Cold Weather Baking
I need some help. During the summer, when I starting baking bread, it was good. But after a month long break, the weather has changed, and my baking fortunes have not been so good. Mostly, I have a problem with rising. Even giving breads some extra time, they don't see to rise to the level they should. This culminated today with my attempt to try the Buttermilk Cluster . It did not rise at all.
I live in Maryland, and I am cheap. We set the thermostat to 68 F, and the gauge is in the warming part of the house. My kitchen is likely around 65. And I think the buttermilk cluster failed because in addition to having a cold room, the milk was right out of the fridge. It's not really possible for me to just heat up the kitchen, so I am looking for any tips and tricks you all may have for winter baking.
Should I be heating all the liquid ingredients to 80-90 F before mixing? Winter is the perfect time for me to be baking, getting that extra heat in the house when I need it. But the bread (or rather my skill with the bread) just isn't cooperating.
I greatly appreciate your help,