The Fresh Loaf

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The Banana Saga 長篇故事 and Conclusion (updated 101116)

RonRay's picture

The Banana Saga 長篇故事 and Conclusion (updated 101116)


Previous Blog:


Have your ever felt that the expression "Couldn't see the forest for the trees." applied to you?
I think that this may be a case where it really applied to me <Blush>

When I first read Shiao-Ping's blog on making a sourdough banana bread - Banana Pain au Levain (see link)
I thought what a great gift such loaves would make for some of my friends. It certain was different from the usual gift. But, by the time I had finished the article, I found I was a bit concerned over two things that the author had experienced; first the hydration surprises she had encountered, and secondly, what she said about the slowness of the rising:
"dough appeared very sluggish.  It was almost as if my starter was finding it tough adjusting to bananas, "

Well, I went off and pursued other interests. However, I found my thoughts kept coming back to bananas, and to those two points that Shiao-Ping had raised. Checking on Google quickly revealed that the amount of water in bananas was closer to 75% than the 65% which she had initially assumed - base upon pumpkin percentages. Returning to the original blog, I found two others had already reported somewhat similar findings. Well, good. Most likely that cleared up the hydration issues, but what about my second issue - the slow rise?

Did the wee yeasty beasties really have problems with the addition of bananas in their diet? The more I consider this, the more interesting that question became for me. If you think I get interested in odd subjects, that's okay, others have mentioned that before.

I have spent a great amount of time studying my sourdough cultures and I have a very well establish baseline data set on my primary White Levain, which data I often use for comparisons. Suppose I take seed from that levain and build a variant levain, a Banana Flour Sour, at the same test hydration level that I used in establishing my baseline reference plots. Yes, I decided that was a clean way to get an initial handle on this slow rising point.

A Comparison

So, I took a seed from my primary White Levain (WL) and did a build/refresh containing as much banana as could be used while still maintaining the 100%HL . Maintaining that hydration level was necessary to match the WL reference data. The table below provides details.

     Table 1. Compositional breakdown of the 200 gram batches used on Day 0 through Day 8 of Banana Flour Sour at 100%HL testing

As soon as the refresh was mixed, the 200g test batch was place within my homemade temperature controlled chamber. The TC was set to maintain 80ºF (26.6ºC) +- about 1ºF. The level of the top edge of the levain was then recorded, and for every 15 minutes thereafter until the peak of the rise had been reached/passed, ending the Growth Phase.

      Figure 1. Comparing Average Rise of my Reference White Levain with the same WL Seed and a 67% Banana Puree + 33% AP Flour Refresh.

Certainly, at first reading of the data, Shiao-Ping's observation that "dough appeared very sluggish" was validated in the rise-time difference between the reference Lag and Growth Phases and those of the test Banana Flour Sour (BFS) culture.

One could argue that a good portion of the BFS Lag Phase could be explained by a difference between the average starting temperatures of the two cultures at test start, and I fully agree. However, that would not explain the difference in the Growth Phase slopes.

The temperature difference, just mentioned, resulted as follows. Both the WL reference and the BFS started from seed stock consisting of 200g of culture, which had undergone refreshment 24 hours prior, had been monitored through rise until the peak (Stationary Phase) had been reached, and then been returned to the refrigeration. The difference occurs in the refreshment temperatures. The WL was fed room temperature AP Flour and room temperature water, whereas, the BFS was feed 33% room temperature AP Flour (APF), plus refrigeration temperature banana puree (B) for the remaining 67% of its refreshment. There is no question that this difference would result is a longer Lag Phase for the BFS build. Hindsight is usually 20-20. But, this was not intended as a NASA grant application, and sliding the BFS curve to the left 30 or 45 minutes would affect the elimination of the "sluggish" nature of the rise slope.

A Bit of Back-slopping

Alright, there appeared to be less than euphoria on the part of the culture's beasties to feed on fruit - banana - rather than grain - wheat flour. Now, was this just a "fact-of-life", or could the culture's behavior shift if it were played with. To me, it seemed that the final height of the Growth Phase indicated that the banana was being used as material to created the CO2 desired, just at a slower rate. I have read the sugar, like salt, slows the growth rate. Certainly there was a lot more sugar in the new refreshment than the old.

If I simply repeated taking 100g of WL seed stock and adding the same 33% APF and 67% B (banana = B) as the refreshment, reasonably, I could expect pretty much the same curve, and that wasn't very informative. Whereas, back-slopping introduced two opposing factors. First, by using a portion of the previous build to act as the seed for the next build I could expect a lowering in the vigor of the BFS culture if B wasn't a viable food, and alternatively, I could expect an adaptation to the use of the B as a major food source if some of the beasties could handle it better than others - sort of a survival of the banana eaters. If B was really not a food for all the beasties, then the BFS culture should go downhill even faster, since, for the next several refreshments, the total % of B in each build would be increasing - Day 0 had a seed that was a pure water/APF composition, to which the 33% APF and 67% B was fed. Day 1 would have a seed that was a 100g of the residual of Day 0, to which the 33% APF and 67% B would serve as its refresh. So, each day would shift to a slightly higher % of B, until it peaked at a level 67% B total.

It looked as if the BFS culture had to go downhill if B was a poor food source for the beasties, and, on the other hand if it were a population mix, then I should see preferential growth of the B-eaters and resulting improvement in the rise slopes of the tests. Or at least, that was how it seemed to me.

                        Figure 2. The Rise Plots for Day 0 and 8 Days of Back-slopping with a Banana Flour Sourdough Culture.

Now, if one takes the starting temperature handicap that was mention earlier into account, it would appear that the BFS Day 7 and 8 are essentially equal to the reference WL data. I thought that this made it reasonable to think of the culture as now being happy to fed on either and both flour &or banana. In fact, after nine days of taking readings every 15 minutes, I was very eager to do a bread baking test, although, the addition of the BFS "disposable" daily 100g of culture, mix in with some a couple of white levains and a rye made for interesting and great sourdough waffles, and let me note that the wee yeasty beasties did not get all of the banana sugars. There was a lot of B-sugar that went into my waffles, as well (º0º)

The Banana Flour Sour Bake

In my usual fashion, I made one batch of dough, 1285g and split it into three, 428g parts. It took me time to bake the 3 loaves, just over a period of a week, in fact. The first and third loaves were done in a Dutch oven, with only their internal moisture for the steam. The second loaf was with steam and on parchment paper on the oven stones, but the temperatures match those given below for the DO loaves.

The two done in Dutch oven had preheated DO to near 500ºF (260ºC) and dropped to 410ºF (210ºC) as soon as the loaf was in the DO. After 20 minutes, the lid was removed, loaf turned out and replaced in the oven directly on the stones. The temperature was set down to 350ºF (177ºC) for 10 minutes and then turned off totally, while the door was cracked about ¼ inch (6mm) and the loaf left in for 10 addition minutes. The instant internal temperatures were ~ 207ºF (97ºC).

                 Table 2. Formula for Banana Flour Sour 3 Loaf Bakes Total of Banana 9% [ 6% water, 3% solids ]

The White Levain, BFS Levain and water were combined. Then the 2 flours mixed in and covered for 20 minutes. Total turned out into large bowl where the salt was added and worked in with 30 S&F followed with 30 minutes rest and another 2 sets of 30 S&F. At that point it was a bit over 2 hours and the dough was divided into 3 parts of 428g each in their individual 1L/1Qt oiled and covered plastic containers and placed in fridge. One loaf was used the next morning. Shaped and given 5 hours rise time and baked in a DO. Treatment of the third loaf was about the same 6 days later. The other loaf was made 3 days later, but shaped and formed in cloth-lined, clay loaf form.

