Yeast can be a pretty scary thing. It’s one of the reasons I want to take a baking course – to tackle it with as much infomation as possible, preferably with a battle-scarred guide who has coaxed yeast into being his friend. I want to conquer yeast, to tame it to my needs, to no longer fear its apparent capriciousness.

Then I figured, lots of other people have figured it out on their own – why can’t I?

I admit, I’ve had some success with bread-baking in the past. I’ve made hot cross buns for Easter for years. I’ve made cinnamon rolls. I’ve made focaccia. But even those tried-and-true recipes have failed me. The hot cross buns required persistence, I can tell you that.

Also, I can be lazy. Working with yeast really does require, well, work. And patience. That’s something else I’ve never been terrifically good at. But now time is something I have a-plenty of, so that’s one drawback of yeast that I can easily get around. Why not play around with yeast a little and see what happens?

Well, this is what happened:

I made hamburger buns.

I fell in love with these buns as soon as I pulled them out of the oven. They smelled wonderful. Bready. They looked so round and domed and browned. And bun-ny.

Part of the brown-ness comes from the whole wheat flour I subsituted for half of the regular flour. But I may have overcooked them just a wee bit. They were a little extra done on the bottom. Also, they were a bit dense, but that’s to be expected, again because of the whole wheat flour.

So, they’re not perfect. I didn’t expect perfection with a first try. I didn’t expect such success either. Nor did I expect to enjoy it so much. Yes, there was mixing and kneading and manipulating involved, but it was enjoyable. Almost . . . fun. I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced that with making bread-ish things before. I had fun with it. I wanted to make more. I’d like to try these again, try to get them softer, lighter. Maybe a tiny bit smaller. They were pretty packed full of breadiness.

Making these gave me a nice sense of accomplishment. I don’t know why, but I did go into the process expecting failure in some way. I was pleasantly surprised at how well it went. Especially considering that we were having them for dinner.

Mmm, pulled pork sandwiches. These were pretty tasty. Thinner, softer buns would probably have been better, but the buns tasted good, so that was okay. They held up against the pork and the BBQ sauce really well. They’d go better with a nice, juicy burger though. That’d soften them up nicely.

Only one problem: I made eight buns. We ate two of them. They were so filling that we really couldn’t eat any more than that. I’m not sure what we’ll be doing with the rest. Seems a little strange just to make bread (especially buns) just to turn them into breadcrumbs. Sandwiches are always an option, but, honestly, we don’t eat many sandwiches on the weekend.

Though, maybe I’d eat more with bread like this hanging around the house. It’s something I’ve been thinking about. Geordie almost always has a sandwich for lunch, and it’d be nice to give him something other than the same old sandwich rounds every day. I’d like to try other breads too, just to play with yeast and get better acquainted with it. It’ll give me something productive to do, as well as prepare me a bit for when/if I decide to actually go into a baking program.

Or maybe success is going to my head. Either way, there shall be more baking done in this house. I just need to decide what I want to do next.