Yeast: You're Friendly Friend
Its tiny and there's bunches of them. You've invited them into your home, but how to you help them flourish?
Yeast like warm, snuggly environments. They like to rest. The proofing is the reaction of the yeast while it munches the sugar. It farts out a bunch of CO2 making the frothy head. But yeastie wants to stay, he needs a home. Wheat gluten helps him build a strong home and gives you healthy vitamin E and protein. Yeastie will sicken and die if its cold in his new home. I like to microwave my flour home before I pour in the yeast mixture. After you pour the yeast into a warm flour-y home, mix around so the flour is moist. Cover and set aside for 10 minutes. This is an important phase and not laziness. This is where yeastie bonds and the gluten strands are created. This ensures a good texture, small crumb, high rise bad-ass loaf of bread.
Kneading ensure proper mixing of the ingredients and lets you bond with the food you're making by hand for those you love.
Microwave proofing-the best method if you've got a p.o.s oven like me. A mug of water in the microwave, fire it up for 1.5 or so. Open quickly stick bread in. Time for 35 minutes. Take bread out & punch it down, reheat the ol' mug of water again. Stick bread in. Time for 35 more minutes. Oh hello bread you're ready to be baked or rise 1 more time.
The baking 911.com page is excellent. Bread is really finicky. If its raining, it won't rise as high. If you look at it sideways, it'll fall.
Remember to not OVER-RISE. I know you want the high and mighty bread. But if it turn alcoholic smelling, you've either spilled your beer on it or its ethanol producing/yeast is exhausted.
YOU CAN DO IT!