Success and Failure

I finally did it. I made bread. The flavor was really good, but guess what. I suck at baking!! My wrists and hands were sore from all that kneading. The dough did not rise properly and was dry. It was not at all soft and doughy like it was in the tutorial that I read and watched beforehand (twice). I even referenced my copy several times during the process. I’m going to have to do some troubleshooting to find out why my bread was so dense. I might have used too much flour. I have two “1 cup” measuring cups, and one holds more than the other…? I went with the larger one because it was equivalent to another measuring cup I have, which is actually best used for measuring liquids. You know, the glass one with the handle? How can two equivalent measuring cups actually be different? Well according to my online conversion website, Canada’s cup is a little bigger and the metric cup is a little smaller than the standard U.S. measuring cup. So maybe my smaller one is metric and my larger one is… Canadian? (Why can’t the powers that be just rip the band aid off and convert us to the metric system?)

I also might have killed the yeast (or maybe it’s expired). My liquids were not too hot. I used a thermometer to make sure the temperature was around 110 degrees. But I did let the yeast mixture sit for about twice as long as recommended and by that time, the water had cooled to around 80 or 90 degrees. I don’t know if this would kill the yeast, but it definitely did not rise properly. I even nuked a mug of water in the microwave for a couple minutes before letting the dough rest in there, as some suggested. Did I mention that it tastes really good? I’ll probably try again later this week.

My Tiny Dense Bread and Stupid Measuring Cups


This is how they should have looked after baking.

At least my goal to buy most of our groceries from the farmers market was successful. Not only was it a success, but I actually spent less money overall!! Brian stopped by and picked up some milk from HT and I bought a few things at BJ’s. I also bought some produce at Hillbilly Produce, which isn’t even a traditional grocery store. I’m not sure why we spent less, but I have a suspicion that it’s because I’m no longer buying things I don’t really need, just to take advantage of a good deal. Maybe those “good deals” were really just good sales tactics.

I just discovered Hillbilly Produce last week, but it’s been on Independence Boulevard since 1984. I’m going to hold off judgment until I’ve shopped there a few more times. They sell Baucom’s Best beef and chicken and Grateful Growers pork which is a good sign. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was no price markup on the pork. I discussed it with the farmer at the market on Saturday and she said they didn’t want any price competition. I can’t be sure about Baucom’s Best, but I don’t think there was any markup there either.

The girl that helped me at Hillbilly Produce was really nice. She was somewhat knowledgeable about the products. She said that most of their produce comes from North and South Carolina and most of them are grown organically, but are not certified USDA Organic. However, I’m not familiar with the store and most of the farmers that supply their products, so it’s a little hard to take a third party (and complete stranger) at her word. It was hard to tell for sure what was organically grown and information was inconsistent around the store. It would have been nice if there had been some uniformity and specific information posted about the produce. Then again, I’m not really familiar with the store. That could be the problem.

The store itself wasn’t very appealing at first. There was a box of rotten fruit sitting out swarming with fruit flies and ants. It’s an open building with no air conditioning. It was pretty warm and the air was a little stagnant, which can’t be good for the produce. I know the farmers market is outdoors, but the air is fresh and the heat usually isn’t a problem in the morning hours. They do have a refrigerated and freezer section with some fruit, dairy, meat, etc. The produce I bought was okay, but not spectacular. As I said, I’m going to shop there a few more times before I decide whether this will be one of my regular stores.


About Michele
Wife and Mom of three girls doing her best to lead the family into a healthier lifestyle and evolve gracefully.

4 Responses to Success and Failure

  1. Jodie McKenzie says:

    Aww, your little bitty loaves were cute though!! And hey, you said they tasted good, so THAT is at least a start! I haven’t been to Hillbilly Produce in years! The place always kinda skeezed me out. I think from your description, that it wasn’t your favorite place either, but at least they have the meat you like. Have you been to Earthfare yet?

    • Michele Deaton says:

      I have been to Earthfare a few times. It’s too far away, over priced and so cluttered. It’s okay, but I don’t go out of my way to shop there. Jury’s still out on Hillbilly’s. I’ll go back this week. Maybe today. We’re running low on fruit.

  2. Carrie Fawcett says:

    Michele, try weighing the ingredients instead of measuring. I am no baker either but all that I’ve read suggests that weighing your flour is much more accurate for the reason you describe. I bought pizza stones with the expectation that I would make my own pizza dough and still haven’t been brave enough to try it!!!!

    • healthymamma says:

      Oh I found a couple great recipe for pizza dough. Pizza dough is super easy!! Here is the one for whole wheat: Whole Wheat and Honey Pizza Dough. Even though the recipe says to just let it rise for few minutes, I let it rise for at least 15 to 20. It’s yummy. Sometimes I throw in some herbs.

      This recipe is actually for a pepperoni roll (which my kids love), but you can just use the dough recipe for pizza. It tastes more like the real thing since it uses regular flour. Here’s the recipe: Pepperoni Bread

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