                                                           First Dutch Oven Boule from WL+BFS Levains.

                                                             First Dutch Oven Boule's Crumb.

                                                            Second Boule - Steam & Stone from WL+BFS Levains.

                                                           Second Boule's Crumb

                                              Third Loaf, A Dutch Oven Boule - A Small Amount of Chia on Top.

                                Third Loaf's Crumb.

Yes, But.....

Baking each of the loaves went well. The crumb was fine, crusts great. The taste fine, with a slightly different flavor. Ah, but I would really be stretching the facts to say that I could taste anything that I would consider a banana flavor ! Well, there was only about 9% banana total in the loaves, and 6% of that was water. I guessed I'd just expected to much after eating those waffles with their great banana flavor, and that flavor coming only from the discards of the levain builds, and also being mix with a lot of other sourdough discards in the same batter.

The way I figured it, Shiao-Ping's Banana-Pain-au-Levain had about 38% banana in it. So, did I really expect 9% to overpower my little loaves?

Alright, how could I really load in the banana and still use my new found banana loving culture. If I added more banana, the hydration level (HL) was going to have to go above 100%HL, and a total banana based levain would have 25% solids (let that equal "flour") and the remaining 75% of the banana was water. A 75:25 ratio, or just plain 300%HL -WOW !!!

           Table 3. Details of the Five Builds to Reach Maintenance Level Pure Banana Starter 300%HL

A series of five builds gave a progression of hydration levels, starting at 100%HL, then 233, 285, 297, 299 and finally got me to a maintenance level of a Pure Banana Levain with 300%HL. This Pure Banana Levian seemed more viscous than I had expected. It even tripled on a rise and did not collapse, as a 100%HL flour levain would do. I found I enjoyed eating the discards directly with a spoon. The taste is like banana with a touch of vodka added to it.

                   Table 3. Formula for Bread Using 49% Starter, where the Starter was Pure Banana Levain @ 300%HL

Of course, I made a new bread ASAP. The method was a close match to the one Shiao-Ping gives for her Banana-Pain-au-Levain. I calculated her loaf as having 38% banana (solids plus water), and this formula yields a loaf the is 49% banana (solids plus water).

The mixing, shaping and baking all went as expected.

                                                           The 49% Banana Loaf Made with Pure Banana Levain @ 300%HL

                                         The crumb of 49% Banana Loaf

It was unbelievable! There was no discernible banana flavor, as least none that I could detect. It was a fine loaf, tasted fine. It did stay moist longer than most sourdough loaves. The crumb and crust were certainly in an acceptable range and the flavor was a bit different, but more towards the taste of rye than anything else.

As must be evident by this point in my "banana saga", this whole banana thing was getting to me. So, what to do next. I already had worked out a formula that would use no additional water, other than that from bananas. It had a Baker's % of 81.5% banana, all of which was in the form of Pure Banana Levain #300%HL. But, I decided that until I had a better handle on where had all the flavor gone, I could see little point in proceeding. What had Shiao-Ping done that I was missing? Well, the best way to attempt an answer to that was to bake her loaf as given in her blog. Something I no doubt should have done in the beginning - a fact now not lost upon. :-(

      Shiao-Ping's Banana Pain au Levain Formula Recast with the Levain Build

          Repeat of Shiao-Ping's Banana Pain au Levain

          The crumb from the Repeat of Shiao-Ping's Banana Pain au Levain

Guess what.... No banana flavor that I could detect. I could not believe it. I followed the posted formula and methods as close as anyone could expect. I knew I was missing something, but WHAT !!!

Lacking any better idea, I went back to the original posting, intending to read ever word again. There it was - it hit me like one of the trees had fallen on me - in that forest I had never noticed for all of the trees... The second sentence - "... the bananas in my house have gone sesame (ie, growing freckles) ..." I have been using fresh bananas. Generally, they still even had some green at their stems.

Well, my next attempts will need to wait, until the bananas I have just purchased, have gone beyond sesame!

In my own very weak defense of missing the obvious, let me say that the only use I have ever made of bananas in baking had been in a 70 year old banana cookie recipe that I came across some time ago. In making those, I take fresh bananas, slice them into 1/4" thick rounds, and freeze them for a day, and then let them thaw in the fridge. They turn into a dark brown mush that a simple hand-held blender with single whisk-like blade can whip into a smooth mush. So, I carried this method over into this pursuit of the elusive (for me) banana flavored loaf.

It has actually been a worthwhile endeavor, I have new waffle alternatives, and a most unusual "Banana foaming levain desert" as a result, of my explorations. I also certainly have lots of new information to think about. There is one thing I am sure of, and that is that I will bake a banana flavored bread - no matter how long it takes.... LOL



****************************************** Appended 101116 The Banana Saga Concluded長篇故事


Yesterday, the bananas had been aging for 2 weeks, since purchased. Even within the thin plastic grocery bag I could smell the strong banana scent fairly well. As I removed the plastic, two of the eight bananas fell off their common stem. They were “well passed ripe”. I made 484g of banana puree with them, and no water was required to make it, so there was 40g of water, that I was temped to drop from the formula for this batch of dough. I mentally chastised myself for that thought. I would make the closest match I could to the original Banana Pain au Levain in Shiao-Ping's blog. And that is exactly what I did.


     A Simple Restating of Shiao-Ping's Formula with the 75%HL Build Combined.

While I did stick to the formula values, and essentially the same procedures, I did differ in the baking method. Some of teketeke's experimenting with alternatives to Dutch Ovens had interested me (See link) and other entries in the thread below. So, when I saw a sale on turkey baking pans / turkey ovens, I bought one.

I have a 2 quart cast iron Dutch Oven and an Emerilware Enameled Cast Iron 6-Quart Trinity Pot. The 2 quart is perfect for most of my boules, but the Emerilware 6-Quart is both too deep and too heavy for me to safely throw in and out of a screaming hot oven. Also, being as deep as it is, makes turning out a high hydration dough from a brotform into such a deep drop does too much damage to be practical. Lurking over Mini, Daisy and Akiko's posts gave me an idea, which I wanted to try and this 864g loaf, now rising in a brotform, was just the thing to try the idea out on. I cut the handle off of an old Teflon frying pan that was destine for recycling, so that it would fit within the turkey pan/oven. This would hold the loaf and there was room outside of it to add a small amount of boiling water just before closing the lid.

       Turkey Oven and Lid with Old Frying Pan - Less Handle Inside


       Risen Loaf in Brotform about to be placed into Handel-less Old Frying Pan

      Loaf in Frying Pan in Turkey Oven - Ready for about 90g of boiling water in Turkey Pan


      Finished Banana Bread Loaf


Crumb of Banana Bread Loaf

Ah, banana scent floating from the baking bread.... At last ;-) And old, old bananas was all it needed...

Crumb is rather moist, but very tasty. It was not as strong a banana flavor as I'd expected from the heavy scents that came off the puree and again during the mixing, rising or the baking, but it surely is enough, and would well and pleasantly do for now.  I found it a nice bread to add to the increasingly long bake list.  An a happy ending for the conclusion of my Banana Saga.


======== 101118 Note:

**********You might enjoy checking out the forum topic of Wild Yeast at:

Ron 雷朗

Next Loaf Baking:




AnnaInMD's picture

GRIN GRIN ..........

now THAT is dedication !

Gorgeous loaves !


RonRay's picture


They tell me that some native cultures made a very effective boose from bananas - I may try that next ;-)


AnnaInMD's picture

the various colors, the mention in another post of the beautiful watercolors and fractals, and here I had you pegged as a physics prof at the Academy, heh.


