Yeast from scratch; the home-made leaven. The reward – bread

Wondering what’s going on, travel back in time…….Day six

Congratulations, we made it. Lets not waste any time in getting our hands sticky. It’s a long slog, little bits of work through the whole day,  but the proof is in the bread.

The recipe;

250g white leaven                                                                                      75g clean, unpeeled, grated potato

( you know, what we spent the past week making)

300g room temperature water                                                                 500g white bread flour

25g honey                                                                                                      1 ½ tsp sea salt

OH and some sort of timer, especially if your memory is like mine

My tiny terror gets me up with the roosters, so the times posted are my own, The earlier you start this the earlier you’ll have you loaf, so here goes……………….

6:00AM Pour the water into a large bowl,

Whisk the leaven
Whisk in the leaven…
Grated potato
…..and Grated potato…
Runny honey
… and runny honey

Add in the flour and salt. Get you hands in there and stir until you’ve got a gloriously sticky mess of dough.

Gloriously sticky mess
Gloriously sticky mess

Scrape from your fingers, cover with a tea towel and leave for 1o minutes.

6:10 AM On a lightly floured surface knead the dough for 10 -15 seconds. Wash and dry the bowl, coat lightly with olive oil, replace the dough, cover and leave for 1o more minutes.

Needing to be kneaded
Needing to be kneaded
Resting in lightly greased bowl
Resting in lightly greased bowl

6:20 AM You’ve guessed it, knead the dough again for 10 -15 seconds and place back in the bowl, cover and rest for a further 10 minutes.

Thank the Lordy for timers
Thank the Lordy for timers

6:30 AM Again, knead the dough for 10 -15 seconds. This time shape into a ball before placing back into the bowl. I shape the dough by cupping by hands around it, and with my little fingers flat on the surface move my hands round in a circular motion.  Cover and leave for 30 minutes this time.

7:00 AM

Knead again....

Knead again....

.... for 10-15 seconds

.... for 10-15 seconds

Shape into a ball, cover and leave for 1 hour. Isn’t the dough super soft, I love the way it feels.

Words of encouragement I repeat to myself; yes it can be repetitive, but it’s necessary to do this to develop the gluten, let the yeasts feast and end up with a delicious tasty loaf with good even crumb. And think about the pleasure of easting it, Always works a treat.

8:00AM Knead for 10-15 seconds, cover, rest for 1 hour.

9:00AM Knead for 10-15 seconds, cover, rest for 1 hour.

10:00AM OK, wake up.

Split the dough into two

Split the dough into two

The pieces should be about equal size. Shape these into a ball. Lay a tea towel on a large baking sheet and dust it with flour. Place the two balls of dough on it, cover again and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

Twin ball of dough taking a quick 15 min cat nap

Twin ball of dough taking a quick 15 min cat nap

10:15 AM Shaping the dough into a loaf.

Take one ball, on a floured surface gently flatten it into an oval....

Take one ball, on a floured surface gently flatten it into an oval....

Fold the top of the oval in towards the centre

Fold the top right of the oval in towards the centre

See, like this..

See, like this..

Now for the top left

Now for the top left

The top gets folded down to the middle

The top gets folded down to the middle

Press down firmly

Press down firmly

Rotate dough 180 degrees

Rotate dough 180 degrees

Repeat the folding on this half

Repeat the folding on this half

Sides first, remember to press down each fold firmly

Sides first, remember to press down each fold firmly

And the top to the middle

And the top to the middle

Fold in half and press down all the edges

Fold in half and press down all the edges

With the seam on the bottom, roll the dough with both hands, applying more pressure to the outer edges because you want to shape this into a slight point

With the seam on the bottom, roll the dough with both hands, applying more pressure to the outer edges because you want to shape this into a slight point

Lay this on the flour dusted tea towel and quickly repeat with the other ball.

You want the dough to hold it’s shape and unless you have a proofing basket this is another way to do it.

Roll another tea towel into a sausage and place between the pieces of shaped dough. On the outer side of each on put a rolling pin under the flour dusted tea towel

Roll another tea towel into a sausage and place between the pieces of shaped dough. On the outer side of each on put a rolling pin under the flour dusted tea towel

Push the rolling pin so that it is right up against the dough. It should be snug This will force the dough to expand upwards rather than outwards.

Snugly nestled and ready to rise

Snugly nestled and ready to rise

Cover with the cloth again and leave at room temperature for about 4 hours, or until the dough has doubled in height.

2:30PM or there about. Check the dough, I left mine a little to long, but I lost track of time playing cars with my tiny terror.

This is what you're looking for in the height department

This is what you're looking for in the height department

Now preheat the oven to 425°, and dust a pizza tray, or baking stone or thick cookie sheet with semolina.

OK, So I'm heavy handed with the dusting

OK, So I'm heavy handed with the dusting

Upturn the loaves onto the tray, leaving a space between them, With a lame or really sharp knife make a slit the length of the loaf down the middle.

Start at the top

Start at the top

I think I need a new blade!!

I think I need a new blade!!

You get the idea.... right

You get the idea.... right

Spray the top with some water ( you’ll get a super crusty crust by doing this) and bake for about 50 mins. I knock on the bottom of my loaf to  check whether it’s done or not. If the sound is hollow, then it’s done, if not put it bak in for another 10 minutes or so.

50 minutes later

Out they come, crusty toasty brown loaves

Out they come, crusty toasty brown loaves

OHHHHH look at that

OHHHHH look at that

Smells like heaven

Smells like heaven

So I know you want, and it’ll take some will power, but whatever you do DO NOT, I repeat DON’T cut into the hot loaf. You’re saying WHAT!!!!. But after waiting six days to make this loaf don’t ruin it. If you can’t resist don’t say you weren’t forewarned, if you cut it, the steam will escape causing the bread to be dryer, also it will still be doughy and taste a bit yeasty, the flavour continues to develop as it cools.

So after about an hour devour it.

Look at that crumb, that crust..... I think I'm going to go slice myself a wegde

Look at that crumb, that crust..... I think I'm going to go slice myself a wedge

Congratulations we made it, and just in time for dinner.  We slogged it out and got our reward, I for one wasn’t disappointed. I love a good food journey.

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2 thoughts on “Yeast from scratch; the home-made leaven. The reward – bread

  1. This makes me long for cold autumn days when I can crank on the oven and make some bread! Love this post!

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