Ode to Yeast

Yeasty magicThe great bubble maker,

needs so very little,

just some sugar, water, and flour from a shaker,

add some time to diddle,

Be it great loaves, or small rolls,

even beer or wine,

with the right amount o’ patience,  it shall surely be a beast,

ready the barrel and oil the bowl,

for there will never be anything so fine,

as what one can make with an amazing and active yeast!

I’m probably becoming a better baker than I ever was a poet, as winter in Ohio leads to a lot of time for experimenting for the coming season.  Ohio cottage laws permit us to sell baked goods, as well as jellies, jams and other preserves from our farm kitchen.  In the spring, we plan on rolling our line of jams and jellies out to local farmers’ markets, and fully plan on selling loaves of fresh-made bread right along side those little jars.  This has led to lots of experimenting with breads.  Our best resident baker–my dad–has been trying out everything from sandwich style bread to a low-yeast, long-rest method that produces beautiful boules.  I’ve been getting in on the action with cinnamon rolls.

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I think we may have finally settled on a winner though (although we do have a soughdough starter arriving via FedEx today and that may upset the order a little bit.)  The boules below are beautifully sized, are made in vessels that *don’t* cost an arm and a leg, and are just the perfect size to slice up and serve with some blueberry jam and smooth, locally-made goat cheese.

 

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Before spring arrives, however, we’ve got a lot more playing around to do.  I’ve got visions of bagels, sourdough pancakes and soft pretzels dancing in my head.  Never been a big fan of sugar plums.

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