My story about learning to bake bread is a LONG and sad one. When Jared was sick he was not allowed to eat any foods with gluten in them. That made it very difficult to bake bread. He really liked on type of bread that you could buy at the health food store, but it was almost $6 per loaf, and it tasted terrible (in my opinion).
My mission was to learn to bake my own bread so that I could not have to spend money on it, and I could make something edible for both of us.
Apparently, learning to make something complicated to begin with without the most vital ingredient turns out not to be such an easy task. I had bad loaf after bad loaf, and I was sure that I was never going to make it work.
Now that he is feeling much better, he can eat anything he wants. That means that gluten is back on the table, and I could start making bread the traditional way. Let me tell you, that sure made it easier! I went on making a loaf or two of bread for a few months.
However, I decided to grind my own grain, which meant that I was going to have to be making whole wheat bread. That is another thing that makes it complicated and more difficult.
I must say, that I have succeeded this time. The key was actually getting vital wheat gluten and putting it in with the flour. It has helped the gluten develop in the bread so that it could rise and get nice and fluffy.
Today, I looked up a recipe for sandwich bread because I was getting tired of making French loaves. The bread got really big and fluffy. When I cut the bread in half, it looked exactly like a loaf from the store. I was proud of myself.
I ate a nice big slice of it for dinner with jam on it. I was the happiest girl around.