been stressful. Summer session is always really intense. Add two new course preps and a project on top of that and you’ve got…someone who needs to bake.

Growing up, my mom always baked the bread that we used. There was no better treat than a warm slice of buttered bread straight from the oven.

Over the past week or so, I’ve decided to tackle raised breads for the first time. I started with a pizza crust because I had a craving for margarita pizza. It turned out like this:

059

my first pizza!

It was good because anything is good if it’s slathered in mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and basil. However, the crust functioned only as a vehicle to get said cheese, tomatoes, and basil into my mouth. I used regular wheat flour, and the crust was still too thin and too crunchy and not very tasty. In the future, I’ll buy some better quality flour to improve the flavor, but I’m not quite sure how to get the crusts to raise. I think I’m over handling the dough, but I’m not sure how else to spread it over the pizza pan. Maybe I’m spreading it to thin?

Next up, I attempted a pizza crust with gluten-free flour. It was disgusting. There was no rise to it and the flavor was a little worse than blah. Unfortunately, I forgot to take photographic evidence of the g.f. pizza crust to prove how ugly it was.

After that I tried another makeshift pizza. This was going to be an olive and asiago cheese loaf, but I turned it into sort of a pizza thing, and it was really tasty. I still want to make some kind of green olive and cheese loaf because: yes. Here is a picture of the pizza on olive and cheese crust:

experimental pizza on green olive and cheese loaf dough

experimental pizza on green olive and cheese loaf dough

Lastly, I made a loaf of gluten-free bread using the oven recipe on the back of Pamela’s Gluten-Free Bread Mix (and added a few secret ingredients that my mama taught me!) and it actually turned out! The dough rose and then rose some more when I baked it, and now I have a loaf of bread that I’ve been using for sandwiches and eating toasted with butter. Here’s a picture:

first g.f. loaf of bread

first g.f. loaf of bread

Tonight, I’m trying pizza with wheat flour dough again, and it already looks like I’m going to have a problem with a flat crust. Wish me luck!

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