RonRay's picture

but being called in time for dinner was the most important ;-)

They were all hobbies, Anna... Sorry to disappoint you LOL


Daisy_A's picture

Hi ron,

Loaves look delicious I have to say!

Interesting methodology. I have just been revised Mixed Methods methodology as part of correspondence with two MSc researchers. Seems like your graphs are the quantitative response to Shiao-Ping's qualitative 'dough appeared very sluggish.  It was almost as if my starter was finding it tough adjusting to bananas' ;-)

I'm normally firmly qualitative but have found it useful to note down some rudimentary data about the relationship of proofing times to temperature (using a warming dish and thermometer) in order to get my sourdough through the '4 seasons in one day' British weather! (Kitchen can change between 24 and 16C over one day). I 

Re the levain - you probably know but there is a Japanese tradition of using fruit and water based natural leavens?There are posts on TFL that reference this.  

Waffles sound great, but if general baking with bananas is anything to go by though, browner bananas should impart more flavour to the loaf.

Look forward to hearing about further experimentation. 

Kind regards, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture

Hi, Daisy_A

They were good, but disappointing from the lack of banana flavor - let's hope their turning to mush within their peels will provide that missing flavor... LOL

Yes, I like quantitative data - it cuts down of "Baker's Legends".

As for "British weather", I do understand - I was there from 1950 through 1953. It had "interesting weather" - even a smog the killed jet airplane engines, at times, and "Heat waves" when it got to 80ºF...

Thank you for the reference to the Japanese natural leavens. I will definitely try to locate that TFL info you mentioned.

(º¿º) Ron


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Ron,

I found the information on leavens again. It was by a poster called 'wao' on this thread

Yes I'm afraid we do think 80F really hot in England! There is something lovely in the changing of the seasons but we don't experience the hot stuff so often!

This in contrast to the time when I lived briefly in the South of Spain and very few people ventured out in the city in August until about 10 at night, when it had 'cooled down'...

Kind regards, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture

I read through the whole link, Daisy_A. That was a very interesting thread. It is also interesting that in HML Dan Lepard essentially used the"yeast water" (not so named) to get his method of sourdough levain started. I tested it once and it was one of the fastest sourdough starters I ever did from scratch.
Thanks again,

RonRay's picture

Interesting, I have scanned down it a ways.

One of the leavens I have is a water, sugar, and potato yeast. I maintain it, but it has too much sugar for my taste in breads - except on rare occasion, when I'll do an Anadama Bread, or something like that.

I guess most of us will have to get used to warmer weather, if we don't die first :-)



Daisy_A's picture

Hi Ron,

Thanks for the message. I really loved some of the links within that thread also, particularly this one

The jars of fruit and other yeasts look so lovely even though sadly I can't read the text. 

Interesting about the Dan Lepard starter. The starter for Moro sourdough is raisin water also. Jan Hedh uses it too sometimes. Apparently the practice can be dated back to Roman times. I've heard it can produce a vigorous starter culture, as yours did.

Kind regards, Daisy_A


RonRay's picture

Hi, Daisy_A

"I really loved some of the links also, particularly this one" 
Well, I would have found it of greater interest if I knew a way to get a translation -
I do not read Japanese either, so I guess we are both left to wonder what was said. LOL
Dan Lepard's starter using a boost from raisin and other currants isn't that unusual, I guess most fruits collect wild yeast on their skins - at least I have been told that the grayish film on grapes, blue berries, etc. is loaded with yeast. I do know I have never had a failure with starting a culture when grape skins, raisin or currant were included in with the initial rye, ww, and water.



Daisy_A's picture

Hi ron,

I gave it a bash in Google Translate - quite a bumpy translation but it was possible to understand a bit more, particularly the flavour notes that the different fruits and herbs gave.

I've read Moro used raisin water with sourdough because they are influenced by Middle Eastern food and this was a technique used in Middle Eastern bread making. Would make sense as it would be one of the most widely available fruits and like you say, plenty of yeast on the skins. Different to traditional UK practices, which often used beer barm.

Kind regards, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture

Your Google link has translated it for me... I am off to get enlightenment... (ºuº)  Ron

RobynNZ's picture

I'll fully translate one of those sections as an example for you, if you wish, Daisy_A/Ron Just let me know which 'fruit' interest you. Or perhaps you'd like a bit more information on how it is used in bread....?


RonRay's picture

I finally figured out how to use the US Google translation service - after Daisy_A fed me the UK version. I got through all the Japanese links that were in Wao's thread. Also read through Wao's thread (again) and just finished. Very interesting how that tied so many loose ends of things I noticed over years, but had not linked. So, I do thank you for your offer, but I'll ask to hold off on your kind offer until someday when I really need some help on something in Japanese - if you'll permit me that latitude... ;-)


RobynNZ's picture

Will help, within reason! :-)


RonRay's picture

I do thank you (º¿º)


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Robyn,

Many thanks for the offer. I remember reading before about how Wao made her breads on the link below and finding it really interesting, although I didn't try it at the time. It sounds as though you have used such yeasts or are aware of how they are used in bread making?

I don't know what Ron's focus might be but I'd really like to know more about how herbs as well as fruits are used in this type of fermentation.

If you could offer a translation, I would be really interested in the section on herbs/basil which is reading up as section Mon herbal yeast 5.6

With thanks, Daisy_A

RobynNZ's picture


Here you are Daisy_A,

I first saw Wao's thread last year when I was getting to know my sourdough starter and didn't want to be distracted. Frankly, I am so happy with my starter now that these yeast waters aren't making it onto the list. So no, I have no experience with their use. Just able to do a bit better job than google translate on this occasion......(I'm a big fan of google translate!)

May/June: Herb Yeast


Herbs such as Basil (enough to fill the jar)

Water (sufficient to immerse the herbs)

A heaped tablespoon of honey or unrefined sugar

The method is the same as that for yuzu yeast**, for basil, just use stalks and all. As herbs have less sugar content than fruit, by adding a bit more honey or sugar, the yeast grown will be good and active. As fermentation proceeds the leaves will become brown but it will become apparent that the herb's fragrance is increasing in the yeast.

The fermentation strength [of this version] is not particularly strong, however by using it in conjunction with tomato yeast or one of the other yeasts, bread with a good rise can be made, with even greater fragrance. Basil yeast goes well with olives so they could also be included as an ingredient in the bread. Otherwise bread made with basil yeast is a good match with fresh tomatoes, cheese and so on.

Herb yeast can also be used as a seasoning when cooking. Marinade overnight salt and peppered chicken in a combination of herb yeast, mustard and olive oil. Cooked in a frypan, the resulting chicken will be plump and juicy.


**(2 for the price of 1!)

January/February: Yuzu Yeast


Yuzu (enough to fill the jar)

Water (sufficient to immerse the yuzu)

1 tablespoon of honey or unrefined sugar

As the fermentation strength of yuzu yeast is very stable, it is recommended as a good one to start with, for first time makers of yeast at home.

The skin is left on so please select pesticide-free fruit.


Chop yuzu to a suitable size and put it and the honey in a sealable jar which has previously been sterilized with boiling water. Fill the jar 80-90% with water. Close the lid firmly, and slowly shake the jar a few times. Place in a spot out of direct sunlight (15-25°C). Remove the lid daily and check the condition of the yeast and the development of the fragrance. After approx 3 or 4 days, the yuzu will rise to the surface and large bubbles will form. When a sweet fragrance is really apparent, it's getting close to ready. Once the stage is reached that there is vigourous bubbling when the lid is removed, it is ready.

