1. It's cheaper (unless you buy wondersuperyuck bread, which doesn't count)
2. It's healthier (no more weird preservatives that will keep my digestive system in tact 736 years past my death)
3. It's such a wonderful, house-warming past time which will make my heart feel more whole (no promises there, folks)
Well, I am quite the baker. And I have baked bread before. Nothing to it, right? Just a little bit of work -- and if I use the bread attachment on my kitchenaid, I don't even have to do that horrible awful kneading for ten mintues. Yay, bread!
Well, it didn't quite work out that way.
This is a photo of my husband feeding my first, second, and third loaves to the birds -- I have no idea how he was even able to tear those chunks of bricks into small pieces. Oh -- sorry, I just remembered he didn't throw the second. I didn't even bother to bake that loaf, I just (sadly) threw out the lumpy dough, I was so angry. Nothing rose. Not at all. Not after using brand-new yeast, active or quick, thermometers to test the temperature of the water, good kneading... nothing. I am normally SO much better than that. [pout]
So I read up a bit, found out that you can salvage a bread that didn't rise the first go around by mixing a bit more yeast into it, and tried that with the 4th loaf. It came out... edible.
As you can see, it's only slightly brick-like. There are some air bubbles, but you can see the marks from the knife. You shouldn't see knife marks in bread. [sigh]
So I tried again. I read a science of cooking book, and learned a bit about the whole flour-protein-yeast mixture (I will spare you the scientific details). I bought some wheat gluten and decided to let it rise for extra time just to be sure it came out right... but perhaps I should have been checking it. That wheat gluten... boy. It sure makes bread rise somethin' fierce.
Here is my lovely, well-risen bread. Look at that rise.
Look at that gorgeous crumb. So fluffy. So soft. Ah, bread. How I do love thee.
I pulled it out of the oven, my husband salivating. Mmmm.... We tasted it.
Hmm. Kinda tasteless.
Then I remembered -- I didn't add salt. Not ANY. No wonder it had no flavor and rose like the dickens. It rose so much, it caved:
So, yeah -- bread. I plan on making more. One day, I may even get it right.