Bake

Wild Yeast

by:
December 16, 2010

There are thousands of cooking blogs -- each week, we bring you highlights from the best. This week, we've got yeast on our mind, in one form (Your Best Dinner Rolls: 48 recipes strong and counting!) or another (see Merrill's yeast-free baking crusade).

Taralli  Grissini

Susan Tenney, a nurse practitioner by trade, began baking bread just four years ago after signing up for a short artisan bread class. She was hooked, creating the blog Wild Yeast to document her observations, successes, and failures, and becoming an important online source for novice and experienced bread bakers alike.

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Why bread? Bread is "perhaps the most universal of foods, a thing virtually synonymous with food itself," writes Tenney. "Infinitely versatile and varied, everyone likes it, every cuisine includes it, and no meal is complete without it." But it's just as much about the act of baking, she says, "a process that engages and satisfies every single one of my senses." And much like the rest of her life, "I try to control every variable I can think of, and it's still entirely possible that something I didn't think of, or can't completely control, will crop up to produce a completely unexpected result -- for better or worse. It keeps things interesting, and me on my toes, and a little humble."

Sourdough  Sourdough Bread Bowls

Tenney's recipes truly run the gamut, from Tangy English Muffins and Apple-Walnut Sourdough to High-Extraction Miche, Tortas de Aceite, and Grape Schiacciata (similar to focaccia). The detailed instructions and precise, scientific measurements might seem intimidating at first, but the fact that Tenney, a relatively amateur baker, is behind it all is reassuring and inspiring.

Between the links in Wild Yeast's blogroll to online Baking Communities and other helpful sites, and a great community-oriented feature called YeastSpotting (a weekly showcase of yeasted baked goods from around the web), it's a 2.0 bread-baking lovefest. Visit Wild Yeast, immerse yourself in the bread culture, and get that starter started. 

Cornucopia  Grape Schiacciata

 

8 Comments

TheWimpyVegetarian December 19, 2010
I found this site about a year ago and just love it! I'm so glad you're put it in the spotlight this week. Well deserved!!
 
hardlikearmour December 17, 2010
I've been drooling over her site for a few months now. I want to make her pumpkin brioche cinnamon rolls. I really, really hope she does a gibassier (like she hinted at with the lemon anise snowflakes). I love, love, love gibassier!
 
mrslarkin December 16, 2010
Wow, that IS inspiring! But amateur? I think not. Amateur is me making pizza and crusty rolls in my kitchen. ;-) The Lemon Anise Snowflakes? Holy smokes! They are beautiful!
 
Ordinary B. December 16, 2010
I discovered Wild Yeast last month and I love it! Thanks for spreading e word by featuring it here!
 
TasteFood December 16, 2010
Wild Yeast is one of my favorite bread blogs. Thank you so much for featuring her!
 
Wild Y. December 16, 2010
Thanks so much for putting Wild Yeast in your spotlight. I am honored!
 
cowgirlculture December 16, 2010
Neat! So much to learn!
 
Sagegreen December 16, 2010
Inspiring!!!