Colorado Rocky Mountain Hi
Hello from the Mile High City. I just found these forums, and I'm just getting into baking again after a hiatus of many, many years.
Back when I was married and domestic(ated?), I used to make yeast bread a lot, using the Tassajara Bread Book for the most part. I can't say I was close to professional, but the bread baked up well and was tasty. Fast forward through a divorce, a great many years, and a move to high altitude, and I'm getting back into baking. What motivated me this time is that I'm trying to eat organic (and non-GMO) as much as I can, and my local supermarket doesn't carry organic bread. There are stores that do, but they're farther away. Besides, if I bake my own bread, I know exactly what goes into it.
I have no worries about gluten, wheat, soy, or anything else. I just want real bread made out of real, whole ingredients. Besides, nothing tastes like home-baked bread.
I bought a house several years ago, and I garden as well. I have a peach tree in my back yard, and the squirrels sometimes let me have some peaches from it, so I want to learn how to make a decent pie crust, too. And of course being at high altitude throws that problem into the mix. Not all of the bread books have high-altitude instructions. So in a way I guess I have to learn to bake all over again.
Right now, I have a conundrum. (No, it's not contagious.) I decided to make my start with a box of bread mix that I happened to have on hand. I followed the instructions and set it to rise. Well, it's an hour and a half later, and it's just sitting there. It hasn't changed size or shape at all. Granted, the box of mix wasn't brand new, and I'm wondering if maybe the yeast wasn't good any more. Problem is, now what? Do I have to throw it away? Can I turn it into focaccia? Add in more yeast? What?
Some extra bits about me: I'm a writer/editor, currently self-employed part time and looking for more gigs, and I live with a household full of cats. I'm in the process of starting an online business designing and selling jewelry.
Sorry that this is so long winded.