I pick up the natural starter baking habit lately, feeding the yeast early in morning, have the bread proofed, shaped and ready to be baked by end of the day. All completed within 12 hours in a 30C+ room temperature.
The natural yeast starter I made from raisins is very strong. After almost 1 month of ignoring it, leaving it at the back of the fridge, it came back alive, bursting with bubbling activity, tripling its volume after just 2 feedings. The conversion of this natural starter in my root vegetable bread recipes was also a breeze. Here’s to more healthy homemade bread!
The few natural starter bread loaves I have baked so far, adapted from my taro bread recipes, took about 2.5 – 3 hours for the dough to rise above the bread pan.
The crumbs were tighter, denser but still soft. Another difference between baking with commercial yeast and natural yeast is that the bread continues to rise dramatically during baking.
So now that I have attempted the taro bread loaf with natural starter, I will try out my next few bakes with other vegetables to test out if starter ratio to flour is the same.
Natural Starter Raisin Taro Loaf
160g natural starter ** 265g plain flour 1 tablespoon raw sugar 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 100g mashed taro 65g cold milk 20g cold butter, cubed 55g raisins ***
** Raisin yeast starter.
*** Soak raisins in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes. Drain and gently squeeze dry to remove excess liquid before use.
In a mixer bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together ( flour, sugar, sea salt) with a hand whisk. Then add natural starter, cooled mashed taro and half of the milk. Turn on the mixer to knead with a dough hook. With the mixer running on its lowest speed (KA 1), pour the milk slowly in a trickle until the ingredients come into the ball. You might not use up all the milk or you might need more, depending on the hydration level of the ingredients. Once a dough ball is formed, stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 minutes to allow the flour to absorb the liquid better.
Start the mixer again to knead for 1 minute before adding cubed butter one by one, and knead till the dough reach window pane stage. Add raisins while mixer is running and knead for about 1 minute to incorporate the raisins into the dough. Stop mixer and leave the dough to bulk rise at room temperature for 120 – 150 minutes, until the dough expands to double its volume.
After the dough has risen to double its volume, punch down the dough to deflate and transfer to a clean work top. Sprinkle worktop and palms with flour if the dough is too sticky to handle.
Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Flatten and shape each portion into a tight ball. Arrange them in a well greased Pullman bread tin, seam side downwards. Leave this aside to proof for 120-150 minutes, covered with a towel.
Preheat oven to 160C, and bake the bread for 35 minutes.
When done, remove bread from tin immediately and place on a rack to cool completely.