Friday, November 30, 2012

Rolls made with Natural Yeast

I discovered accidentally that our natural yeast much prefers hot water/liquid to get a very high rise.   I was happy to see this because our bread has been delicious but a bit dense.    I wanted to be able to control the rise a bit better.  

So when I made these rolls for Thanksgiving, I scalded the milk and melted the butter in the microwave until they were hot.   HOT!    And I poured it right in on top of the yeast with the flour and sugar and salt and then I mixed it all.

And the yeast did not die.  

And it rose and rose and rose.

And my rolls were light.  

And fluffy.   And delicious!   Yes!!

So.   Remember that:    Your natural yeast start might really like hot liquid.   Try it and find out.  Feed it with hot water and see if it rises better.

Rolls with Natural Yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups natural yeast start [whatever's left when you feed your start]
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 cups white flour
Scald the milk and melt the butter.   It's OK if they're HOT! [Hot as in too hot to put your finger in, but not boiling].    Put the yeast, sugar, salt, butter, milk and flour in your mixer with a dough hook and mix away.    You might need to scrape down the sides.    This was enough flour for the dough to hold together and pull away clean from the sides of the mixer bowl.    The dough holds together well, but is still soft.

Mix until the dough begins to 'windowpane'.  [Stretch a bit of dough between your fingers to make a square.   It should get thin before it breaks.  That means the gluten is developed.]

Put in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until double.  [I let mine rise in the oven with the light on.]  It took mine almost three hours to double.  [That's the proofing stage.]  After the proofing, pinch off pieces of dough the size you need for rolls, roll them into balls and put them in baking pans so that they just barely touch.  Cover and let them rise again until double.   It took almost three hours.   When they've risen, uncover them and bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until browned. 

Makes 2 baking pans [8x12] full of rolls.   Would probably make three loaves of bread.


  1. Ooh, this is good news! I've always been un-fond of the bricks I make with natural yeast. Great tip. :)

  2. Janiel's comment made me smile...that's exactly what I would have said if I hadn't killed all my yeast and have given up on it.


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