Bread on the Rise!

I just finished kneading my second batch of bread. I’m using a different kind of yeast this time. In the past I’ve had 1 LB packages of Fleishman’s Instant Yeast, bought at SAM’S Club. I take out 8 Oz and double bag and freeze the rest, taking some out as I need it. Recently I sent my son the the local Maine’s Food and Party Warehouse. http://www.mainesfood.net/locations/forty-fort-18704/  I LOVE this store. I don’t go very often but I do save a lot of money on certain food items. I sent my son to pick up my familiar gold and red package of freeze dried yeast, but he came home with a two pound package of Fleishman’s Active Dry yeast in a white and black vacuumed packed brick.Imagine my surprise when I opened it up and got a whiff and looked at the larger darker yeast granules. Hey! They smell and are the color of the rectangular cornstarch cake yeast grandma used when she taught me how to make bread 42 years ago at age 16. Back then I would crumble the soft yeast into some very warm water and stir in a tsp of sugar to proof it. As time passed and the yeast bricks were harder to find I switched over to Fleishman’s dried yeast. I used 3 of those connected packages for 4-5 loaves of bread. That adds up to 6 and 3/4 tsp of yeast. Today I used 3 and 1/2 tsp of the new yeast to make 2 loaves of bread, then I repeated myself because I usually make two batches and bake all four at the same time. Then I allowed the dough to rise in the fridge for several hours while I catch up on my laundry and get a shower. I swear the slower cold rise bread is better tasting than room temperature raised bread although grandma never put her dough in the fridge! This dough even smells yeastier than the instant yeast, it smells like the old cake yeast.

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Grandma gave me a huge white, enamel flat-bottomed bowl to mix and raise my bread in, but it got a chip in the bottom which turned to rust. Since then I use a few smaller stainless steel bowls and divide up the recipe.

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The old star burst OvenEx pan on the left was bought at an estate sale. Grandma bought me 6 of the plain tin ones for a gift long before I was even married the first time at age 20.

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Grandma taught me to poke the loaf of dough with a fork in three rows, clear to the bottom of the pan. I assume to get rid of air pockets.

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