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Monday, 2 April 2018

Fresh Yeast and Planning ahead to do Batch/Bulk Baking and cooking on a monthly basis

I was taught to use fresh yeast from an early age.  In fact there was only fresh yeast or the bobbly ball grain dried yeast available to use then. None of your Fast Action Yeast although though I believe very much today that has its place and I do use it for the Bread machine bread and also the Christmas plum bread as well as other things.  However there are a lot of recipes out there that only use fresh yeast and sometimes a conversion with the ingredients just does not work.  So needs must and all that I sent for some fresh yeast.

Mum always used to be able to buy yeast fresh from our bakers until they retired and then it became hit and miss.  When she did find it she often used to buy what she could and use what she wanted and then freeze the rest. As I have not been able to locate fresh yeast readily for some time I decided to do a little bit of research on Ebay and I came up with a provider providing 1kg (not in one block mine arrived in two separate blocks) for £9.99 (although there appear to be a variety of providers. Mine has been frozen in 1oz pieces for use over the next couple of months or so.   You may have to look around and keep an eye on prices generally in the long run but at least this means that I have fresh yeast to use when I need it. This also fits in with my new approach to bread in view of the fact that OH is not supposed to have any at all.   It will also be an opportunity to get my Bread-Prover out and on the go.  The only thing I have to gauge properly is when to make the bread.  Now that I envisage may well be the tricky part. That may be once a week or a couple of times as I shall need to plan ahead for that to make sure I have it for when I need it.  We shall have to see how things pan out in that respect but I am hoping that this will work how I want it to. The bread thing has been a bit hit and miss.

So for the time being until I get myself organised I have split the yeast into little individual packages within a bigger bag (1oz pieces) and I have a couple of packages in the fridge for use in-between just in case.  I aim to keep a couple of packages in the fridge for immediate use and if I need any more I can always get it out of the freezer).

Then I am going to gear myself up to play.  Saturday afternoon  or a Sunday morning I intend to be the time when I make stuff or prepare meals for the freezer as I really need to get a grip on proper food rather than buying pre-prepared stuff which has all sorts of unnecessary extras. I am hoping that this will cut the household budget back a little bit although it will be more time costly but some things you just have to down tools for and food for me is one of these priorities.  So there is going to be a lot of planning and plotting and working out a basics list of stuff that we use; then preparing recipe cards which have been laminated to make life a little easier until I get to grips and memorise the recipes and then storing them in a Lever Arch file for ease of access. Thought that this might save the recipe  books but also bigger print is easier for me to read and makes things quicker to get on with in the long run.

On a practical basis I thought that at the beginning of each month near payday I could go to the Butchers and top up with basic meats like, stewing steak, skirt, brisket, chicken breasts, game, ham, and turn them into slow cooker freezer meals, steak pies, Cornish pasties, chicken pies, beef mince and carrot pies, stew, cooked beef pie mix for the freezer sausage rolls etc. etc.  It is not just going to be a play time for the bakery but also across the board.  I have equipment like pie makers, individual and large and so they really need to earn their keep.  That is why I bought them in the first place.  I can also make use of odds and ends to make up mixed pies as well both, meat, savoury and fruit.  My Nan used to many years ago do a weekly bake where everything was made on a Saturday for the week before.  This was pre-freezer days and she continued with this after getting a freezer as well.  There was always something good in the tins (for unexpected visitors) and lots of grub to eat.  We never went hungry but were not allowed to be greedy either.

It is going to be a learning curve.  Some of the things I have made before and others I have not so it could be a bit hit and miss and for me it is about experimentation until I  find the recipes that work for us.

I have recipes for home made Croissants, Home Made Muffins, Home Made Crumpets, Home Made Tea cakes are just but a few as are home made scones, Treacle Tart etc.  I emphasise not all to be made at once but Hot Toasted Muffins or Hot Toasted Crumpets are really superb on a cold winter's evening.  Especially if you can toast them on an open fire.  We used to do this at my grandparent's when we were small there would be no light on just the firelight and a toasting fork and as they became ready they were dished out one by one slavered with butter which from the heat of the crumpet or muffin started to drip.  I have my Grandparents' brass toasting fork as well as a couple of others.  I just need my open fire or two.  So as I have said before I have many of the accoutrements for my forever home just not the money, mortar bricks/stone.

I also dip in and out of the Internet for recipes.  One site I have found interesting is this one which is in the States but they have a bake along as well as the recipes for those of you who want to have a go.  Another reason for me trying to organise things from a different angle is that I also want to expand my recipe repertoire as well.

https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/tag/bakealong/


Source for the Fresh Yeast Ebay.  I just typed in Fresh Yeast and then took my pick from the entries that came up.  

The company I used on Ebay was Brilliant Baking Supplies and the link is here:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/brilliantbakerysupplies/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_ipg=&_from=


They do have other stuff listed but I was just after the fresh yeast.

Catch you soon.

Pattypan

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