You are about to embark on the most fascinating voyage of diskovery to bake breads and sweet buns botanically. Starting today, you will never have to buy yeast ever again. Instead you can just go into your garden, pick some fruit, vegetables, plants, or flowers, place them in a jar of water, and leave them in your kitchen to ferment. When the water in the jar starts to fizz, you’ll then use this liquid to make your bread rise! Once this simple method is mastered, you’ll be making stunning breads from just flour, salt, and fermented water. There’s no need to worry if you’re not much of a gardener, though; store-bought produce works just as well.

This method, which I call botanical baking (also commonly known as yeast waters), is a growing technique for baking breads. It’s a natural progression from fermenting your own foods to preserve them, which continues to increase in popularity. These fermented foods are more wholesome and contain no unnecessary ingredients or preservatives. They also provide probiotic bacteria that aid digestion and increase the bioavailability of vitamins and minerals for your body to absorb, leading to healthier gut, bones, and immune system. Baking bread the botanical way will enable you to make more wholesome, nutritious, and digestible loaves. You may already be preserving your own foods at home, or perhaps you are a novice fermenter just starting out. Either way, you are about to join a clandestine group of global home bakers championing this method of baking.

As a lifelong baker who likes to push the boundaries in my craft, I have found that botanical baking is my favorite way to bake. In 2018, my botanical breads were awarded the Most Innovative Bakery Product in the United Kingdom at the national Baking Industry Awards. This was a superb endorsement for my new concept, and, personally, a wonderful accolade presented to me by my peers in British baking.

This book is a collection of my personal favorite botanical recipes, which have been developed at my bakery and training school, Cinnamon Square. The recipes all follow my measured approach philosophy of baking, prescribing accurate measurement of weight, temperature, and time. This helps ensure consistent quality and helps you become a more confident and knowledgeable home baker. Don’t worry if you are a novice bread maker, as I am confident you will soon get the hang of botanical baking.

I hope my book inspires you to adopt this botanical approach to baking. Do share your experiences on social media and together we can champion the rise of botanical baking worldwide.

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