My New Pet ~ Herman 我的赫爾曼酵母

Finally, I started my little Herman project from scratch. Herman is a natural yeast which was grown from the mixture of flour, milk, sugar & instant yeast (please refer recipe here). And then feed them every five(5) days with the ratio 1 : 1 : 1:1 , meaning 1 cup Herman starter, 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Unlike wild yeast, Herman starter is sweeter and watery. As for me, I grew my Herman with my old age leftover wild yeast which was kept in the fridge months ago and no commercial instant yeast added  I simply convert my wild yeast into Herman starter by adding in the ratio as given. I am truly happy that my natural yeast is working fine. The baby bubbling actively after feeding the first 5 days. You may keep your Herman in the fridge and reactivate it a day before, of course it may take some time. For further natural yeast info, you may check on my right hand side bar from USEFUL LINK.

However, I am still struggling if I should follow the recipe as given. I experiment my first attempt but failed. The bread tasted really unpleasant with a sourish aroma duel to long hours proofing. I too found that working with natural yeast is totally different from the commercial instant yeast. You don't need double proofiing method, unless you're working on a sourdough recipe. The most appropriate timing to proof your Herman soft bread is in between 3 hours after each feeding. It is the most active and appropriate period in generating carbon dioxide gas for your bread dough. Honestly, working with natural yeast is quite time consuming. So, I decided to plan for a double feeding process as follow. Please read on for more.

My second attempt on making Asian eggless soft bread from scratch as follow.

To activate the Herman culture, mix together the following ingredients overnight :
**3 TB Herman starter + 3 TB  flour + 3 TB water + 2 TB sugar

Ingredients :
150gm  Herman starter
150gm  bread flour
50ml   water

150gm   bread flour
80ml    water
1/4 tspn   salt
50gm   cold butter, chopped

Method :
(1)   since Herman already activate overnight, now start the 2nd batch of starter by mixing in the starter ingredients till well cooperated then leave to rest for 2-3 hours.
(2)   next, stir the main dough ingredients (except butter) into starter dough till everything well combined and became quite sticky at this stage.
(3)  add in butter and continue kneading till everything is well cooperated, the dough shouldn't be sticky anymore but elastic. Keep on kneading till smooth.
(4)  transfer dough to working table and divide into 9 equal portions, round them into ball shape and coat with some flour.
(5)  place shaped dough to a 7" (8" or 9" is better) greased baking tray and let to rest for at least 4 hours in the oven, with a cup of hot water.
(6)  finally, cover the dough with some dusting flour & bake at preheated oven at 185'C for 20-25 minutes or till brown.

These soft buns turned out beautifully, proving the yeast has did its job wonderfully. For the proofing stage, the shaped dough reached around 70% bigger instead of double its size. However, the dough expanding rapidly when baked under high heat. These buns rose almost double the size and bye bye to sourish aroma. Now I am one happy baker !

 So, stay tune for more Herman project from My Little Space. Enjoy & have fun !
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