Desem, Day 5

This is the continuation of my accounts of making desem bread, which is made with just flour, water, salt and nothing else. It's somewhere between regular baking and a science project.

The desem isn't as active today, but it's certainly moving and growing. This is how the incubator-pot looks when I opened it up:

The dough is rising and cracking the surface of the smoothed out flour.

I treat it just as I have the previous two days - cut away half, soften the remainder with about 1/4 cup of pure (bottled) water, add 1 cup of organic whole-wheat flour, knead and round into a ball, and re-bury in the flour of the incubator-pot.

In case you think I am totally bonkers for doing this...believe me, it only takes a few moments out of the day, and it's as interesting as those science experiments I used to do growing up. And, the results are well worth it.

Tomorrow the desem will leave its incubator, to start its way towards becoming a "mother" for future loaves of delectable, natural-yeast bread.

I potter off to make myself a fishfinger buttle.

Filed under:  bread baking desem

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I just discovered your blog nad I must say I'm really impressed. Great posts, especially for someone like me who's just beginning to discover Japanese cooking. I love baking so I'll be following the Desem bread "experiment" with anticipation.
BTW I absolutely DO NOT think you're bonkers for trying this. On the other hand I have a jar of wild yeast in my fridge always at hand. Maybe I'm a bit bonkers too!

Hi Alberto! thanks for the kind words!

I've been a fan of your food blog for some time so I'm quite honored :)

I think people who haven't tried making wild yeast bread don't know how fun it can be...or how tasty either!

I'll post more Japanese entries too.

Thanks for stopping by!

The photo is an exact replica of what I found today in my own metal stock pot incubator. The desem smells differently now (a teeny bit sour but, for me, more appetising and complex) and the texture has changed. The crust also being notably thinner.
My parents were over babysitting my little girl and the desem is living by the front door (I tried putting it out of the way in the kitchen but the extra degree or so made the desem grow a bit too fast). Yesterday my father saved my little desem monster from the other little monster who decided it could do with a drink... of shampoo. He caught her just in time, phew! Last night I had a dream that I found the desem in pieces, the pieces were in different colours and some were riddled with blue mold, just like cheese. In the dream my daughter had been burying sharp flat objects into the desem ball and I was extracting these wondering if it could still be salvaged - ever the optimist. Looking forward to tomorrow when I can remove the ball from the incubator and put it somewhere safer. Perhaps the fridge.
Bonkers? I must be. But I do very much want my daughter to grow up with the taste of real wheat in her mouth whenever she thinks or says the word 'bread'.

Great to know both your desem and daughter are growing up nicely ^__^