Good day, friends! How are you weathering this storm where you are?
As a response to the dramatic lifestyle changes many of us have experienced this week, I’ve started a series of video posts that will focus on clever meals (historic and otherwise) that can help us to be a bit more creative with the foods in our pantries as shops deal with empty shelves and food hoarding situations. The first video recipe is embedded below.
Join me for 48 Hour Naturally Leavened Bread as I discuss depression-era and wartime food smarts that can steer us all towards making clever recipes during times of crisis, such as the bread recipe in this post.
The video below was shot in mid-March of 2020 during the early days of the California ‘Stay-at-Home’ order implemented to slow the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). As a result of food shortages in local grocery stores, and a rational fear of famine exhibited by the public in the wake of a global health crisis, this video was made to demonstrate how easy it is to make leavened bread using leftover small quantities of flour and water. Resorting to depression-era food mentalities and a zero-waste attitude, I demonstrate how bread can be leavened naturally at room temperature over a 48-hour period, and how returning to the sensibilities of our grandparents may just save us as our food procurement, outings, and social practices change dramatically during the course of the Coronavirus outbreak.
The recipe that I made in this video was created using leftover bags of rye, spelt, and whole wheat flours. The end result was a crunchy, dark, heavy and beautifully leavened loaf of bread.
- Leftover flour of any variety. Don’t be afraid to combine them!
- Any other additive that you choose (but be aware of flour to moisture balance)
To make the dough, work with a 1:2 ratio of water to flour. One part water to two parts flour. For example: 300 gr of water to 600 gr of flour. Salt the dough to your liking. Feel free to add herbs, spices, fruit or whatever you have lying around in your fridge or pantry that you need to consume quickly and that could go well baked into bread…. maybe not broccoli, okay?
- A large container with a lid; or a baking sheet, ceramic cloche, pizza stone (it’s your choice!);
- Olive oil (to grease the rising container)
For further instructions on how to leaven the bread, please see the video above. Note that you can bake this loaf in a pot or on a baking sheet. There’s many ways to bake bread; feel free to experiment as you’ll find your own favourite system! The bread can be baked at 400 C / 200 F / Gas Mark 6 for anywhere from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes depending on the density of the loaf. If using the 1:2 ratio above, 1 hour should suffice. If you use all white flour, you may need a bit more flour for the water. Lower hydration loaves may also require different baking temperatures and bake times. Have fun, stay safe and make bread!
Join in the discussion on our Facebook page or leave a comment about this recipe below on this page. If you’d like to chat in person with me or about any of the other recipes, you can join me at one of the The Old-School Kitchen live events taking place at a museum or venue near you. More information about this year’s events can now be found on the Events Calendar page.