Baking bread might feel intimidating in advance. The fear to screw it up can make one chicken out and instead keep buying bread as usual at the store. Personally, I am very picky about which bread to eat, and learned over time that home baked bread bits them all when made properly.
Fist of all, relax and find a good bread recipe on Internet. Print it out or place your lap top with the recipe on a kitchen counter. Make sure no one is home to distract you, since baking bread for a first time will feel like creating magic. There is no place for loud noises and domestic squabble. Then gather the ingredients. Drive to the closest store to get what is lacking and, still remaining in creative and good mood, hurry back to your kitchen. The feeling will be as if you want to sing, to fly, as if you never did anything more exciting before.
The apron, the bowls, the spoons, the cups, all will be gathered in no time. Now arrange all the needed ingredients in proper doses on a table. Then carefully read the instructions. You can mark on a printed paper what process is done after what including which ingredients. Circle the ingredients that go together into one stage, the next and the next. Make notes on the same paper to remember to divide ingredients if needed. I can not do the circling on a lap top instructions, that is why I prefer to print the recipe instead. On your first try to bake bread do not double or triple the doses as that can create confusion. Make sure you can bake the amount of loafs shown in the recipe which is usually one or two.
Now, that you have poured the flour, added eggs, for example, milk, oil, sugar and yeast, mix the dough until it reaches some firmness, place it on a slightly floured table and enjoy kneading by hand. Do not knead longer than needed and do not get stingy on time either. Kneading the dough is very enjoyable process. The raw dough has an incredibly pleasant aroma. It is also becoming pleasant to the touch as you go, as if it becomes alive, and eventually is ready to be placed into a warm place to rise. My idea of warm place is an oven turned on warm setting for 2 minutes.
While the dough is resting and rising in that warm, draft free environment, cozied up inside of a spacious, oiled bowl and covered, you have time to relax along with having great expectations for your day. I mean, when everything went perfect from the beginning, it gives you wings, it soothes, as if newfound love.
In an hour or so get the well risen dough out of the oven and flatten it some by pushing and punching. Now the dough feels not only soft, springy, but also warm and even more aromatic. Dealing with it right now is an emotionally high moment, pure joy. It ends up laying heavy and cuddly as if a sleeping puppy. Place it into a baking dish and leave to rise again. Meanwhile clean up the creative mess in a kitchen and still have time left for uncomplicated distraction. Remember, staying in a good mood creates proper vibes for the dough to rise. Then carefully brush the sweet bunch with proper egg wash. Finally, bake it, filling the house with the sweet smell of success.
The culmination of your joyous work is when the bread is taken out of the oven's scorching belly. It is now golden, with a brown crown of the crust, and hot, hot, hot. The look of perfectly formed, smooth, breathing loaf will make your heart melt. It will make your day special and insert in you a hard to get rid of craving to recreate the bread making experience again and again.
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