Je Mange

“I eat therefore I am”– Culinary Genius

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Chef: Naturally Leavened Bread

Well I've gone and done it; I've started what I hope to be a long line of naturally leavened bread, leavened by wild Brooklyn yeast. Perhaps I will pass on this line of yeast to my children and to my children's children? It's rumoured that in China there are old very lineages, hundreds and hundreds of years; I'd sure like to taste one of those dumplings!

There's no telling if this first attempt will be successful. It may just mold or not ferment at all. Anyhow the idea is that there is yeast floating all about and that stirring up some water and flour will provide a nice habitat for said yeast. Hopefully in about 3-4 days I'll have tell tale signs of yeast life and proliferation; bubbles.

Make sure to use filtered or spring water; chlorine may inhibit yeast growth and give your breads an off taste. There are plenty of choices of flour; stone ground this, organic that. I used what was in my cupboard, unbleached white all purpose flour. You can also use fancy methods of introducing yeasts, like grapes or raisins. I'm looking for wild Brooklyn yeast so I did not attempt this.

In turn one must feed the colony (also known as starter, the bitch (as in "feed the bitch") or the chef). This is done by adding equal parts of water and flour. I've read that it should be fed every day, ramping up feeding towards the end (when bread will be made). If everything goes according to plan feeding should start around day 4.


  • At 3:49 PM, Blogger Nerine said…

    excellent. i've often thought of doing this...but really, i'd have no time to use it. and tony would kill it as soon as i started travelling, just like the plants.

  • At 12:34 PM, Anonymous Mom said…

    Remember the sourdough starter I kept in the fridge? That was fed once a week. My problem was remembering to use it! I had a jug full of starter and ended out passing it out to everyone I knew as there wasn't room enough to feed it any more. Eventually I just let it go -
    So remember to use it - lots of good fresh bread - nothing quite like it!

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