Tried something last week, making bread from bakers yeast that I developed into a sponge prior to creating the final dough.
Nothing radical so far, nothing wildly crazy.
Where I did venture outside of the usual bounds of common sense (!) was in how little yeast I used – 1/2 tsp in a sponge mix weighing about 500g, which I mixed up in the evening and then fridged overnight, before adding more water, the remaining flours and some salt to create the final dough. Made up enough for 2x900g loaves, though given what we normally expect with the pace of rising of yeasted dough, here’s the interesting part – they weren’t ready to bake until late afternoon, having proved for about 6 hours at room temp (preceded by 3 hours first prove in the morning).
Sorry I don’t have any pictures, cos they came out rather well in fact – good shape, airy yet firm crumb, though not too many irregular holes like I get with sourdough loaves. Still, the “in-house” punters didn’t complain, plus having frozen some and since defrosted it, I can safely say that they keep well too!
One thing that I will admit where they fall short of sourdough loaves I’ve done, is in how they taste: compared to naturally-yeasted, these are just a bit ‘dull’, a bit flat and uninteresting, sad to say. Still, I know a few fellow bakers who won’t be completely surprised by that admission… eh Mick?