I have been baking my own bread now for a couple of years using the same recipe I took off the back of the and quick yeast packet. I vary the flour types to get different textures and taste. In my search for different ingredients I found Kamut flour on my supermarket shelf one day , this is an ancient type of wheat grown by the pharaohs in Egypt. As well as having a high mineral content I found out later that it’s better for your gut. It has a lovely flavour and I generally mix it half and half with organic strong white bread flour. Sometimes I throw a few sesame seeds on top with some poppy seeds and after seeing my aunt Eugenia make bread, I even chuck a few onion seeds on top. But I still felt I could improve it.
When my aunt was showing Androula and me all her wheat recipes of course she showed us how she makes bread. She always uses her own starter made from scratch instead of fresh yeast and I hadn’t heard of this before. Wild yeasts are floating in the air all around us and given the right conditions anything will ferment even chocolate apparently…now there’s a thought. So if you mix some flour with water and beat some air into it and leave it covered in a warm place it will start to froth and bubble given 24hrs. Keep adding water and flour to keep a batter like consistency and after a week you will have your starter. This will give you a sourdough loaf.
I haven’t tried this yet but I needed to make some more bread and thought I would give it a go but of course it was going to take a week and I needed the bread now. So I compromised.
I recently bought Hugh Fearnley -Whittingstall‘s Everyday cook book as he has some jolly nice ideas and lo and behold there was a good size section on bread, with that all important information on making your own starter. When using your own starter the bread is much more easily digestible as the yeast has had time to break down the flour really well. He also had a cheaty version for quickness using dried yeast but leaving it overnight to ferment with half the flour and the warm water, then proceeding as per usual. So I thought this would serve my purposes beautifully this week while I wait for my starter to get started. This has worked a treat and tastes like real bread should taste as the longer proving improves the flavour. I can’t wait to see how it will taste using my starter.