The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

wild yeast

sastalnaker's picture

A lurker finally comes out. I just baked my first loaves from my "new" (about 5 days old) wild yeast starter. They came out great. I used Shiao Ping's version of Chad Robertson's Country Sourdough. I tweaked the schedule a bit to fit my personal commitment, but generally followed her schedule and formula. I did replace about 20% of the total flour with King Arthur Traditional Whole Wheat Flour.

The loaves turned out beautifully. I was completely surprised by the amount of oven spring. I baked the first two loaves and the slashes were obliterated by the amount of spring that occurred. On the second set I slashed even deeper, but they were almost completely filled in. I know I should have waited to slice them, but I was curious about the crumb and so cut one loaf as soon as it was cool to the touch. Very pleasantly surprised by the openness of the crumb, and the crust seems nice and crisp with a bit of tooth to it. I think the "fresh" flavor was quite nice, especially for a new starter. It will be interesting to see how the flavor develops as the bread ages a bit.


Pre and Post bake

This is a comparison of the proofed loaves to the baked ones.

This is the second set of loaves and even though I made a concerted effort to cut deeper the slashes still filled in a lot.

CrumgAnd finally the crumb. (Sorry for the poor focus).

So there it is. My first loaves and my first blog post. I'd like to express my appreciation to the folks who make and maintain TFL website. It is truly an approachable and yet impressive resource for bread bakers everywhere. Thanks for the amazing array of expertise, the encouragement, and the inspiration.

Cheers everyone,




cen's picture

using mother starter in historic recipes

October 19, 2009 - 8:21am -- cen

I am in charge of a 150th anniversary celebration of a church cookbook that includes several "light biscuit" and "roll" recipes using a yeast starter. The recipe for starter given in the cookbook involves hops (difficult for me to find). I'm wondering if I could use the mother starter (barm)  from Peter Reinhart's BBA that I keep on hand in place of the "yeast" called for in the two recipes below:

"Light Biscuit"

1 quart warm milk

3/4 c lard and butter mixed

3/4 c yeast

2 T sugar

1 t salt

flour-girl's picture

Susan (Wild Yeast's) yummy oatmeal bread

April 26, 2009 - 12:38pm -- flour-girl

I just baked Mamie's Oat Meal Bread from Wild Yeast (with a few small adaptations) and wanted to report that it's great. If you're looking for a perfect sandwich loaf, with a beautiful texture and flavor, I urge you to give it a try.

Photos and recipe are at Flour Girl and, of course, at Wild Yeast.

Happy baking!

Flour Girl

chrismbryan's picture

Sourdough oven spring?

March 27, 2009 - 5:21am -- chrismbryan

Hi everyone,


I've been making reasonably nice bread with a wild culture that I've been maintaining for probably around 6 months.  It seems fairly strong and my loaves proof nice, but when I started making bread again with dry yeast, I noticed the commercial yeast tends to spring much more in the oven.  Is this just a "fact of life," or do you think I can encourage my culture to perform better in the heat?


Thanks, this is my first post after reading for months!


Barkalounger's picture

I just wrote myself into a corner

February 19, 2009 - 4:41pm -- Barkalounger

I'm writing a novel about a baker and I think I just blew it.  Near the end of the book, she has about four hours to bake a loaf of bread from "start" (in this case, kneading final dough) to "finish" (in this case, pulling it out of the oven).  She knows nothing about baking at the beginning of the book, and to keep things "authentic" I've been learning along with her. 

Adelphos24's picture

Sourdough Croissants

January 22, 2009 - 3:30am -- Adelphos24

So I have been mucking about with my wild yeast sourdough starter a lot over the last few weeks. I made pain poilane, and a traditional american style sourdough, and was thinking..."what else can i do with this starter?"

The answer? Sourdough croissants!

I know this could fall in the pastry category, but decided that the wild yeast starter aspect kinda throws it into the realm of the sourdough junkie. I've gotta say, they turned out great. I even made some with chocolate in the middle. I wrote more about them here:

cmckinley's picture

I am making my first loaf of bread with liquid levain.  It seeems to be rising so assuming that is a good sign!  When you refresh levain do you have to discard some of it or can you just keep feeding it?  I am very new at this but determined to get it all down!  I will post pictures of my finished product.  

ejm's picture

semi-wild bread

The cooler weather has set in with a vengeance and whenever it is windy, our draughty house is even colder than usual. Consequently, I was once again having difficulty getting dough and/or shaped bread to rise.

cold kitchen = SLOW rise

So I decided to add a tiny bit of commercial yeast to our wild bread recipe. The dough still took forever to rise - it was after midnight when I took the bread out of the oven. I had hoped and expected to be baking the bread just before dinner at around 19:30... but I didn't get to shape it until 19:00!!

I really should have taken a photo of the bread just before it went into the oven. It was easily half the height. Talk about oven spring!

semi-wild bread

The crumb was nicely chewy and the flavour had a slight sour tone but a lovely nutty flavour. Even though the crust was quite dark, there was not even a hint of burnt aroma or taste.

Here is the recipe I used:

semi-wild bread


Eli's picture

I decided to post pix of my motherdough which is where this all started. It has a very short history at this time but hopefully it will last a few years and I can pass it down and around. Flour and water.




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