FRESH FROM THE OVEN

Food and Travel (Singapore) - - Contents -

In this fea­ture, ar­ti­san baker Wil­liam Woo fur­ther elab­o­rates the process of bak­ing with nat­u­ral yeast us­ing fruit en­zyme juice

In this fea­ture, ar­ti­san baker Wil­liam Woo fur­ther elab­o­rates the process of bak­ing with nat­u­ral yeast us­ing fruit en­zyme juice

His­tor­i­cal records show that leaven bread was first pro­duced by the Egyp­tians more than 2000 years ago. The story goes by when a baker ac­ci­dently mixed flour with wa­ter, and he later dis­cov­ered that the ‘flour and wa­ter’ mix­ture had de­vel­oped bub­bles and ex­panded. The baker also found that by us­ing this mix to bake bread, he was able to achieve a bet­ter and tastier bread, as the mix­ture im­parted a nat­u­ral ‘sweet­ness’ to the bread.

To­day, most of the breads in the mar­ket use com­mer­cial yeast to leaven their bread bak­ing process, as com­mer­cial yeast helps to de­velop dough in a shorter time, and it also makes bread bak­ing a lot eas­ier. This, how­ever, pre­vents the bread from de­vel­op­ing its full flavours, and it also tends to cause the bread to stale faster.

Us­ing nat­u­ral yeast, on the other hand, has a slew of ben­e­fits: bread has bet­ter flavour, it is eas­ier to di­gest, bread will have a longer shelf life, and it is health­ier too.

Nat­u­ral yeast is made up of two micro­organ­isms – wild yeast and bac­te­ria. These two micro­organ­isms will co-ex­ist in sym­bio­sis, and the trick is to keep the nat­u­ral yeast in good bal­ance in or­der to ob­tain the max­i­mum flavour from it.

Us­ing nat­u­ral yeast in your bak­ing will also re­sult in a slightly dif­fer­ent bak­ing process, as the baker needs to be more at­ten­tive to the dough devel­op­ment.

Be­fore we can in­cor­po­rate nat­u­ral yeast in our bread bak­ing, we need to know how to cul­ti­vate nat­u­ral yeast. Fol­low these easy steps to cul­ti­vate your own nat­u­ral yeast.

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