Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Checking in on the natural starter and bread making

Previously (a long time ago!) I wrote about the wild yeast levain I was beginning to make following the instructions in the book 52 Loaves (also available here.) 

Well, I am happy to say that about a year and a half later I am still using this to bake really good bread!

One reason I wanted to make this from wild yeast instead of purchased yeasts is that the author of 52 Loaves claimed that it was more mild than the typical 'sourdough' flavor. I can definitely attest that this is true!

So, long after I meant to put this update, I can finally strongly recommend making your own wild yeast levain (from a local apple, if possible this time of year... otherwise maybe you'll have to wait until summer?) and baking with it!

I try to bake with it or at least feed it every week, though there have definitely been a couple that I've forgotten.  It's not that hard to keep going and it does make good tasting bread - cheaper than using so much store-bought yeast, too!

Here are some of the recipes I've tried with it:
- baguettes
- bagels (these are AMAZING)
- other bread recipe

And here are a couple of pictures of some of the bubbly starter, ready for baking, the formed loaves, ready to go in the oven (onto a pizza stone, and a pizza peel does make this MUCH easier), and the finished loaves below.  Happy baking!!

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