Yeast for home-made bread, and an elementary error…

If you followed my recommendation, and used Fermipan Red yeast to make your bread, you might be finding it elusive as my normal supply has dried up (I buy a couple of year’s worth at a time – it freezes well).

Anyway, I’ve found a new supplier at Herbs, Gardens, & Health. Rather more expensively than previously, but a lower price counts for nothing without stock. Anyway, the cost per loaf is still tiny, at about 4p per 2lb loaf.

When it comes to flour, now, as ever, it comes from Shipton Mill. If you haven’t tried it yet, you really should. Be aware, too, that flour freezes well and can even be used straight from the freezer, though I wouldn’t recommend making a habit of it. For my standard loaf I use a 50-50 mix of Organic Strong Plain White Flour (701), and Stoneground Organic Wholemeal Flour (706). Both flours have the same blend of wheats, described as “…a careful blend of the rare English wheat, Maris Widgeon, combined with top quality strong organic Canadian flour…”.

Incidentally, when I made this week’s bread, yesterday, I forgot to add the olive oil – first time I’ve done that, and it makes a massive difference. The bread is very close-textured and dry. Very chewy too, and even takes some effort to slice (think of the incredibly earnest and “good for you” wholemeal of the sixties, and you won’t be far off), where the knife usually glides through. It rose reasonably well, but resisted the blade when slashing, and sank a little. Oven-spring actually went into reverse, with the finished loaf somewhat shrunken. Looks like I might be baking again very soon!

In my defence, I was having a spectacularly bad day yesterday, and didn’t, as I normally do, line up my measured ingredients before starting- which is how I forgot the oil.

Still, the loaf won’t be wasted – it’ll be sliced, dried on the radiator, reduced to crumbs, and stashed away for sausage-making (no point in making all that effort** then using mass-produced rusk). And to keep myself in carbs, I’ll make some fruit cake later.

**Not that it’s physically hard for most people, but it is for me. The results are worth it though, but I’m seriously thinking of getting an electric mincer to make it easier.