Martha White, Southern Pantry
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Let’s Make Yeast Bread

Quick breads like biscuits, cornbread and fruity nut breads are much more a part of our Southern heritage than yeast breads. Probably because corn was sometimes the only grain grown on small farms. The wheat grown in the South is low protein and better for quick breads or soft yeast breads.

If you have not made yeast breads, but always wanted to try, Holiday Cinnamon Rolls are a great place to start. They’re not totally dependent on texture, providing a variance in finished product from a little chewy to light and airy – delicious either way.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Yeast is a plant that produces gas to make the dough rise.  When adding the liquid it needs to be warm, but not hot. Recipes will usually suggest the proper temperature which you can check using a thermometer. Just remember, it should be similar to the temperature of a baby’s bottle.
  • Forget the gentle handling. Most yeast doughs need to be kneaded for several minutes to create the elastic structure needed for the dough to rise.
  • Most recipes suggest putting the dough in a warm place to rise. Alice Jarman, who started the Martha White Test Kitchen, always let her dough rise in a cold oven with a pan of warm water on the rack underneath. But it will rise on the counter or even in the refrigerator.

Give it a try. You’ll enjoy the process and the wonderful results.

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