The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

active dry yeast

ejm's picture
ejm

semi-wild bread

The cooler weather has set in with a vengeance and whenever it is windy, our draughty house is even colder than usual. Consequently, I was once again having difficulty getting dough and/or shaped bread to rise.

cold kitchen = SLOW rise

So I decided to add a tiny bit of commercial yeast to our wild bread recipe. The dough still took forever to rise - it was after midnight when I took the bread out of the oven. I had hoped and expected to be baking the bread just before dinner at around 19:30... but I didn't get to shape it until 19:00!!

I really should have taken a photo of the bread just before it went into the oven. It was easily half the height. Talk about oven spring!

semi-wild bread

The crumb was nicely chewy and the flavour had a slight sour tone but a lovely nutty flavour. Even though the crust was quite dark, there was not even a hint of burnt aroma or taste.

Here is the recipe I used:

semi-wild bread

-Elizabeth

ejm's picture
ejm

The other day when I made these hamburger buns, based on Susan's (Wild Yeast) recipe for soft hamburger rolls.

hamburger buns

What excellent hamburger buns!!



And easy to make too! Buns are SO much easier to shape than loaves! The only slight difficulty I had with the recipe was with the fractions of grams Susan called for. My fancy new scale isn't THAT fancy. It will not register partial grams.

The part I really loved about the recipe was the instruction on how to get the sesame seeds onto the tops of the buns. I've always sprinkled them on. But Susan has a much better method:

[S]hape [each piece] into a tight ball. [...] Roll the top of the ball on a wet towel to moisten it, then in sesame seeds.

How smart is that!? The seeds all go onto the buns instead of being scattered on the pan below.

I did make a couple of changes to Susan's recipe. I used active dry yeast instead of instant and decided to use only one egg rather than the two she called for. To make up for the missing liquid, I added a quarter cup (or so) of water. I also decided to add the equivalent of a cup of skim milk by adding powdered milk.

We used the buns for vegetarian burgers* garnished with cheese, bacon, red leaf lettuce, tomato, pickle, bacon (ha! why not?), mustard and eggplant relish. And that red stuff? It's beet salad. And that golden crispy stuff? Onion rings made from the left-overs after feeding wild yeast!

hamburger and onion rings

* To make the burgers, we used chickpeas as the base, basically following our falafel recipe but putting in thyme, onions and garlic, rather than the middle eastern spices and coriander leaf. We were completely thrilled with the results and may never go back to ground meat burgers again....

ejm's picture
ejm

cinnamon raisin oatmeal bread


I was wandering around in here the other day and saw what looked to be great looking raisin bread on Floydm's pages. The recipe was originally from Hamelman's book "Jeffery Hamelman's Bread". (I just tried to read Hamelman's tome, Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes and returned it to the library after aborting about ten pages in. With what's left of my mind, I just couldn't quite manage to retain enough to comprehend anything he was saying.) But happily, Floydm could retain and comprehend what he read, enabling him to translate this fabulous recipe.

Thank you Floyd! The bread is absolutely delicious!

cinnamon raisin oatmeal bread

Here is what I did to Floyd's version of the recipe:

ejm's picture
ejm

semolina fennel bread

As soon as I saw Susan's (Wild Yeast) post entitled "Semolina Bread with Currants, Fennel, Pine Nuts", I knew I HAD to make it. (Make sure to take a look at Susan's bread.)

I can't decide what I like more about this bread.
The aroma of it baking?

  • Fennel!

The flavour?

  • The currants! The fennel! The slight hint of sourdough flavour from the wild yeast!

Sliced warm with roccolo cheese? Toasted with butter?

  • It's impossible to pin it down. All I know is that we both love it.

semolina and all-purpose flours

We buy our semolina in Indiatown - semolina is called "suji". Even after about 10 minutes of kneading, I decided that the bread dough would probably always be a bit grainy feeling. I added the currants and pinenuts and amazingly, as I was working the dough to distribute the currants evenly, the dough suddenly became smooth and silky!

I really couldn't be more thrilled about the bread. I have only one complaint. It takes no time for a loaf to disappear!

Thank you once again, Susan!

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