You could then use the skin of the yuzu, after removing the pith, with sugar to make candied peel. If this candied peel is used as ingredient, the bread will have an even fresher, distinct flavour/fragrance.


Note: Google's translation said “site of the sunlight” but a direct translation of the original would be “direct sunlight doesn't strike place”. While Google Translate is really handy, we can't always rely on it!

I'll be curious to see what results you get if you try this. There are so many Japanese people having success with yeast waters, I'm not sceptic, just suffering from too many breads too little time (TMBTLT)  syndrome!

Cheers, Robyn


RonRay's picture

I am pleased that I actually got the proper means from the Google translation and some brached off definition searches. That was very nice of you ;-)


RonRay's picture

Hi Robyn, Akiko, Daisy_A,

You all knew and used Google translate, and I still wouldn't know how to use it, if Daisy_A hadn't pointed me to it. As Robyn pointed out, sometime the translations are a bit "rough". I mention Google translate to a friend and he said he'd never tried it, but always used Yahoo's "Babel Fish" for his translations. Naturally, I ran off to try it, and compare it with Google's translations.

What I did find was that if you open two browser windows, and have both Google and Yahoo translate the same pages it is a greater help than using either one alone. Between the two of them I get a much better idea of what was "really" being said

Above is an example from one of Akiko's offered links.



Daisy_A's picture

It's interesting to see how the two different translation programmes treat the same text.

Kind regards, Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture

Hi Robyn,

How wonderful of you to make this translation - many thanks!

Google is okay for a rough translation but machine translation is never going to beat a personal human translation :-)

With languages I know I now read recipes in the original. Doing this I have realized (something confirmed by Mini and Karin with reference to German and Austrian ryes), that key steps and ingredients can be mistranslated or just missed out in some of the translated recipes that get the widest international circulation.

Since then I've tried to go to mother tongue recipes even if it's only a bumpy Google version! Get some interesting things - 'rye wallpaper' in Borodinsky was kindly translated for me by Candango as 'whole grain rye'. So good to have an international membership and members with language skills!

Obviously your translation makes things so much clearer, particularly the fine details, many, many thanks.

Thanks also for the method entry on Yuzu and the Wiki link because of course when I got there I was thinking what is that? I wonder if some of the Japanese and Korean shops in the UK stock this? Sounds a great fruit and could perhaps be grown in Britain if it goes to minus 9?

I can see from the description that these breads could be beautifully nuanced, like Japanese teas. I also like the idea of the ingredient infusing the whole loaf, rather than being only rolled in. 

I'm like you at the moment, though - so much to do on the sourdough and rye front, However I do fancy this approach in the spring when a wider selection of fresh herbs is here again. Hope to keep you posted. 

With best wishes,  Daisy_A

teketeke's picture

I didn't know you are interested in Japanese water yeast method until Robyn told me. What a coinsidense!  I have just started to make a water yeast using a piece of grape fruit that is very fresh. 

 Many of Japanese home baker use water yeast because they don't taste sour at all.  I can't say that is true because I have not experienced yet.  But I have known some of Japanese home bakers who join in Cookpad make sweet bread instead of sourer bread. That is what they said.   So I will tell you about the result if my grape fruit water yeast goes well. 

I think that you could use any kind of fruit except Lemon or sourer fruit. One of my Japanese homebakers made lemon water yeast that came out  really sour bread.

In fact, I was making another wild yeast using 2 table spoon of fresh clementine ( a small orange , MIKAN in Japanese)  that I squeezed  and the same amount of rye flour. I kept making the yeast for 2 days, then I took 10g of it into the my white starter that I have had already since end of August this year.  What a suprise! I got a fruity falvor of sourdough now.  I don't taste any sour for my sourdough now.    I just taste a fruity nice flavor.    I may add another new bug into my starter every 3 months that Robyn mentioned that someone do.   I got this information from one Japanese site.

I saw some of Japanese use asian pears, strawberries, peaches, apples, grape fruits ( that is me), or any kind of dry fruit that are all organic.  Many Japanese bakers use organic raisin that is easy.  Although I was an unsucessful when I tried it this summer in the same time I was making a wild yeast using Orange juice and whole wheat.

I am not sure if I could translate it to English very well... Robyn is an expert!   I may need Robyn's help. :)

P.S When you use fresh fruit or dry fruit for making yeast, As Robyn describes, I also sterilize every tools which I use for making a water yeast.  I put the stuff  in a boiling water for a few minutes, then I wait until they are dried completely. I don't wipe the stuff with any paper towels or clothes that will have some germs on them.

Happy baking!

RonRay's picture

teketeke, thank you for posting those two sites.  I, too am getting very interested in water yeast.  Daisy_A told me about it only a few days ago - before that, I had not heard of it. I would be very interested to hear of your findings and see pictures of how your water yeast projects go.

and Happy baking to you, as well!


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Akiko

Many thanks for posting on this. I didn't know you were making starters with fruit - what a happy coincidence!

Thanks also for posting the links to the new site. The bread proofed in a grass basket with a slight red colour looked absolutely beautiful.

I read quite a lot about this technique when Wao posted on it but had enough on my hands at that time with the sourdough and rye.

What I do like about the idea of fruit, vegetable and herb yeasts, though, is that the flavour might be all through the bread in a subtle way. I've also seen some pictures where it coloured the bread slightly, which I thought was lovely.

I would love to try it at some point. We get organic vegetables delivered every week and I grow things in my garden also. I was thinking about it and thought that spring would be better for using herbs from the garden as they are not as fresh now as in spring. I have a lovely lavender in the garden and am hoping to use that in cake baking and ice cream. This is new to me but I would like to explore it!

I'd be interested to hear more about your experiments - the citrus fruit yeast waters sound very interesting. I still have clementines coming in the vegetable box :-). 

Thanks for your PS and don't fear.  If I use this method I will keep everything sterile. I regularly sterilise my sourdough jars and spoons and use wooden utensils when I can as they may repel bacteria better. 

Wishing you continued happy baking! I look forward to hearing more.

With best wishes, Daisy_A

teketeke's picture

Hello, Ron and Daisy  I hope that I will be successful this time!  I will tell you the result even though if it is good or bad.  This is  the second day of my grape fruit yeast water

I saw some tiny bubbles around the food which is a good sign.  I have added 1tsp honey into it which I followed the webiste's instraction.  Some fruit that has less sugar content is needed 20% ( maximum) honey as to the water you use. You don't have to use honey for fresh grape that has a lot of sugar, and also for dry fruit.

I have read wao's blog   This is very helpful!  I saw many members of TFL has had good results!!

To Daisy-- 

 The bread proofed in a grass basket with a slight red colour looked absolutely beautiful.

That is one of alternative of bannetons in Japan. It is made of bamboo. By the way,We call it " ZARU" ( pronounce : " ZALU), which is I think the Zaru ( bamboo basket) was most commonly used as a strainer, a dish for noodles, and harvesting crops.  When you put the word " bamboo basket ", you will find similar one or the same one.

Wow, I wish I could smell your garden!!  Here is abosolutely winter now as much as we got 2 inches snow on my drive way today.   I'd like to hear if you make harb yeast that will be very interesting.    

About Vegetable yeast :  I bought vegetable yeast ( when I was 18 year old) from a shrine which they have made their own bread since 1976.I was just curious about it, but I couldn't make nice breads as much as I expected. Only I could make was pizzas. That was really good. It was not sour, and I tasted vegetable's sweetness..   I used to feed apples, carrots,  and chinese yam (長いも)that has created good flavor.hmm Now they feed rice, too. I don't remember that one. May be it is the new thing.

