Friday, March 30, 2007
Michiko's Apple Yeast Bread
I started experimenting with growing wild yeast culture from fruits such as apples and raisins for bread baking in February (about 2 months ago), and it seems I have begun to get a hang of it. (There are some photographs of my early experiments with the wild yeast culture in the entry on March 17, "From Michiko's Recent Kitchen Experiments" and on March 13, "Rejuvelac Sourdough Bread").
Although Amar was quite dubious about my apple yeast or any other kind of wild yeast experiements (and it was quite understandable since at the beginning the bread made with my homegrown wild yeast weren't that terrific ;-), as I start to get a hang of it and the loaves of bread produced have become more and more in a good shape with a good flavor and texture, he started appreciating the bread made with my wild yeast.
The landmark moment was when he said of my second loaf of apple yeast bread: "Wow, this is the best toast bread that I've ever had since I left New Zealand! Seriously!! This bread reminds me of one of my favorite bread in New Zealand called 'Burgan'. I used to eat the bread a lot throughout my university days... Hmm, this [my apple yeast bread] is a really nice bread. Please make this again and again."
I asked him what about my apple yeast bread reminded him so much of his favorite New Zealand bread. To which he answered, "Well, it has a slight sour flavour similar to sourdough bread, but not too sour and light, and yet it has a depth of flavour as you bite it. The crust is nice and crispy, but the crumb is moist. It's easy to slice cleanly, and the best part is that when you toast the slice and put butter on it, it doesn't sink like some commercial bread sold here, and it absorbs just right amount of butter! So this is the best bread ever, because of such a good harmony with butter both in texture and in flavour!"
...Uh-huh. I understand how important it is for him that "a good bread" has to be a good company for a good NZ butter :-)
(The last small bread is another my experimental bread - something that I would call "apple yeast scone bread" - this is also made with apple yeast, and has several kinds of dried fruits and nuts. All these bread here are made without any commercial yeast, but just with wild yeast culture raised from apple skins.)