I'm sorry that I checked out on the play-by-play during the day, but we had Ashley over for a birthday dinner last night, so I had few other little things to think about. I did manage to snap pictures so that I could show you now.
Ok, so when I last left you, I was in tears over my exploding yeast and milk fortified potato flakes. However, Mrs. Linda (my MIL and the holder of this recipe) saw the blog and called me with some reassurance. While she was not sure what the milkey potatoes would do to things, she did say that the explosions were, not only normal, but a good sign that my yeast was healthy and active. She also strongly encouraged me to ride it out, bake the loaves, and understand that bread making was an art not a science. I just needed some practice.
I received this little pep talk while I was out running errands (one of which was to buy the proper kind of potato flakes for my next batch of bread), and when I came home, I was greeted by this magnificent site:
Can we talk about how my heart flipped over??!!! It has risen! It has risen indeed!!!!! Y'all this was the first time anything I've ever attempted has actually risen. Let that sink in... Oh my goodness, it felt so good.
I soldiered on to the next step, and once you get going in this particular bread-making process, your kitchen will always have three rising processes going on, like this:
(None of those burners are on, BTW. I think that this is the warmest/least drafty part of my home, and I'm so excited that you're all getting a peak at my messy burners :))
Here's a nice little picture sequence. Plop the risen dough in the pans (no kneading required!):
Mrs. Linda's bread recipe:
Starter: 2 cups warm water, 3/4 cup sugar, large package of yeast (2 1/4 tsp if you buy it in bulk at Sams), 3 Tbl instant potato flakes (I hope we all learned that they are supposed to be plain). Put in mason jar with little holes in the lid and let stand in warm place for 8 hrs.
Dough: 6 cups bread flour, 1 Tbl salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 cup warm water, 1 1/2 cup starter. Mix and cover with a towel to rise for 6-8 hrs. (Add to/remake your starter).
Punch bread down (I actually got to do that this time!) and divide into 3 greased bread pans. Let rise 6-8 hours. (Mix second batch of dough)
Bake at 325 for 30 minutes, and then call and tell me about how it's the best bread you've ever put in your mouth :)