I kept the vegetable yeast for a couple years, then I gave up because I couldn't make nice breads. I was also tired of feeding.. I was too young to take care of such a yeast...   

It is very nice to see you and Ron are interested in this.  


In fact, I was making another wild yeast using 2 table spoon of fresh clementine ( a small orange , MIKAN in Japanese)  that I squeezed  and the same amount of rye flour. I kept making the yeast for 2 days, then I took 10g of it into the my white starter that I have had already since end of August this year.  What a suprise! I got a fruity falvor of sourdough now.  I don't taste any sour for my sourdough now.    I just taste a fruity nice flavor.    I may add another new bug into my starter every 3 months that Robyn mentioned that someone do.   I got this information from one Japanese site.

I have to correct about Mr. Reguard's way ( how to maintain his starter)that Robyn mentioned me when I added new bug into my original one. He makes completely a new starter every 4-6 weeks.   So it is different from mine and the Japanese one.

Thank you, Robyn!



wishes, ( Wish me luck!)




RonRay's picture

Akiko and Daisy_A

For many months I have fed a culture that was called Potato Sourdough Starter, but now I think it is really a vegetable yeast water. It is maintained by 3 Tbs water, 2 Tbs sugar, and 1 Tbs of potato flakes. All that I've read so far on yeast water is just what I did to originally grow the culture. It is very active after feeding. I tested it with a small batch of flour and it raised well, but have never made bread with it. You can see where I got the idea at:

All the reading about yeast water sent me off today to buy apples and try yeast water from apples. I sliced 3 apples - all but apple cores and stems and placed the pieces in a 1.5L jar. Covered with water and fed 1 tsp of honey.  Then, I decided to add 1/4 tsp of the Potato Starter's water to the apples. I sealed the jar and have place it in my homemade Temperature Chamber set for 80ºF (26.6º). That was 2 hours ago (101109 4:00 PM)

Start of Yeast Water Apples (I hope). I will let you both know how it proceeds.


Update:  At 16 hours (101110 8:00 AM) the culture actually has a few bubbles being generated - not many, perhaps as many as 2 dozen, collecting in small groups of the undersides of apple slices where they press against the glass sides.  Also, a slight change in odder when opened, and the water has shifted towards a weak peach shade.

Daisy_A's picture

Hi Ron, Akiko,

Ron - sounds like you were ahead of the curve - making vegetable yeast water without knowing it! Again bubbles sound like a good sign.

I'm interested in your homemade chamber by the way. Is it based on an aquarium tank or something similar? How do you heat it safely? My proofing breads are on lidded pyrex pots of hot water at the moment. With practice I can stabilise the temperature but it does fluctuate over the long term.

Kind regards, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture

Hi Daisy_A,

Yes, I am sure the really fast starting of activity in the apple slices is the result of that one little 1/4 tsp. of the potato yeast water. But, Wao and others say that if you have an active water yeast culture you can "jump-start" a new type with a bit of the seed - as with most cultures.

I used to use a small aquarium to control the temperature of starter growths, when I studied their curves. It was very small and convenient to just store away when I wasn't studying anything that needed a reasonably controlled temperature. The oven light gave enough heat for proofing and I use wireless temperature sensors, so I didn't have to run and check things to be sure of the temperatures.

The aquarium, in the apple slice photo, is the "warm control box" and is simply an aquarium on its side with a door on the left (that was the top). In the current position, it is 12" wide x 10.25" high x 20.25" front to back. It cost less than $20 US. It could be insolated, but the small added cost of power is more than offset by being able to see everything very clearly without needing to opening it. Making measurements of the starter's surface levels is hard enough through a glass wall of a jar, so I want minimal visual interference and the aquarium glass gives that.

Inside is a Le Parfait French Glass Canning Jar - 1.5 Liter ( that is the same as the jar with the sliced apples ) it is full of water and an aquarium submersible water heater set to hold the water at 80ºF - but, it can be set to other temperatures when desired.

Here is a summary of what I use. The chamber's temperature is sensed by a Honeywell TS33F wireless Thermo-Hygrometer with the sensor on the end of a lone wire. That can be moved to any position, but normally hangs from the center of the chambers "roof". It transmits every 45 seconds to a Honeywell TM005X Wireless Indoor/Outdoor Thermo-Hygrometer station that allows me to have 3 remotes plus the temperature at the master station, and that is also portable, but generally sits next to me at the computer. A second identical remote sensor unit normally sits near the chamber in the kitchen, but is moved to sense the small fridge's internal temperature, when that is being used for controlled retardation.

I use two of the following switches, one for controlling cooling and one for heating:
Single Stage ETC Temperature Control w/ Sensor (120/240V Input) - Includes Sensor on 8' Cord (SKU: ETC-111000 Brand: Ranco $48.95 US + shipping)
You can see the one controlling the aquarium's heating in the apple slice photo. It is the grey box to the left of the aquarium door. It can be set from -30º to 220ºF and will switch "on" or "off" for a differential range of 1º to 30º. These units will turn "on" or "off" at these ranges, depending on how you set them - for heating or cooling. So, one is used to turn on a small fridge if the inside of the fridge gets hotter than the setting, and the aquarium unit is set to turn on the two internal lamps if the temperature falls below its set point. Each unit comes with the sensor on an 8 foot cord. In the aquarium, the sensor is attached to the metal shield on one of the lamps. The bulbs in the lamps are low wattage - 15 watt CFL (coiled fluoresce lamps).

That took more to explain than I though it would, but that about covers it. Sometime this winter, I plan to combine the two (heating and cooling) units so a muffin fan can move cooling air into the warming chamber, if needed.

If you have not already seen the following two posting, you might want to look at them Both seem like good designs for most home baker's needs.






Daisy_A's picture

Hi Ron,

Many thanks for this. I do appreciate the detail. I'm not unhandy about the house. I can paint and varnish like a pro, thanks to tuition from my mother who could decorate tiny sloping rooms that even some professional decorators baulked at. Electrics, though, that's another matter. I'm a bit more wary of those and of plumbing because of the greater things that could go wrong. It was after reading Steve's post that I went for hot water pyrex pans - heat but no electricity! So the detail is welcome as the field is not familiar to me.

However I'm sure reptile and aquarium systems must be pretty safe otherwise fish would be getting blasted every day, which they aren't! Will have to read this a few times, however, to begin to understand the technology. We have wireless Internet and now I think of it our control for our new heating boiler is wireless as well...

Thanks for taking the time to explain this.

Glad also that the yeasts are going well in this environment.

Best wishes, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture

The HP units were acquired from Amazon. So, using the part ID#s will let you view details at Amazon. Also, if you want the source I used for anything else, just ask - I am sure I could dig up the source records.

Daisy_A's picture

Hi Ron,

Thanks for this. I'm in the UK so couldn't find quite the same thing on Amazon UK but did find similar things from aquarium and pet tank suppliers.

Kind regards, Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture

Hi Akiko, Ron, Robyn,

Many thanks for posting on this, Akiko. I do indeed wish you good luck with the fruit yeast! Bubbles sound like a good sign,don't they?

I also was offered a sourdough starter when I was 16. It wasn't yeast water but more like an friendship starter with sugar, which was set outside to develop natural yeasts with flour. I didn't take it in the end - I realised I was too young and Bohemian to care for it properly. Didn't want to tell my friend it had died! It was the custom in the farming community in Cumbria where I grew up, to keep starters this way. I guess lots of places must have these traditions. So good that bakers are trying to sustain things like the fruit yeasts.

