Monday, 1 June 2020

Mouldy Old Dough when Yeast is in Short Supply

The merry month of May,  has ended.   It has been an enjoyable month, I think.    Nothing special, but nothing bad either.    The days and weeks have flown by.

What have I been doing?    Quite.   I often ask myself the same question.

Truth to tell, the month passed pleasantly, but it had a dreamlike quality about it.  I suppose certain anchor points are missing due to lockdown so every day seems much the same.

Enough of this rambling.   Back to the title, mouldy old dough.



Yeast became really difficult to obtain once everyone got into panic buying.   It was as though everyone had suddenly decided to fill their store cupboards with loo rolls, hand gel, and yeast.

I was lucky, I already had a couple of small tins in the pantry, but I know a lot of people were very frustrated when they were unable to get their hands on some.  Sourdough is an option, but I really don't have the patience to pamper the starter.   

I recently came across a really useful tip from Shirley Goode - perhaps some of you will recall her television and radio appearances and her abundant  money-saving ideas and kitchen tips, though I daresay that most of you will be too young to remember that far back.

Her 1981 book, More for your Money, gives her version of Sourdough which she presented as being useful 'during the inevitable bread strikes'.     It is equally useful during times of yeast shortages.   I tried it out last week, just to make sure that it really works.   It does.

'All you need to do is keep back a small lump of dough, about the size of a small apple, from your baking and leave it in a small basin covered with water for about 4 days.   As it rises, turn it occasionally so that the top gets wet.   It will begin to smell sour after a few days and will then collapse into the water.   This is when it is ready to use.   Stir it well and add 1 tsp sugar.   Stir in the required amount of warm milk or water according to the recipe you are using, add to the flour then make the bread in the usual way.'

It takes a little longer than normal for the dough to rise, but I find that it works beautifully.    The most difficult part is remembering to save the piece of dough for the next batch of bread.




31 comments:

  1. Ooh, thank you for that, as I was going to start a sour dough starter today (though I have sufficient yeast having had forethought before Lockdown started). Your bread looks amazing by the way.

    I have to say, this time is like being in Limbo, but we are coping well here and enjoying the garden, and crafts, and learning new things.

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    1. It was a doddle, BB. Give it a go! Have to wonder where all the yeast went to, and just how much of it will end up in bins, or maybe there will be a real return to the home baked loaf.

      Good to know that you are also enjoying this period of Limbo, though I reckon you keep yourself pretty busy, one way and another.

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  2. What a brilliant idea. I am into (like totally and utterly hooked) sourdough. My son couldn’t have had more cosseting when he was a baby than my sourdough starter gets! To say I am besotted is an understatement, if you get the idea I am in love, (not again?) then you have it in one. What a good tip this is Elaine, although yeasted bread to me now tastes leaden in comparison. The converts are always the worst! I have had to stop myself saying more, it won’t surprise you to learn I am rapidly becoming a bore on the subject!?!

    LX

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    1. I smiled when I wrote the post, Lettice. I know the very high standard of bread which you produce - in competition with your son! I suppose that in the fullness of time, given that you don't add yeast to the ongoing bread mixes, it will become more and more like a real sourdough, or maybe not. It works, that is the important bit!

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    2. Ooh... good one I hadn’t thought about that. Elaine - 1 Lettice - 0. Progress report post later... maybe?

      LX

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    3. I have to start all over again - I stupidly forgot to save a portion of the bread dough this time...oops! I will let you know how it goes.

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  3. Thank you for sharing I will certainly give it a try.

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    1. Fingers crossed that it works for you!

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  4. I must get all my Shirley Goode books off the shelf and have a re-read.
    With so many people out of work and short of money perhaps a publisher will remember her books and reprint them, they had such good tips.
    By the time I started blogging her blog was coming to an end as she got very disabled.

    It looks as if the things I enjoy doing - like boot sales and swimming - will be the last to get started again. Of course car show rooms are much more important to the economy?!

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    1. She was a mine of useful information and tips, wasn't she? I used to 'chat' to her on her blog; she was always ready and willing to give suggestions and hints. You are right, her books would be well worth reprinting.

      You mean you don't plan to buy yourself a brand new car any time soon? No, neither do I, but things have to start somewhere. Here's to hoping that the things you enjoy can begin before long, Sue!

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  5. And you have your sourdough starter! It easy really.
    Lovely to see one of Joanne's towels in use

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    1. I love using Joanne's cloths, gz - rather as I love using your pretty blue bowl and the berry bowls.
      (Photographs will follow before long.)

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  6. That's an amazing way to make sourdough and much easier than the usual darn recipe which has never worked for me. Of course I'm going to try it. Your bread looks very good.
    Have a jolly old June .

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    1. Give it a go, Linda. Just remember that it may take longer to get the rise but, once it gets going... I now have to wait until I bake another loaf to cut off a new starter - I foolishly forgot about saving a piece as I was so busy plaiting and egg washing the loaves for the oven. Duh!

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  7. Your bread looks delicious Elaine. I have to keep checking my calendar to discover what day it is. Life in the slow lane. I spend a lot of time in my garden growing veggies. Don't know who's going to eat them all but they might come in.

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  8. Molly! Lovely to hear from you. Sounds as though you are keeping busy in a wonderfully productive way. I harvested the first cucumber, a few mangetout and some spinach today. They were so good! Don't work too hard, but enjoy the fruits of your labour.

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  9. Yes I remember Shirley Goode. I have several of her books and also watched the tv programme she did. I did follow her blog just before she died. I remember her saying that one of her books was available online for £999 if it was new. she said she should have got some from the publisher, signed them and kept them to sell. I have just set up a blog and learning how to do it. If you want to have a look it is www.pastorswife69.com

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    1. Hello Pat, Will definitely pop over and say hello over the next day or two. You mentioned her saying she wished she had got some books from her publisher - that rings a bell, I do seem to recall her mentioning that either in a post, or in comments. Funny how some people become so firmly fixed in our memories.

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  10. That sounds like a great way to make bread, easier than nursing a sourdough starter!

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    1. Hello sustainablemum, It was definitely easy to take care of, a quick flip over in the water and it was fine until the next day. I think it was about day 3 that it began to sink to the bottom of the basin, then I used it on day four, after stirring in a tsp sugar. I love little experiments like this!

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  11. That bread surely had a lovely grain. If it were that towel, I'd say it has good hand.

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    1. I love those towels, Joanne, they work hard and look beautiful as well. You are thought of every day.

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  12. Well, I really don't particularly like sourdough bread but may just try this and see what happens.

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    1. Hello Vic, This first loaf certainly didn't taste of sourdough, but I did use a milk loaf recipe. It will be interesting to see how future loaves turn out, see whether the flavour develops, and how long I can keep one going!

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  13. Very interesting, and handy to know. I once read that yeast is one of our nearest 'relations', and we have very similar genetic make-up. I wonder if it was true?

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    1. I must do a little research, how interesting!

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  14. I’ve never heard of this, thank you for the tip!

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    1. It was very simple to do, but it did the job, it just takes a little longer than normal to rise.

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  15. I will have to remember that, I had a job getting yeast and had it in my basket for our on line Tesco shop for weeks then last week I got two tins. Not only that I managed to get 500g from an online shop which I am waiting to be delivered.

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    1. That's you all set for quite a while Billy! Do you do the bread making?

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    2. Yes and I'm told they do not like the shop bread any more so I'm stuck with it

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Lovely to hear from you!