I’m really excited about this new cookbook! I grew up with sourdough pancakes as a special breakfast treat, but haven’t had any other experience with using natural yeast. The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast by Caleb Warnock and Melissa Richardson starts with the all the basics and then progresses into recipes for everything from basic to artisan breads and sweet treats!
I’m really excited to try out a bunch of recipes in the book, but for now, I’m getting my starter going strong and trying to acquire another one (I want both a mild and sour starter). Meanwhile, I’m also enjoying reading over all the information on the benefits of using natural yeast, the ins-and-outs of using and maintaining starters, and pouring over the whole beautiful book. It’s all in color and has lots and lots of pictures, which I think should be required of all cookbooks.
I will have more of a review coming after I’ve tried out a few recipes, but I have three fun things for you right here, right now in this post.
- Classes by the Authors of The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast
- Guest Post by Melissa Richardson (one of the authors)
- Giveaway of this fabulous book!
First, check out the launch event with three great classes. I would love to go to the baking one, especially!
The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast
Saturday, August 18
Sandy Bosch Store
8940 S. 700 E.
Call Ahead to Reserve a Spot: (801) 562-1212
12:00-12:40 Wheat: Why it's making us sick (the answer will surprise you)
20 minute break: Signings and Q&A
1:00-1:40 Natural yeast: Prevention and cure
20 minute break: Signings and Q&A
2:00-3:00 Baking with Natural Yeast (Breads, waffles, and crepes)
3:00-4:00 Final giveaway, signings, Q&A
From Melissa Richardson:
The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast: Whole Wheat Baking for Health and Healing
I started baking bread to shave pennies off my food budget. I read books and scalped recipes to learn the art of baking with whole wheat. Not only was I pinching pennies, I was doing so in a way that was healthier for my small family.
That’s when I came across a news snippet claiming that people who ate whole wheat bread were more prone to digestive illnesses like celiac disease. The reporter listed multiple negative side effects found in people consuming a 100 percent whole wheat diet, stating that whole wheat products were “proven” to cause inflammation, to aggravate our digestive systems, to “steal” vitamins and minerals from us, or cause one of many diseases or disorders.
I immediately got to work researching in defense of my beloved whole wheat loaves. But the more I read, the guiltier my loaves looked.
The answer turned out to be not in the wheat, but in the yeast.
For six thousand years, people made bread using natural yeast. The process required a longer rising period and more planning. Without commercial yeast, they had no choice. What they didn’t know was that these longer rise periods (also known as a pre-ferment, sponge, or pre-digestion) were protecting them from the harmful enzymes causing all the trouble mentioned in the research I had found. Natural yeasts created a soil-like acidity in dough that broke down gluten to safe levels and turned nutrient-leeching phytic acid into a cancer-fighting anti-oxidant.
Maximum nutrition without the nasty side effects, just as God intended.
What had seemed like a time-consuming chore was really the key to whole grain health. So what happened? Yeast had gone industrial, commercial, and synthetic in the span of a few short decades. Bread could be made with chemical yeast instead of natural yeast and bakers could make more bread in less time than ever before in history.
This modern method of bread making bypasses a process designed and used over thousands of years to keep us healthy and thriving. Natural yeasts create a soil-like acidity in dough that break down gluten to safe levels and turns nutrient-leeching phytic acid into a cancer-fighting anti-oxidant. Maximum nutrition without the nasty side effects, just as God intended.
Lucky for us, it’s not too late to learn the skills perfected by our ancestors. Yes, it takes more time than a jog to the corner grocery, but I’d much rather spend that time in my kitchen surrounded by family than in the doctor’s office, wouldn’t you?
Natural yeast starters can be easily ordered by mail or shared among friends in a community. Once you have a starter, it will provide yeast for you and your family for as many generations as you are willing to keep and care for it. And because of your starter, those generations to come will enjoy a healthier, happier life.
I have now been baking with natural yeast for 3 years, and the benefits have reached beyond the borders of my own little family. My friend and co-author Caleb Warnock lost 48 pounds and cured his acid reflux by eating naturally yeasted bread. People who have attended our classes and read our book have emailed us with stories of health and healing.
There is still so much to learn, and so many more recipes to create, but I am excited to share everything I have learned so far. You will find that as you learn this art and provide nutrition for the ones you love, you will enjoy the dietary self-reliance you have brought into your home. Good luck, and have fun!
Melissa Richardson is a mother of 3 and co-author of The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast (available for purchase on Amazon). You can follow her adventures in bread at thebreadgeek.blogspot.com, or follow The Bread Geek on Facebook.
Would you like to win a copy of her book?
To Enter: Leave a comment on this post of your experience with natural yeast or why you are interested in baking with it. See the Rafflecopter form to enter and for details on additional entries.
Giveaway Closes: 12:01 am EST on Monday, August 20, 2012. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond. You must be at least 18 years old and have a US address. Good luck!
Complimentary copies of The Art of Baking with Natural Yeast were provided for this review and giveaway, but all opinions are our own honest review.