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Yeast

Food Discussions. Storage, Recipes and More (Sub Forums are Unlocked)

Yeast

Postby Tom Bergstrand » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:45 am

I have looked high and low for info on making yeast at home. I found what looks simple but fails at the end. It said to put raisins in water and let it sit. Blah Blah. It did NOT explain how much of the water to use for a 1 pound loaf of bread. Can anyone explain from start to finish how to make yeast for bread making?? Thanks.
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Re: Yeast

Postby kappydell » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:02 am

Most 'recipes' for yeast include yeast. Sounds wierd, I know, but yeast is grown - its a plant, not an object. You can capture a wild yeast from the air, or make a liquid starter using store bought yeast that you then keep re-growing over and over. The starter from the air is free, but may not taste good - not all wild yeasts are tasty, and it takes longer than using a store yeast to start it up. I've used a so-called homemade yeast in my younger days when my budget was so tight that if I forgot to buy it on payday, I did without it. it was a store-bought yeast version, and I made my last package of store yeast last six months. Without further ado, here are two recipes for two kinds of yeast.

YEAST SPONGE FROM WILD (AIRBORNE) YEAST (this takes several days - 4 1/2 to be more precise)
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 c drinking water (bottled or fom tap, as long as it is potable)
1 2/3 cups white or rye flour, depending on the kind of bread you are making
Heat the water to lukewarm (just above 85 degrees F). Combine the white flour with 1 TB water in a mixing bowl and mix to make a small ball of dough (I use fingers). Knead 5-8 minutes, adding more white flour if it sticks to your fingers. Cover with a slightly damp kitchen towel and place in warmest spot in the kitchen for 48 to 72 hours to try to 'catch' some airborne yeast. (a temperature of around 80 degrees is desireable for the special 'spot') The dough is ready when it has crusted over and shows trapped bubbles in the inside when the crust is peeled away. Peel off the hard crust, mix remaining dough with 2 TB of the water at room temperature. Mix in 2/3 cup wheat or rye flour to make up a firm ball of dough. Put the towel back over the dough, and let it sit in the same place for another 24 hours. Peel away the hardened outer crust again. Now mix in a full cup of the wheat or rye flour, and 1/4 cup of the room temperature water. Make into a tight ball once they are well mixed, cover the bowl again and let sit another 8-12 hours. When the starter is done, it will stay dented when you press on it lightly with a finger.
Cut off small 1/4 cup sections of the dough to mix into bread recipes. 1/4 cup will equal one packet of dough. The dough ball will smell like stale beer. Put plastic wrap over the top of the dough bowl and keep in the refrigerator, where it will keep about 3 weeks. It can be refreshed indefinitely with additions of new water and flour - 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup of water per addition. Mix in, cover with towel, let sit 8-12 hours, then remove a chunk to use as yeast.

As you can see, that takes days to complete, and if you get a bad smelling yeast, you have to start over.
You can speed it up by replacing half the water with a natural fruit juice (that is where that soaking the raisins and such came from) and if your water is chlorinated, you will need to start with bottled water, since the chlorine kills the wild yeast and bacteria. That is why I prefer using a store bought yeast in my starter. Here is that recipe:

YEAST STARTER (two days to make)
1 package dry yeast
1 cup warm water (around 100 degrees - bath water temperature!)
2 cups all purpose flour (or rye, whole wheat, depending on tyupe of bread you want)
Warm the water to bath temperature, pour into a med. mixing bowl. Gently sprinkle in the yeast package and stir will to dissolve. Mix in flour until sticky-pasty texture. Mix well to incorporate all the flour. Cover with plastic wrap across the bowl, then top with a towel and put out of the way in a warm corner. Let sit for 2 days to allow the yeast to grow. Remove one cup, use as replacement for 1 package of store bought yeast. Mix the remaining starter with another cup of warm water and 2 cups of flour to replenish the supply. Cover with plastic and the towel and set aside. When you need more yeast, take out another cup, and replenish the remains.
That's all there is to it.

The reason sourdough yeasts were kept and passed along is that someone got lucky and captured a particularly good tasting wild yeast from the air way back when. The starter can be dehydrated (lower temperatures please) and powdered to keep it in a dry form, but may die along the way, so if I did not bake with it regularly, I'd throw out all but one cup and keep replenishing it to keep it fresh. Hope this clears up some of the confusion! Enjoy your sourdough!
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Re: Yeast

Postby ForwardPreppers » Tue Oct 30, 2012 7:31 am

Thanks for the info. I have often wondered how to do that. Very useful.
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Re: Yeast

Postby IaMike » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:12 am

Great info, got to remember this.
Thanks.
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Re: Yeast

Postby kr105 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:52 am

kappydell wrote:?..Sounds wierd, I know, but yeast is grown - its a plant, not an object.