I don't know about fruit yeast storage. I think I read somewhere - maybe from what you or Robyn wrote or on one of the sites - that yeast starters were not kept long term like sourdough but changed after a fortnight or a month. I also remembered that some bakers chose new fruits for the new month. That really appealed because then you would have seasonal starters, depending on what fruit, herbs and vegetables were coming into season :-)

I read too that Jan Hedh didn't keep a raisin water based flour levain going for more than a few weeks also. In contrast I think Moro have kept their sourdough (originally raisin based), going for many years. 

As for feeding a starter rice, wouldn't this be a fermentation like saki? (Not my cuisine so correct me if I'm wrong!) I suppose most edible and fermentable things could be used?

With best wishes, Daisy_A


teketeke's picture

Hello, Daisy and Ron

I have read both of your comments without missing, but I didn't have to write you back. I am sorry. 

My grape fruit yeast is doing well now. There are a lot of small tiny bubbles on the surface. I made a little portion of levain ( 30g yeast and 30g ap flour) last night. It rose only 1cm this morning ( in 9 hours) and I saw some bubbles on the surface. It is not ready to bake bread yet. But it will be ready soon.

 I am impressed with Ron's proofing method! Thank you for posting this, too. Now, I gave my husband to make a proofing box for me! 

To Ron:  Your apple yeast looks pretty good already.  you could add other water yeast into the apples, then you can have apple water yeast within 24 hours! As you mentioned... 

Daisy, I will write you back later more..   Now, we are ready to make bread with natutal yeast , aren't we? We can take care of them now :) 

I will post more details with pictures.   I am keeping my water yeast around at 24-28℃ range.  I can't conrol the temperature all the time.  But it works so far.  The temperature is more than 30℃, you will have some bacteria that you don't want. That is what the yumn read.

See you later,



RonRay's picture


I am pleased that you also found my proofing box information of use. And doubly pleased that your grapefruit yeast water is growing well. My apple water yeast is also doing well.

I fed it another teaspoon of honey last night. This morning when I opened the top, a rush of bubbles formed a foam and the odder was most pleasant. The "jump-start" of the 1/4 tsp of potato water yeast really work well - It is not yet 48 hours old and is making many bubbles.

That is up to this morning (º¿º)

Happy bubbles ;-)


Daisy_A's picture


Daisy_A's picture

I hope I am grown up enough now to take care of a sourdough starter LOL.

I'm bonded to my little starters now but I have to say that after the initial amazement at creating a starter at all I went through a short phase where I was worn out by my wheat starters being so messy, so naughty and wanting feeding all of the time! I couldn't part with them though as they are so cute and make such great tasting bread! They are much better behaved now they are older and a firmer consistency. Rye has always been better behaved and more reliable - it is like the 'responsible' sibling.

Glad to hear your fruit yeast is going well :-) 

Kind regards, Daisy_A

teketeke's picture

Hello, Ron and Daisy

I have tried translating this website a bit for a few days.


How to make home made yeast : Fruit yeast+Levain+to maintain water yeast  

 <Step 1 >To grow yeast from fruit

・A Sterilized jar(Approximately a jelly bottle (200ml) )
・Water(Use warm water for winter)
・Heaping 1-2 tbsp of raisins which are not coated with oil  
(The raisins which are coated with oil look very shiny, and  the raisins which are not coated with oil covered with white stuff。It is okay to use grapes, apples, and any kind of orange plus honey or sugar ( Honey or sugar should be  maximum 20% as to the water that you use 。You can use more sugar for the fruit which has less sugar, and less sugar for the fruit for the fruit which has a lot of sugar。Grape and Dry fruits have high sugar content so that you don't have to add sugar or honey into them.)
2.Put the raisin in the bottle and pour water that will be double height of the raisins.
When the room temperature is 20℃, put the bottle in a water bath ( temperature is 30℃ (This is only once.When the water bath gets cold, take out the bottle from the bath ) Don't expose it to the direct of the sun even thought it is  winter. Place it cooler place when it is summer.
 If you can get some water yeast from others, you will be able to make your  water yeast within 24 hours at least.

3. Add some water, if the raisins suck up some water and looks plump then it is exposed to the air on the surface. 

4. Open the lid and shake it lightly several time a day ( It is better as many as you do this)(To avoid to have mold and get more oxygen )


→STEP2<Step2>  TO make sure if this fruit yeast is ready for bake bread

(1) You can see some bubbles around the raisins within 3 days. If you don't see any bubbles on 4th day, Warm it up at 30℃→ You should make it from begging, if you can't see any bubbles.

(2) Shake the bottles and open the lid, the liquid will be white at the second. (you can see a lot of tiny bubbles on the surface)-- You better wait around 1-3 days after this. ( This is the point!) 
Meanwhile, you better shake the bottle and open the lid to get new oxygen and get rid of unneeded carbon dioxide.

(3) Strain the raisin-liquid and keep it in a refrigerator.
At this time, the raisins are not sweet, and it is almost empty as much as you can smash them easily with your fingers.(You can eat the raisins if you add some water yeast that you can get from somebody. That should be made within 24 hours at least)
You can maintain this yeast to feed fresh fruit and water, apples juice, or water and sugar and so on (※1)

You can drink it. Pour some apple juice into the yeast.  
There are lot of bubbles like above when you shake it and open up.

<Step3>  To make levain

To make levain
(1) Mix the fruit yeast ( room temperature) and some flour using a spoon or muddler, and put it in a bottle.
(Ratio of  yeast : Flour  0.5:1 ( the same ratio of bread dough) or 0.5~1.5 ( soupy) :1   She uses 1:1 ratio.

(2) Several hours at room temperature(Approximately it will take 5-6 hours at 24℃。It will take more than 10 hours in winter)You can see  an successful fruit yeast on the picture on the left that has bubbles all over the dough  (※2)
You shouldn't use a levain that has no bubbles although it pasts 24 hours.  You should discard a levain that you smell sour, and when you taste very sour.  You can make a new levain after the levain is refreshed.
How to refresh your fruit yeast
Water yeast:water:honey=1:1:0.2~0.4、(little sweet when you taste)
Mix it up and place it at the room temperature until bubbly
She throws away when the levain is sour eventhough it tastes lactic acid that is more likely fine.

Used whole wheat flour on this picture:
Using Import Bread flour is not problem although it is harder  ( yeast :flour =1:1)。It should be different how much it rises depend on the ratio that you use for your levain. It doesn't rise when the levain has more water than the flour because the bubbles disappear from the dough easily. The levain that has less water than the flour will rise triple in bulk. You can judge if it is a good one: Take a look!  how much bubbles in the dough.
Ratio of   yeast : Flour  0.5:1 ( the same ratio of bread dough) or 0.5~1.5 ( soupy) :1   
You better use the same ratio for your levain every time so that you can see how much the dough rises.

 TO comparison
of  flour types

On the left  Yeast50g+Graham(Coarsely grounded)25g+Bread flour25g
On the right Yeast 50g+Bread flour50g+ Water5g
(She added more water to the right one because bread flour absorb more water to make the same softness of the left one)
[The result of this comparison]
It didn't seem to have a big difference, even it was expected that the left one will rise faster because graham has enzyme to decompose protein more than the right one.
 Levain with graham has less gluten that cause lose more bubbles,but the levain with only bread flour has strong gluten, it can keep more bubbles inside the dough so that rises more than the other one.
 About the bubble size:   Graham (LARGE) > Bread flour (SMALL) Is it the difference of the gluten ?

