Baking with lievito madre natural yeast
What is lievito madre?Also known as sourdough or starter dough, lievito madre is a natural yeast, usually made from soft wheat. Now an integral part of the Italian bakery and pastry culture, Ciabatta and Panettone owe their irresistible aroma, softness and honeycomb appearance to it. Lievito madre is made up of endogenous wild yeast and lactic bacteria, which live within the yeast itself.
Producing lievito madre at home requires fine flour, pure water and plenty of time. This is because it must mature for a long time and be refreshed several times to fully develop its aroma and strength. Temperature is equally important in order to mature and develop an acid note similar to that of natural yogurt.
Lievito madre is also available in a dried version, such as "EVA" (link to product) from Molino Merano, which simplifies the process and guarantees constant quality.
Lievito madre procedure
Natural yeast is used in the production of bread specialties, such as ciabatta, pizza, focaccia and sweet leavened products such as croissants, brioches and Panettone. Since it is a natural Mother Yeast, baked goods require a little more patience in preparation. At a temperature of around 26°C, the dough takes about 10 hours before it’s ready for the oven.
Why use lievito madre?
Natural yeast-based bakery products are tolerated better by our body. Long dough rising helps metabolize so-called FODMAPs, which can sometimes cause gastrointestinal problems or irritable bowel syndrome. Natural yeast also improves the freshness of baked goods by making them less susceptible to mould. All these advantages soften the waiting time for our baked goods. Have fun cooking with lievito madre!