After a couple of cake-filled weeks, there has been a temporary interlude in my sweet baking recently while I’ve been experimenting with the masses of fresh yeast that I bought from Amazon a few weeks ago. After my initial experiment with brioche cinnamon rolls, I decided to try my hand at savoury breads.
First on the list was Paul Hollywood’s simple white loaf from the Great Brittish Bake Off book. Left overnight to rise in the fridge, this loaf not only looked stunning, it also tasted amazing. I’ve since made multiples of this loaf and frozen them so that I can enjoy them anytime without having to wait 12 hours for them to rise!
Next on my “must bake” list was Dan Lepard’s multigrain and honey loaf from his Short and Sweet book. This loaf had a wonderfully nutty flavour to it but I unfortunately gave it a bit of a scare when putting it in the oven which meant that it didn’t quite rise to it’s full potential. What it lacked in appearance it certainly made up for in taste when slathered with butter and honey!
And finally, I turned my hand to my own version of a tear and share bread topped with sesame and poppy seeds. This was baked on a Sunday night on the bottom shelf of my oven underneath a luxurious duck cassoulet. After a long day in the kitchen, the two went perfectly together and were finished off over a large glass of red wine.
Fresh yeast isn’t always the most practical of ingredients because it does have a limited shelf life (I found mine would last for up to two weeks in the fridge). I’ve frozen most of the bulk that I ordered from Amazon and it’s definitely true that the texture changes when you defrost it again but it does still work. Fresh yeast seems to give a more consistent rise and while it’s been fun I may be heading back to dried yeast once my temporary obsession with bread products dies down. Having already thrown out two half blocks of yeast that eventually perished in my fridge, there will certainly be less wastage with the the dried variety.