If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know I’m a huge fan of natural yeast. I posted more about what natural yeast is and why it’s amazing, here. Go read that first if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Trust me. I was completely off of gluten earlier this year after having some major issues with it. I missed bread. Not enough to eat it, because I knew it would send my gut into major havoc, but I wanted a piece of toast, or some crackers in my soup! I was introduced to natural yeast a few years ago by my sister in law, who had attended a class by Melissa Richardson, the Bread Geek. She was floored by what she learned and knew I would be interested. I was. I had heard about natural yeast in a roundabout way, but wasn’t fully educated on it. After learning more, I was hooked. I got a starter and began experimenting.
I thought several times that I killed it and got a new one, but I persevered until we went on a vacation and I just left my starter and threw it out when we got home. I was pregnant and miserable and in no mood to make bread or feed my start. It wasn’t until I experienced all of this pain associated with gluten that I had my AH-HA moment and remembered that natural yeast is supposed to break down gluten so that it’s more easily digestible. I was intrigued, so I got another starter and took off baking. That first piece of bread was HEAVEN. It was so delicious. I waited anxiously to see how it would effect me, if at all. Nothing. I waited until the next day to have another slice and still, nothing. So I ran for it. I just kept baking. I made waffles and english muffins, bread, pancakes, scones, ANYTHING. I didn’t have one flutter in my tummy from any of it.
This time around, my starter is thriving, and so am I. I have learned so much by playing around and making it a routine part of my life. I was more than excited to hear that Melissa was coming out with her second book because I have loved her first one so much but wanted MORE. I have been lucky enough to be able to review her new book, Beyond Basics with Natural Yeast, and haven’t been disappointed. I have spent the last few months trying new recipes and learning even more about this wonder food. Nothing that I have made has upset me in the slightest. It is amazing to be eating bread again – and not just any bread – bread that is actually good for my body and my digestion. Bread that nourishes me and fills me up and doesn’t leave me heavy and bloated. I grind my own wheat and use that flour, and it’s been just fine for me.
I love this new book. One of the things I love about Melissa is that she gives you a lot of information. It’s not just recipes, you are learning as you go. I loved how this book was made up of recipes contributed by other people who have been experimenting at home with natural yeast. It gives the book a lot of variety and I found it interesting to read about how each person made their favorite recipes into ones using natural yeast. I also loved that there are so many new things to try: cornbread, pretzel rolls (pictured above, I made them the first week after receiving the book), crackers, pumpkin bread, cookies, cakes, flat bread, and waffles. I have tried a lot of them, and have many more on my list. I was so excited to see the section on how to make your own crackers, because what child doesn’t love crackers? I hate buying them or giving them to my girls because they are loaded with so many random additives and ingredients I don’t recognize. I am anxious to make my own and see how they turn out!
I am a recipe book lover, and this one is the perfect addition to my collection. Go check out Melissa’s site for even more tips and information. If you ever want to start baking and are in my area, I love sharing my start – it’s like one of my children, I love it.
Check out the book, here (affiliate link):