<Step3'> levain 2 ( To make more levain when it is winter )

After step3, You can add flour and water following the ratio (Levain(step3)  :Flour : Water =2:1:1、1:1:1、1:2:2 or so)、You can place it in a refrigerator after you keep it  some bubbles on the surface at room temperature like you make a fruit yeast above。
 You can skip this step 3, but the bread will more rise, and also have a shorter time for a bulk fermentation get though this step by step.  In addition to it, The flavor will change, like the typical smell is weaken, and the taste will be milder.
Most likely, she uses this step in winter. On the step 2 levain ,  She uses Flour : Fruit yeast= 60 g: : 60 g ( wet dough),  and adds 40 g flour into it when the step 2 levain has fullen risen ( lot of bubbles all over) as a step 3 levain. the dough will be  the same as  bread dough.


<Step4> Baking bread

→A round boule recipe
→Sandwich bread recipe(Working)


Rider :
  You can make bread without reading this below. You could continue to read If you are  interested in more details.


How to
fruit yeast
Place your extra fruit yeast into a bottle that is well sterilized, add some 100% apple juice into it, leave it at room temperature until bubbly, and keep it in a refrigerator. Your fruit yeast will be stronger whenever you feed.  Thus, there are many people who maintain their yeast like this.
Now,Her yeast is 2 years old.  You can keep your yeast in a refrigerator for a  month without feeding. Although, You better refresh your starter discarding most of it, leaving a little amount of the yeast.
You should use 100% fruit juice that is not preservatives added as possible as you can. It is okay to feed some juice that is concentrated juice or  sterilized juice, or you can feed some fresh fruit that are cut it up in small pieces plus some water.
She never tried to feed sugar + water so that she is not sure if it is okay to feed this. It is okay to feed honey + water.

There is no problem to feed other stuff.
 It is not only 100% fruit juice, but it is also good to feed grounded carrots or  Chinese yam or  rice soup, or sake ( Japanese alcohol)  It is difficult to maintain to feed vegetable yeast.(You have to feed it very often) although, you will have delicious bread. this vegetable yeast will be like levain. ( You can preserve  100% fruit juice or fresh fruit +water for a week, honey + water will  be more than a week, Vegetables may be a couple day in a refrigerator without feeding. )

There is no rule of the ratio. It will take a longer time to be fully fermented if you feed little fruit yeast to a big amount of food.(Depends on your room temperature, It takes a half day to one day to rise fully, when you feed 1 tsp yeast : 100 g food.)  Yeast :  Flour = 1:1 will be ready within a couple hours.  You can put it in a refrigerator directly, if you add little food to big portion of your yeast.
 You better discard your fruit yeast if the yeast doesn't rise at all within 24 hours.
It is the best way to do is what leaving little food in the yeast, not let it fully fermented.
It doesn't need to have carbon dioxide in the yeast so that you better shake the bottle and  open the lid  and get some fresh oxygen, and get rid of the carbon dioxide.  The bottle is needed to be washed sometimes, otherwise, the bottle itself gets dirty.

You will see some white stuff in the bottom. We call it " ORI ( pronounce : OLI) that is fruit starter its self which has active one and dead one. She shakes it as well before using and it has never had a problem though others believe that you  should  scoop the surface, not to use the ORI because the ori effect the bread ( worsen taste)  

Mixing some water yeast and flour to make predough to bake bread, we call it : "CHU-SHU"( Levain), Other hand, We make bread using fruit yeast directly, we call it "Straight method"(We generally make bread the same way with commercial yeast.-Method of Straight and Poolish)
As she mentioned this above,   When you use levain method twice, the bread will more rise, and also have a shorter time for a bulk fermentation. She read this method is recommended by some bread baking books.

In the case of when you leave your levain for 3 days、There is a way to feed the same amount of the levain to risen until fully, you will have a double amount of the bread instead.

If you feed the levain regularly, you can maintain the levain as a starter ( we call it " MOTOSHU or PANSHU"  -- Sourdough culture)  She is not sure about the temperature, but it is supposed to be below 24℃.
In summer, it should be keep around cooler places. otherwise, you will have sour bread.

of water
I  don't have to translate it to English because she talks about Japanese flour which is imported.
基本的に、粉と水と塩だけでパンは出来ます。私は砂糖小さじ1とバターか植物油大さじ1を少し入れます。 ナッツとドライフルーツも入れると美味しいです。

And here is my grape starter.

I see some tiny bubbles on the surface.. But it is not enough to bake bread yet. Last night, I put 30g grapefruit liquid from the bottle that is filtered and 30g AP flour in a container to see how much grow. 

This is 11/10/2010 6pm after I mixed them up.

This is the next day of the grapefruit levain. ( 11/11/2010 6 am) It rose only 1cm from last night.  Although I could see some bubbles on the surface.

About the taste: I tasted the grapefruit yeast itself and it was really bitter!!  But when I taste the levain this morning, it came out nice mild sweet flavor, not sour.

I am not sure that my grapefruit yeast will become real yeast because I could see less bubbles on the surface right now. ( 11/11/2010  9:16pm)  It looks weaker than this morning...  I should come up some idea to keep the yeast the right temperature all the time like Ron's! 

This is how I keep my starterS! using a stand light to spot the yeasts.  I started to make Clementine yeast( LEFT) too. ( From 11/8/2010)   Grapefruit yeast( RIGHT) -From 11/7/2010

You could see a lot of bubbles on the clementine's because I just shaked it before taking this picture.  The clementine yeast doesn't seem to go well right now.. I didn't see much bubbles even I shaked it.  

Ron- Your apple yeast looks fabulous! Are you feeding honey everyday?

Daisy-- LOL  I am pretty much old enough to take care of them.  I am glad to hear that your wheat starter goes well.  My white starter didn't go well as much as I expected because most of bread that I baked came out too sour for my taste. Since I added new bug into the starter, It has been risen well and has very nice aroma.  As you mentioned that some memebers of TFL,  I may add some fresh new bug into it, when I feel like it. :)     My rye starter is very stable, too.  I don't have to worry about rye stater much. It is easy to take care of it.

P.S When I shaked the grapefruit yeast, then it "SHUUUU..." sounds came out as soon as I opened the lid. It is a good sign, too. but I am concerned about less bubbles on the surface right now... :(    For clementine's one has " SHUU" sounds comes out too,  but it is not as loud as the grapefruit one.

I will continue to report my experience.:)





RonRay's picture

Hi, Akiko & Daisy,

I have read all, but a bit busy and have not had time to pull everything together for a detailed update. I may not be able to write much for a day, or so. I have to go into Washington for most of the day tomorrow. If that were not necessary, I would try my first AWY (Apple Water Yeast) bread.

Akiko, thank you so much for all that translation effort you put into your last posting. As Daisy said, it must have been a labor of love. I have read through it twice and it helped me on some points I was unclear about. And thanks for the report on your progress with the grapefruit and clementine fermentations. My AWY goes SHUUU as well when I open the lid. (^_^)

Last night I added 20g AWY to 33g APF (60.6%HL) so I could get a feel of the dough with a bit of hand kneading, as well as a first test of its leavening ability. In 9 hours at a cool 71ºF (21.7ºC) it had done less than double. I moved it into the TC Box and at 80ºF(26.7ºC) it had more than doubled in the next 3 hours. So, since I cannot start to do any bread baking testing until Sunday, or next week, I took 50g of that 60.7%HL and added 80g APF + 70g more of the AWY and mixed an 80%HL of 200g. That is now in the 80º box and if it gets to a 50% rise later today, I will place it into the fridge to re-warm Sunday.

