Ferments!

Happy Lord’s day!

Today after our sermon I really was drawn to meditate upon the vast wonders of our God. By now you have gathered that I am a bread baker, and I bake with ancient grains. My favorite grain to use in our everyday bread making is einkorn. Now einkorn can be a bit difficult to work with so if you have never worked with this wondeful storehouse of flavor and nutrition you should buy Carla Bartolucci’s book “Einkorn” as well as Shanna & Tim Mallon’s book titled “Einkorn”. Both of these books though they vary in many ways helped me become a much better Einkorn baker. Now to rise my breads I use mostly sour dough, and on occassion I use and organic yeast from Germany called Bio-real. I order this product from a lovely company called Breadtopia. It works very well for bread recipes that have long ferment times and the majority of bread I bake fit that criteria to a “T” . However, I am adventurous and I am always trying to push the envelope of my experience. Last year I came across a post on the Japanese method of rising breads with yeast water. They make an hydromel of sorts with fruit and clean, chlorine free water. They let it ferment for about 6 days or so and use it to rise their breads. Now I still love my sour dough simply because of the little power house of probiotic bacteria that lives in the culture and how it pre-digests grain which with the guts people have today is very important. But I was really intrigued by the added nutrition and potential flavor imparted. Most recipes reported that the flavor were undetectable most times but somedid enhance the bread subtly. So I tried my hand at using this yeasted water method and made a cherry chocolate bread. It was a major hit let me tell you and I sold out at the market very quickly. I tried quite a few different fruits and some herbs as well and all worked nicely with my sour dough. Most folks use this yeast water as a stand alone and that is awesome but I like to mix things up a bit. So I marry the two and they perform a dance together in my flour that causes me to praise God for His wonders! Food is medicine so this is how I heal the body and the mind by baking these blessing from God. These are just a part of many wonderful things we still can enjoy. We are broken people, this world is broken but God gave us so much to enjoy even in this broken place.

The second ferment is a white wine mother culture that will transform into a white wine vinegar. There are several reasons I am on another quest to make my own vinegar AGAIN. One main reason is that my husband enjoys a special salad dressing I make with it and number two I want to make an oxymel for my honey bees. An oxymel is a honey and vinegar mixture. In Juliette de Bairacli Levy’s book The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable in her section about honey bees she talks of a Spanish beekeeper who regularly feeds vinegar to his bees. He told her that his bees love it! His honey was of an excellent quality she reported. In times of dirth he would mix the wine vinegar with their honey making an oxymel which the bees enjoyed sumptuosly. I try my best to stay as organic as possible on this farm. I also believe that animals can help themselves and need little intervention from humans. We are there to nurture and support all our livestock but assist only when it is necessary. Man is responsible for so much suffering in this world so we do our best to keep things here as God intended.

So hopefully this post was somewhat informative. I will make the cherry chocolate bread in about a week when my yeast water is ready and then Lord willing I will post some photos and the recipe. Stay tuned…..