I was scared of bread making for years. I scoured the internet for non-yeast rolls, because I was so convinced that I could never make anything that required proofing or rising. A few years ago I decided that I needed to figure this out, I needed to learn. What’s the worse that could happen?
Over the years I’ve had more than a few flat lumps of dough tossed in the trash, and I’ve even been so frustrated that I’ve actually cried (my poor husband). All the bread fails have lead me to a few yeast discoveries and bread making is now one of my favorite kitchen related activities.
Here are my tips, the ways to reduce the odds of curse words, tears and flat dough:
First, salt can kill yeast, so don’t add it until one of the last steps. Salt is still important to brighten the flavors, so don’t skip it. Just don’t add it at the same time as the yeast.
Second, rapid rise yeast and dry active yeast aren’t the same. Rapid rise yeast needs to activated with liquid between 120 and 130 degrees fahrenheit and dry active yeast needs liquid about 110 degrees, it will be killed at temperatures much higher than that.
Third, check the expiration date! Once yeast expires, it’s actually dead and it won’t work.
Forth, even though the recipe might say, “allow to rise at room temperature until double in size, about 60 minutes,” it might actually take 2 hours, or even three. Especially if your house is cold.
lastly, sometimes, every once in a while, it still just doesn’t work. This is pretty rare for me right now, but occasionally the completely unexplainable bread failure still happens. Even with that, it’s still absolutely worth it. Nothing beats homemade bread.
- 2 cup bread flour
- ¼ cup bakers special dry milk (I use King Arthur Flour)
- 1 packet ( 2 1/2 teaspoons) Rapid Rise yeast (I used Red Star Platinum)
- 1 tbs sugar
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tbs vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature (for dairy free use butter flavored shortening)
- Egg wash (1 egg, 1 tbs water, whisked)
- coarse sea salt
- Yield: 1 loaf, 8 rolls
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add the flour, dry milk, yeast and sugar. Stir to combine.
- Add the coconut milk to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high for 20 seconds, test temperature and repeat until liquid is between 120 and 130 degrees.
- Add the coconut milk to the flour and mix on medium speed until incorporated, and shaggy lumps form.
- Add the egg , oil and salt, mix until well incorporated.
- Add the butter, mixing well.
- The dough will be very soft.
- Mix on medium/high speed until the dough gathers around the dough hook, about 8 minutes.
- Remove from the mixer and place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and allow to sit in a warm room until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Cut the dough into into 8 equal pieces.
- One at a time, flatten each dough piece into a 6-inch circle (resembling a small tortilla).
- Grab the edge of the circle and pull it into the center. Repeat until a tight ball is formed.
- Place the dough balls, smooth side up, into a loaf pan or 8X8 baking pan, in two parallel rows, 4 dough balls in each row.
- Cover and allow to rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour. (*Note: You can also do what is called a “Fridge Rise” if you want to make these a day ahead of time. The second rise will take about 12 hours in the fridge instead of 1 hour in a warm room. As soon as you placed the dough balls in the loaf pan, cover and refrigerate for 12 hours instead of allowing to rise at room temperature. Remove from the fridge the following day and allow to come to room temperature before baking)
- Preheat oven to 375. Brush the tops of each loaf with egg wash, sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake at 375 for 28-32 minutes or until a golden brown.