Yes, I have fed some honey each day to the apple growth. I only feed it 1 tsp each day. That is only 5g into 1000g of apple/water ( 1/2% ). But today, I gave it a second teaspoonful after stealing 70g of its fluids.

Did either of you know that mead is the oldest alcoholic manmade drink - simply fermented honey? Well, last night, I found out that:

Mead + Fruit = Melomels
Mead + Spices or Herbs = Methegli


And, what I have brewing that I've called AWY, could also be called a weak "Cyser" [Cyser-is a mead made with a blend of honey and apple juice or cider.]
If you look at that link you can see the fruits and other things they use, which should also work for water yeast - like rose hips (great vitamin C source).



Daisy_A's picture

Hi Akiko,

Many thanks for translating this - that must have been a labour of love! It is a good translation - much clearer than with the online translators - you did a great job :-) 

I am having to read it carefully more than once to understand the different steps in the procedure. Am I right in thinking that in this version the baker first makes a raisin water and then uses this to kickstart the fruit yeast?

Glad to hear your own starters are going well. Thanks for including pictures.

Best wishes, Daisy_A

teketeke's picture

Your welcome, Daisy and Ron! It is a good thing for me to use English! It is good practice!

Ron, Your Apple water yeast is going very well!! Thank you for writing up so well eventhough you are busy! I'd glad to see your process, too. I noticed that I can't leave the yeast without feeding for days. I didn't feed anything to my clementine, it went weaker and weaker.( less bubbles) I have read about the drink on her blog and the other sites. I am going to check the site you linked tonight . Thank you!

Please tell me when you find some sentences are not clear

She didn't mention about this on her blog. But I assume that she did. Otherwise, She would have spent a lot of time to make every kinds of water yeast!!

My grape fruit yeast is okay. I made another levain for grape fruit and clementine last night, again.  In this morning, The grape fruit one rose double in bulk! The clementine is not ready yet. It didn't rise at all, I could only see was some bubbles on the surface. Then I made another new big portion of levain this morning ( 100g yeast, 100g flour)  I am making bread using 1.2.3 sourough method. The levain is not ready yet to add more flour and water ..( final dough step) When I drop a spoonful of the yeast into room temerature water, the dough didn't float. ( This technique is from Tartine book- I  could borrow it from the library! I canceled to buy it at    I will post the result with pictures :)

Happy baking,


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Akiko, Hi Ron,

Thanks again Akiko for doing this. I meant to say too that it was good to have some of the key terms translated. I had read Panshu on a few blogs and didn't know it meant 'sourdough culture' but this makes sense.

English is clear. I have fun sometimes translating recipes - it is quite good language practice and then you get to cook them afterwards :-)

Hi Ron and Akiko,

Your yeast waters look good! I suppose there is an ages old link between bread and alchohol. Mead sounds good as does apple wine. I think I said on the Exponential Growth arts event they had homemade wine from windfall fruits and hedgerow fruits that they had made as well as bread - was great :-)

Wishing you both continued happy baking.

Best wishes, Daisy_A

teketeke's picture

Hi, Ron and Daisy again :)

I, myself didn't know how to figure out when my fruit yeast is fully fermented after feeding. So I found this wesite that tell us more about details.


How to maintain water yeast Ingredients
  • left over water yeast after using   1-2 tbsp 
  • 100% fruit juice                             200cc
  • A bottle(500cc)
Method:          1.Sterilize the bottle           2. Let your fruit yeast and the 100% fruit juice at room temperature.          3.  Pour the 100% fruit juice into the bottle.          4. Add 1-2 tbsp the fruit yeast into the bottle. ( It will be fermented quickly if you add more the fruit yeast)         5. Shake it very well and leave it at room temperature ( Around 25℃ is the best.) * When you start to make your fruit yeast, the temperature should be around 28℃. More than 30℃ will be ruined your fruit yeast because it will have unwanted bacteria and be acid.

      6. It will be fully fermented in 24 hours.( You better shake the bottle sometimes to have oxygen and get rid of carbon dioxide that is no need.

  • The time when it is fully fermented: When you shake the bottle, A lot of bubbles will show up around the top, and you also hear " SHUUUUUuuu" from the bottle in the same time.

of 【Being fed by 100% Orange juice】

  • It grew well and you can see bigger bubbles。
  • You can smell a pint of alcohol and orange.

【Being fed by 100% apple juice】

  • The bubbles welled up from the bottom to the top, and they stay around the surface.
  • It smells apple alcohol ceedle ( alcoholic manmade drink-  :) Is it the same ?  Ron?)
  • It is fun to test and  use any kind of 100% juice to make a variety of breads.
  • She had mild bread when she used 100% apple juice ( That is her experience)
  • She had bread that remained the flavor of  the orange's bitterness when she used 100% orange juice.
  • There is another way to use honey + water. You will find when you look up using INTERNET.
  • The yeast that is maintained has more activity than the fresh fruit yeast that you just made.

Daisy- Apple wine sounds very fashionable!  I can't drink alcohol that makes me sick if I have a cup of alcohol.  That is funny that I used to drink when I was a college student :) 

Happy baking!!


RonRay's picture

Thanks, again Akiko for the informative translation ;-)


It smells apple alcohol ceedle ( alcoholic manmade drink- :) Is it the same ? Ron?)

Mead is a honey "wine"

[Cyser-is a mead made with a blend of honey and apple juice or cider.]


No, Apple cider, is the whole apples (some less than in good condition) crushed and then strained as a fluid - just like apple juice (made from only fine apples), but with more of a "bite" to the taste, from seeds and older apples. Both cider and juice may start to get "hard (have alcohol content).

You can find more about cider at the link below.



teketeke's picture

Thank you for your response, Ron! Now, I understand " CIDER" Thank you very much!

 I was little confused about APPLE CIDER. I usually see " APPLE CIDER" is non-alchoholic beverage.  We, Japanese call the cider " SEE DO LU( cidre)" which is well known as alcoholic drink in Japan so that many of Japanese may think of "CIDER" is a kind of alcoholic drink.   So, there are alcoholic ( Hard cider) and non-alcoholic apple cider in America and Canada and England.

Best wishes,


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Akiko, Hi Ron,

Interesting to hear about US categories for cider, e.g. 'hard cider'. In the U.K. we would normally use 'cider' to refer to an alcoholic drink and 'apple juice' to non-alcoholic juice, including that which is pressed and un-flitered. I have to say, though, older use of the term may have been different.

We drink the unfiltered juice all the time, apart from when we have the very occasional glass of organic cider (yum!) Production of local ciders, including those from craft breweries such as Weston's, is on the rise again, which is good. 

Also Akiko - I think you are right it is not only green to make your own fruit wine but trendy too! I drink so rarely now I was only able to have a glass but it was lovely.

Best wishes, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture

I vaguely remember - or think I do - having some English cider that was more like a beer, when I was there. However, since that was about 60 years ago, a few of the details are rather vague ROFL

Daisy_A's picture

Some of the traditional cider makers such as Weston's are undergoing a renaissance right now. We visited their centre on a family holiday.

They make 30 different ciders and perries. Didn't have them all! However some did remind me a bit of wheat beer. Rosie scrumpy was a particular family favourite :-).

Kind regards, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture


That is just right, As children, sometimes they "play drunk" on cider. As a child, I knew that hard cider was alcoholic. When we had a jug of cider, and I heard my father tell my mother "The cider has changed." I thought it was alcohol. I found it an drank some - tasted awful, but "so what".... It had turned to vinegar, and the next day I stayed in the bathroom most of the time. LOL

Ohhhhh my