I'd consider myself a baker. A really good baker too. I bake cookies, cakes, etc. But for some reason I've always shied away from any recipe that called for yeast. I must have had a traumatic experience where it didn't work for me or something. I probably just used bad yeast.
Last night I had the fortune of spending an evening with Sophistimom. I kind of came when she wasn't expecting me and she was in the throws of testing recipes for her new cookbook. One of her recipes was lemon pull-a-part bread. And the recipe required yeast. So I partook of her culinary wisdom. And I accomplished my first goal of baking bread from scratch. And having it work.
She taught me a few things about yeast:
1. She prefers to use instant yeast (which is smaller)
2. You don't need to proof instant yeast
3. But if you do, the water needs to be warmer than you think.
4. You can keep it in the freezer
So now I'm not so afraid of yeast. I'm excited to make more bread (Monica! I'm ready!) and make this recipe again. But I'll need Jaime to give me the modified version. We changed it a bit.
While the dough was rising, Jaime taught me how to make miso soup. We happened to have an egg white that we didn't use for the bread so we threw it in there and made egg drop miso. It was delicious, although Jaime said she has made better. I can't wait to try it myself. Miso soup on a cold day is one of the most comforting things you can do for yourself.