Bread Maiden apologizes for her long hiatus from blogging. So much has happened in the past six months and she hopes that as the dust settles she will post a little more often.
Bread around the Bread Maiden household has been pretty routine- I’ve gotten into the habit of making my standard 1-2-3 sourdough, sometimes mixing it up with a wheat or multigrain loaf. But while those are great breakfast breads, they aren’t very exciting.
However, the bread I am telling you about now IS kind of exciting.
But I need to provide some background first.
Here is a picture of mead on the left, and hard cider on the right.
As you may remember from previous posts, yeast is used in many things, and can come in many forms.
And yeast that has been used in beer or other fermented drinks can be used in bread as well, after some prep work. Once the fermentation process is complete, the yeast settles on the bottom of the vessel. After the beer has been transferred from the carboy to bottles, the leftover yeast can be collected and stored, as it is here in the top tupperware.
This week Mr. Bread Maiden bottled his cider and had cider yeast left over. I checked online to see if anyone had heard of using cider yeast in bread. I found this but nothing else.
So I decided to give it a try.
I threw a few tablespoons of the cider yeast into a glass jar and mixed in 100g of all-purpose flour and 75g of water. Then I left it to rise overnight, discarded most of it, fed it again, and waited another night.
By this time it was quite lively.
I threw it into my 1-2-3 bread.
I guess I should probably update when I actually bake this thing.
Meanwhile, I have the pleasure to report our Big Change #2:
Ok, and we’re back with the results of the cider bread.
This is a picture of the bread rising after a few hours and one stretch-and-fold.
I threw my dutch oven into the oven and preheated it at 450 degrees. Then I baked the loaves one at a time after scoring them in my usual pattern. I baked them for 30 minutes with the dutch oven lid on, then 15 minutes with the lid off.
Here is what came out of the oven:
But how does it compare to a normal 1-2-3 sourdough loaf in terms of color, oven spring, holey interior, and taste?
The taste was really the only difference Mr. Bread Maiden and I could identify. While the cider loaf came out of the oven with a distinctive “sharp” smell, it had a milder taste than my normal sourdough.
This taste difference might not be directly a consequence of using cider vs. regular wild yeast starter. It could have more to do with the fact that the cider starter was much younger than my normal starter, and that I started the loaf in the morning and baked it the same night, instead of letting it go for longer fermenting time in the fridge.
So, what’s the verdict? I’m not sure if I’m going to keep the cider starter after my grand cider bread experiment. It’s enough just to keep one starter going, much less two. And the cider starter may get more intense over time, which makes the taste difference less of an issue.
If you like the idea of experimenting with other types of yeast in your bread but don’t have cider yeast, don’t despair. There are TONS of other yeasts, including yeast from fruit! Check out this very helpful website.