May 2, 2011 by Eating Abroad
I’ve really been getting into bread baking lately.
I’m pretty sure fresh yeast has been the reason for this change.
Previously, I hated bread baking. After hours of work, I always ended up with a brick hard block of tasteless bread that could barely be cut, let alone eaten.
Fresh yeast has saved me from the yeasty beasty of ruined breads.
My most recent bread baking adventure turned out really well.
I followed this recipe for Italian bread.
I subbed 1 block of fresh yeast for the active dry yeast which was called for in the recipe. I also used all-purpose flour rather than bread flour since I didn’t have any on hand.
Although the recipe creator called for using a stand mixer, my hand-held mixer did the job.
The vital wheat gluten really made the dough tough.
I did as I was told, and kneaded the bread for 15 minutes.
After rolling the dough in a bit of olive oil, I set it aside to rise…
and rise it did!
After punching the dough down, I split it into two parts to be rolled into logs.
One loaf was rolled in freshly chopped rosemary.
The second loaf I left as is. Plain and simple.
The loaves were set on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper that had been dusted with cornmeal.
Covered with a damp towel and set aside to rise, this is how the loaves looked after the second rise.
I love fresh yeast.
Each loaf got a few diagonal slices.
Pretty little rosemary flecks. Unphotographed, the loaves received an egg wash before being stuck in the oven to bake.
It’s hard to see here, but there’s a dish with hot water under the baking sheet.
Fresh out of the oven!
Hollow sounding when tapped and golden on the outside.
Chewy and soft on the inside.
Every time I have success, it chisels away at my bread baking insecurities.
If you’ve not tried baking with fresh yeast, I highly recommend it.
Fresh yeast might just change your life.