The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Conversion from a barm starter to yeast

Bruce J's picture
Bruce J

Conversion from a barm starter to yeast

The other half of the household does not like sourdough and the idea of a starter and a barm fermenting in the refrigerator for over a week is more than she would tolerate. 

Peter Reinart has a New York deli rye recipe in BBA which is interesting.  He use a rye sponge of 7oz barm, 4.5 oz rye flour, 4 oz water, 12 oz onion, 2 tbl vegetable oil.  I am trying to figure how to convert this to using yeast instead of the barm.  Does anyone have any ideas on how much water I would have to add, and how much yeast to use.

I realize the barm and the milk is a critical part of creating the deli flavor however I have a work around.  King Arthur flour has a deli rye flavoring which is made up of acetic acid and lactic acid the two components that create the deli rye flavor.

Any help would be appreciated.

pmccool's picture

Since Chef Reinhart lists the ingredients by weight, simply add the constituent water and flour quantities that make up the 7 oz of barm.  Assuming dry yeast and several hours for the sponge to work, try 1/2 teaspoon.  You may find it necessary to decrease or increase yeast quantities as temperatures rise or fall at different seasons.


dabrownman's picture

you can do as Paul says for the water and flour but just use a pinch of yeast.  Let this poolish or biga, depending on how wet it is, ferment on the counter for 12 to 24 hours until it is bubbly and frothy.  This is supposed to add extra flavor for yeast breads but I'm not good enough to tell the difference.