Well... OK, maybe I don't actually FEAR yeast as an abstract concept, but as far back as I can remember I have avoided any recipe including the pesky little fungus. I know just where it all began - like so many other things in life it was at school. I loathed Home Ec lessons. I'm really not sure why. I think it might have been because I knew other things were going to be expected of me once the thorny issue of options came up, so I didn't see it as having any relevance to me. Plus I was still sulking because they wouldn't let me continue doing woodwork, which seemed much more practical to me. (I was wrong. I've needed to whip up plenty of gastronomical creations since, but never ONCE have I been required to make a box.)
So I rebelled in the only way open to me. I did as few practicals as humanly possible and even then I did them grudgingly and under protest. I think I managed to keep it down to about four in two years. One of them was bread rolls.
I don't recall if my water was too hot or too cold, but since we'd been instructed to put the kettle on just for a bit and get it from there I'm willing to bet I left it on a bit too long and scalded that yeast to death right there and then. My rolls were doomed from the start. Whilst everyone else's transformed into large snowy white rounds, mine stubbornly remained greyish little pebble-like things. I ended up staying on after school to put them in the oven, an exercise in futility if ever there was one.
Well after that, more so even than the fact I didn't DO cooking, beyond opening a tin of spaghetti hoops and making toast, I certainly didn't DO yeast.
Over the years I began to DO cooking, as a necessity and a way to avoid starving myself and my children mainly. These days I like to think I'm pretty good at it. Mr Jaded might beg to differ on that one but as I keep telling him, the Moroccan chicken incident ought to be blamed squarely on Chicken Tonight, not me. Still I would not touch yeast with a bargepole.
That all changed when I got a breadmachine. I managed not to kill the yeast in that and an actual, risen loaf came out. But have you ever eaten bread out of a bread machine? It tastes weird, right? Eventually I realised that it just might be cooking it in the machine that made it that way, so started baking it in the oven instead and it's GORGEOUS. I've been doing all sorts. Fruit loaves, crusty rolls, chelsea buns - they've all come out great. There's no stopping me now. My phobia is well and truly cured.
I must go now, I need to roll out the croissants I'm halfway through making. ;)