I love making bread, it’s of my most favourite things to do. The way you can loose yourself in thought whilst kneading. The cracking, groaning noise made when the bread is hot from the oven. The process of taking four simple ingredients, that on their own can’t do anything and combining them with a little effort to produce something so tasty amazes me. For me, having bread in the house that I’ve made myself is one of my little luxuries.
So you can imagine my excitement when I came across this book; The handmade loaf. Written and photographed by Dan Lepard, who has more passion for bread than I thought possible. The book is a full of great stories and the recipes of home bakers from all across Europe. Not to mention all the photographs. Some of the recipes require you devote a whole day to bread you are making experience, others don’t. I found this book to be a great inspiration for experimenting with my own bread recipes.
Dan has a recipe for creating your own leaven, so I’m going to make it. I’ve wanted have a crack at it for a long time. If you feel like you want to be in it for the long haul you can follow along with me if you’d like. While the bread made from this leaven is a rainy day project, The process of making the leaven is very simple and requires minutes a day. In six days you’ll be able to use it to make a loaf.
I think the process is fun to watch, even if you end up never making a loaf, you’ll gain a better understanding of yeast which can be applied to future bread making