I really got into baking during undergrad years, especially during the summer and winter holidays when I actually had access to an oven. I fell in love with the precision of baking, and I'm fascinated by the chemical reactions that create wonderful edible products that you can give to people to make them like you better (not that I do that ever...). But one of my absolute favorite things about baking is the microbiological side of it: the use of yeast.
Yeast fermentation is the slowest of the three, but also imparts a bit more flavor into the product than the other two. Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, creates carbon dioxide when exposed to heat, but can sometimes impart a metallic flavor in your bakes unless some kind of acid (buttermilk, lemon juice, cocoa powder, etc.) is involved. Baking powder is just baking soda + weak powdered acid + starch (to improve consistency).
I thought I'd wrap up this blog post by sharing with you my top five favorite yeasted bakes. Some require a food scale (this is the one I have), and all of them are tried and tested by yours truly. I've made little picture summaries for each recipe so you can see the time, ingredients, and equipment required in case you want to give it a go - just click each image to go to the full recipe page.
I'll start with the simplest: Joanne Cismaru's no-knead Dutch oven crusty bread. This was a Pinterest discovery I made over two years ago, and I've made this bread so many times that my mother and her husband call it "Lexi Bread". As long as you have a pot with a lid you can make this bread, no kneading knowledge required. I've also found that people are rather impressed with this bread every time I make it, even though I was only an active participant for <10 minutes. [I typically bump the proportions up a bit, so my numbers are in the square brackets.]