Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Archive for December 15th, 2011

Afraid To Fail – Silly, But True

Posted by terrepruitt on December 15, 2011

I have a Nia student who bakes bread all the time.  Challah to be exact.  YUM!  Several times when I’ve gone to her house she answers the door with flour on her.  I have another friend who bakes bread and pizza dough and yummy things all the time.  She even makes her own little slider buns.  So cute.  So yummy.  I am a bread lover.  Bread it awesome.  Bread is so versatile.  I love bread.  It is absolutely silly that I don’t make my own bread.  But I was afraid of yeast.  I know that sounds ridiculous, especially to you bread makers, but it is the truth.  The whole “active” and rising and “proofing” just scared me.  What if it wasn’t active?  What if it didn’t rise?  What is proofing anyway?

I was talking with someone who was telling me someone else wasn’t doing something.  We were trying to figure out why.  Why wouldn’t this person want to do that?  The person talking suggested it was because she was afraid and didn’t want to fail and her comment was, “So what?  Fail, but at least you tried and you can do it again.  Do it until you don’t fail.”  Ah-ha!  It was one of those moments.  What I was not doing because I was afraid of failure was much less serious than what we were talking about.  I am being vague to protect the innocent.  🙂  But believe me, yeast is a lot less serious and traumatic than the other situation.  So I realized how silly I was being.  It’s bread.  It’s yeast.  Whoppedee-do, if it doesn’t work.  Granted I wouldn’t want to waste all the ingredients that go into it, but it is not THAT big of a thing.

Dance Exercise, Nia teacher, Nia class, Nia student, Nia San Jose, San Jose NiaI had even bought the yeast a long time ago (well, not THAT long ago because then again, don’t want it not to be able to be activated).  So I decided to start with something I think of as even easier than bread—pizza dough.  Now you might know that I think of both sandwiches and pizza as the perfect foods.  They are bread/grains, veggies, dairy, and meat —- perfect.  Even more perfect because you can eat it with your hands.  Anyway . . . . I found an easy pizza dough recipe.  After going back and forth, “Do I follow the directions on the yeast package or the directions on the recipe?” I decided to just go with the recipe.  Actually, now that I am typing this up, I bought the yeast to make pita bread, but I let it sit until I had the above mentioned conversation at which time I decided to try pizza dough because I felt it was easier.

Anyway . . . my first shot was ok.  The flavor was good but it was very “bready”.  It was REALLY THICK, so I decided on my next try I would split the dough up and make two crust.  But the second one didn’t rise nearly has much.  Ya see, the recipe says to let the dough rise for 30 minutes.  But a few of the comments said they let it sit longer.  So I did that.  I let it sit for hours, then I rolled it out to as large as my pan, which seemed pretty thin to me, but during the baking it puffed up.  It was like thick crust pizza.  So that is why I decided to split it the second time.  But the second time the ball of dough seemed smaller, so I used it all and rolled it thin and it still puffed up.  Not as puffy as the first time, but thicker than I wanted.  I like thick crust, but I was trying to make thin(ner) crust pizza.  After I cooked it —- and we ate it, I thought, “Oh the temperature.”  Was that it?  Did it not rise as much because it was colder the second time?  I didn’t think about that until AFTER all was said and done.  But it was much colder in the house the second time than the first time.  So bready-people/pizza dough makers the temperature that the dough is left to rise in affects it, huh?

Here is a picture of my second pizza.  This is two meals.  Mine is the bottom portion, a half with spinach and mushrooms, and one with just spinach.  The top portion has mushrooms and raw onions for my hubby.  He is not a bready person, but he says he like the pizza even though the crust is REALLY thick.  I will keep at it.  I will experiment and play.  Now that I am not so afraid to fail I can play.  I am sure that one of these days I will get some bad yeast or I will do something wrong, but that is ok, at least I tried . . . . . and I look forward to all the pizza it will give us!

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