18 June, 2008

Natural leaven

I have blogged about this before but it's been ages and last time around I couldn't get my pictures to upload. So here goes. My second foray into making my own natural leaven. As always in bread matters I head off to Dan Lepard's The Handmade Loaf. I bought this book on the strength of his leaven recipe. It covers three pages with step by step photos and thoroughly demystifies the process.

Leavened bread is bread that has rises through the action of gasses in the dough. Usually we use yeast and often these days we used dried or easy action yeast. But bread made with your own leaven has a very different taste and character. This is slow food. The opposite of most shop-bought bread. The loaf itself will take most of a day to rise and bake. But I get ahead of myself. I won't be baking it for a week or thereabouts.

Day One

50g water at 20°C
2 rounded tsp rye flour
2 rounded tsp strong white flour
2 rounded tsp currants
2 rounded tsp live low-fat yoghurt

Mix all the ingredients in a 500ml Kilner jar. Cover and leave at room temperature (approx 20°C) for 24 hours.

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