Everlasting Yeast is the soul of my bread… indeed. I’m reading Cooked by Michael Pollen and after finishing the chapter on baking wild capture bread – I had to dig out my starter and do some baking.
Everlasting Yeast, or Ewiger Saatz, has been an integral part of farm life on the Northern Plains since the Germans from Russia began immigrating to this area in the late 1800s. Of course, we all know that bread is the staff of life and it was baked sometimes two or three times a week to feed hungry mouths.
The house cow supplied milk for most of the year to make butter and wild fruits like chokecherry and crab apples were blended with sugar into jams and jellies.
Oh how wonderful the smell of fresh baked bread. The soft chewy crumb and the crispy golden brown crust with ears… yep. I learned a new word. When you slice the top of the dough right before it goes into the oven, a properly fermented and risen loaf will expand with gases creating even and tiny holes through your bread and the resulting points of those cuts are the ears of the loaf.
I also learned that the flavor of bread comes partially from the gas in those little holes escaping from your mouth to your nose – and well… my mouth is drooling at the thought. Although my doctor suggested I eat less bread… I have been researching the health benefits of slow baked bread with fresh ground flour. It is indeed something to take note of.
So, two things today. I ground hard red spring wheat and made a 50/50 loaf and another all white (local flour) loaf. Fresh flour is the absolute bomb when it comes to baking bread. The honey in the photo is from a recent trip to Texas – Orange Blossom… oh delight of delights. And you can find a link to purchase Pollen’s most recent book by clicking here.