Last weekend I decided to bake some bread. Normally I don't eat too much bread, and stick to tortillas and pita, but nothing beats a good loaf of home made bread. This time I opted for an oatmeal wheat loaf. I wanted to document the rising process, so there are a lot of pictures. First up is the dough as I finished kneading it.
After I was done kneading the dough, I put it in a big red bowl to rise. Here is its initial size.
One hour later, the dough had doubled in size. Here it is in the same bowl.
At this point, I punched down the dough, and let it rise for another half hour. Then, I took it out of the bowl and formed two loaves with it.
After a short period of letting the dough rest, I transferred it into bread pans for its final rising session.
According to the recipe I used, I was supposed to let the bread rise again until it had doubled (again) in size. I got a little impatient, though, and baked the bread after it had risen to this size.
Everyone says that patience is a virtue. This is especially true when baking bread. Allowing the bread time to rise lets the yeast do its job and develop air pockets within the dough. When you rush the process, the yeast does not have time to aerate the bread, and you end up with a denser loaf. This is what happened to me. Despite its denseness, it was still pretty tasty, and made great toast. Here is the final product. I ate one loaf, and put the other in the freezer to save for later.