Yeast is actually a microorganism, not a plant. Similar to the fungii family.

Bakers yeast comes two ways. Dry, inactivated or activated. Just store some of the inactivated type and replace it every 1-2 years. If you are using old yeast, you can help it by feeding it a little sugar. Once you have a good starter dough going, just keep tearing off a bit and setting it aside to let the yeast multiply and it will keeping going for you.

You might want to hop over to a baking forum for detailed instructions on starter doughs.
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Re: Yeast

Postby mmpaints » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:02 am

Somewhere in this mess i call a recipe pile, I have an old Czech recipe for catching wild yeast with a potato mash. I'll look for it.

Also, Tom, FYI, I have active dry yeast in one pound foil vac packs, the one I am currently baking with is dated expires in 2009 and it's fine. I keep it in the fridge once I open the pack. You can get them at Sams club (prolly any bulk store) they come 2- 1 lb packs together, I keep them in a food grade bucket in the closet.
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Re: Yeast

Postby Pedro wyoming » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:36 am

Actually any carbohydrate...potatoe, grain, sugar...will grow wild yeast. The airborne strain you gat is luck of the draw (there are over 1000 known species). The real pain is determining what you have. You are just as likely to capture champange yeast as you are to get bakers yeast. Most strains wll work in any application, just that some work better than others.

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Re: Yeast

Postby mmpaints » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:46 am

The odds of catching a baking yeast way back int he old days was much higher in a kitchen that was constantly baking breads. So, I think you're dead on Pedro, no telling what you might catch that's flying around on the wind on any given day. I live in an area full of wineries so I might just as quick catch a wine yeast before I would one I could bake with.
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Re: Yeast

Postby ReadyMom » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:58 am

How long can you store yeast, till it does NOT work anymore? I have instant yeast that I bought in brick-block packages that I bought at our Costco type store years ago. Expiration date: 2008! I put it in my pantry and forgot about it, when I was just buying and trying to get my pantry stocked, so wasn't using anything, till I built up some pantry stock.

The block is still solid. It's a mylar type package. Like what brick packs of coffee come in. Yea .... I did type 2008 :blush: -k
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Re: Yeast

Postby mmpaints » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:18 am

RM, I'd use it. I'll bet ya it's still good. That's what I'm using now only a year newer than yours. it's working just fine.
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Re: Yeast

Postby ReadyMom » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:39 am

mmpaints wrote:RM, I'd use it. I'll bet ya it's still good. That's what I'm using now only a year newer than yours. it's working just fine.


GREAT, mm, thanks! :thumbsup: If that's the case, then I should get MORE and put it in my pantry. Holiday baking sales are 'TIME-TO- STOCK-UP' sales to me! ;) -k
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Re: Yeast

Postby mmpaints » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:35 pm

yah, those 1 lb foil packs keep just fine. I just threw mine in a bucket and put the lid on it, stored in the bathroom closet. No special packing or o2 absorbers, nothing. I just pull one out when I need it and haven't bought new since 2007. The glass jars don't keep, even if they arent opened and the single packs are a waste of money even if you intend to use them up right away.
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Re: Yeast

Postby preppingmama » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:11 am

I keep my yeast in the freezer and use it straight from the freezer. Lasts forever.
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Re: Yeast

Postby arkieready » Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:31 am

Remember to proof your yeast first so you don't waste your ingredients. And don't let your sourdough starters go too long between feedings. Keep ourdough clean, clean jar, clean spoon. You can infect it with bacteria. If careless.
I have 2 starts I'm keeping. Been trying to develop a really good one for a couple years now. Yummmmm.
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Re: Yeast

Postby Tom Bergstrand » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:13 pm

Well, having searched and read all the opinions I "think" I have enough info to delve into "Tom's Yeast Project 1.0". I thank the many folks that offered ideas that included keeping yeast in the freezer for extended periods of time BUT the answer I was looking for was the key to making yeast from scratch with NOTHING but scrounged items. Since we have grapes nearby and a sunlight we can produce our own raisins. From raisins we seem to be able to make yeast. I offer the following video for your viewing pleasure. http://bread.wonderhowto.com/how-to/mak ... st-356031/

I asked my wife how much water she uses to make a one pound loaf of bread. Since I like to keep it simple here is my plan. I will use that much water (7/8th of a cup) for my experiment. At the end of the time called for in the video we will use that water for the mix and see what happens. A good friend of mine said that it seemed to make sense since he makes bread every week. If it is big and spongy the water was too much. If it is small and hard then more water is called for. Either way it should be edible so there is no waste involved. I will post my findings.
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