During the weekend following Thanksgiving I received no less than ten emails from readers and friends containing questions about how to bake bread. It’s not much of a stretch to see why, since lazing around the house (obviously, how I spent the long weekend) is very conducive to bread baking, and bread dough provides lots of time for lazing, so the yeast has time to bring the proper rise.
I was happy to see that many of the emails were from first-time bread bakers, but quickly discovered that with bread, it’s hard to answer general baking questions, such as, “Dear Lauren, How does one go about making bread?” in a succinct email. I’d start out discussing gluten development, find myself going off on a tangent about the science involved , only to realize that (four paragraphs later), I still hadn’t touched upon the subject of yeasts and leaveners. I’m pretty sure that I ended up causing confusion instead of clarity.