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:




teketeke's picture

Daisy- We all love apple cider juice ( non-alcholic) that is not filtered in Autumn every year!  In New York, It is well known as The Big apple, We have a tons of apple cider every stores from September to end of Octorber. 

Ron- LOL.... That made me exactly LOL!!


Daisy_A's picture

Good too that it is seasonal and local.

We have apple juice from this Suffolk farm. It's delicious :-)

Best wishes, Daisy_A 

teketeke's picture

Hi, Daisy

I took a quick look to see the website that you linked. That looks really good!

Golden Harvest Farms is where we always go for apple picking and get some apple cider doughnuts! YUM!!

I love apples, not matter what!!  My favorite apple is FUJI which is come from Japan.  Have you heard of it?

Fuji - High sugar and low acid content, giving it a flavorful sweet taste.  The flesh is extremely crisp and juicy and stays that way longer than any other sweet apple.  Fuji's perform well when baked or frozen, but are perhaps best suited for eating fresh or in salads.  Fuji's were introduced to the US from Japan in the 1980's  They are a mix of Red Delicious and Ralls Janet - an antique apple that goes back to Thomas Jefferson in 1793.


Daisy_A's picture

I love farms where you can go and look round before buying the produce. Doughnuts look good too!

I have hear of Fuji but apparently there is not enough sunshine to grow it in the UK :-( A Japanese-American apple that could be good! I have heard they have a good flavour. 

I think you have this in the US but we have Apple and Potato Days in the UK where you can go and find information and buy apples and potatoes and also sample food and drink, with games for children as well? This is the nearest Apple Day to us

Again more heritage English apples are being grown again after a period of the orchards being cut back :-)

Best wishes, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture

Daisy, I have never heard of either Apple or Potato Days, but this area of the country isn't that heavily into growing either of them. I would not be surprise if they had such days in areas where they were major crops.


Daisy_A's picture

Found an Apple Day

Are you in Maryland, Ron? Seems to be an Apple Festival in Darlington


RonRay's picture

Hi, Daisy - Yes, I am in Maryland. I looked up Darlington, and found it on a map. A small town that is about 3 or 4 miles from the northern border with Pennsylvania. I had never heard of it before, but that is in an area where there are apples grown. Interesting, thanks ;-)




teketeke's picture

Hello, Daisy

Unfornuately, We don't have Apple and Potato Days here.  It soulds fun, doesn't?  Although we can get some samples of apple cider doughnuts and apples and some fresh fruit at the farm. :) I love samples :)

Hi,Anna- :)  My next favortie is Honey crisp.  :)


Daisy_A's picture

Hello Akiko,

Yes Apple and Potato days are fun. My friend and I grow potatoes but just in a small space so if we go to Potato Day we can buy just a few of a whole range of potatoes rather than having to buy them by the sack :-)

Going to the farm and getting apple cider dumplings sounds great too, though! I love the packaging too - so appealing and colourful. 

We get an organic box and recently the apples have been Red Pippin (Fiesta) and Red Windsor - quite nice and aromatic and fresh. I like the names of the apples you are speaking about - Fuji (for Mount Fuji?), Honey crisp. Yum.

Hi Anna,

Gala sounds good too. I think we can get those in the UK. 

Kind regards, Daisy_A

AnnaInMD's picture

Next would be Galas.  


teketeke's picture


How to maintain yeast water ( 水種--水=Water, 種=Yeast )

  • left over water yeast after using   1-2 tbsp 

  • 100% fruit juice                             200cc

  • A bottle(500cc)

         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 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 yeast fruit 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.

【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 cedre ( Hard cider)


  • 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 yeast fresh fruit that you just made.

teketeke's picture


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.



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

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。
RonRay's picture



That makes it a great reference document at TFL. Thank you.


teketeke's picture

Thank you, Ron.  I am sorry that I couldn't delete the old ones that are double posts now.

By the way, I think that my grapefruit water yeast was just born today.

I am still making a loaf by the grapefruit water yeast , the loaf sleeps in a garage now (50F)-retarded)   I could say " My grapefruit water yeast was born " if the loaf came out an edible bread.  

To be continued...



RonRay's picture

Don't worry about double posts.

As for word order and word reversals... I like Water Yeast, but Yeast Water would also work.

Of course, word order can change everything at times... Like Venetian Blind and Blind Venetian  LOL.

I also got more than doubling of the small 53g test and then got a good rise when I used that to inoculate a 200g build of levain.  I also strained of 700ml + of Apple Water Yeast and made 247g of apple sauce from the solids that were left after straining the batch.  I'll try the "apples sauce" as an addition in waffles tomorrow morning.

I have lots of process progression photos, but have neither the time nor energy to do anything tonight. I stayed up late and got up early to care for all the little yeasty beastie projects before I went into Washington. It has been a long day.


teketeke's picture

Wow, Ron

"Apple sauce" is what I was wondering if I could test for my grapefruit water yeast ( yeast water),  You just got the idea of the word order!!! LOL  This is a great answer! Thank you, Ron!

You already gave us a lot of information!  I could understand your apple water yeast's progresses. I am very glad to hear your water yeast going very well!

Thank you for your kindness.




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Ron asked me: 

You seemed to enjoy using water yeast - judging from that thread - and I have wondered why you seemed to completely stop using the method. Would you mind telling what made you loose interest - if, indeed, you have done?

Ron, I knew you would ask after noticing the topic went to wild yeast water.  I had fun alright but traveling interrupted me then.  I still use it as a tool when strapped for yeast or a starter.  It's fun to know there are many ways to 'raise a loaf.'  Whenever I come across a good piece of ripe fruit, like the persimmons at the moment, I think about it.   Now if you let the yeast water sit past the fizzy stage, it does turn into wine or a refreshing drink (sturm) and I don't ever remember getting sick -- must be my stomach is iron clad over the years. 

This last year I've cut back my bread intake drastically.  But because the bread selection is so poor here in Korea outside of baguettes and sweet soft loaves, I bake more here in more varieties than in Austria.  Which does give me something to do.  Hubby doesn't like too many surprises in his bread...  like bright colors or sweetness...  and he didn't like it when I sprinkled sesame seeds on the pretzel rolls.  Austria has more flour variety and here I'm asked for more traditional breads. 

Now that you have fruit starters, how many of them will you keep?  Actually once they have been converted to flour eating starters, baked a few loaves and come full circle around back to sourdough, the excitement sort of wears off. 

It is an interesting way to pin-stripe a loaf or add very subtle flavors.  Can the process also be reversed?   Maybe also fun to try.  Take a starter and add fruit slush & flour to refresh it. Or add different slushes to several starters, divide up a low hydration  unleavened dough into coresponding bowls and when all the doughs are mixed up and gone thru bulk proofs recombine to marbleize a loaf and give it a final proof.  Hey!  That sounds so cool I might even try it!  Be careful with the root vegies, always good to blanch them first killing unwanted fungi and bacteria before cutting them up.  (Blanching varies but roughly 3 minutes in boiling water and then dropped in cold water to stop the cooking.)

Can you imagine the variety in loaves with so many trying different shapes, flavors or colors?  Not for the squeemish.  Would be interesting to get the timings right.  Swirls, twists, braids, dough inside dough inside dough... even stacked layers... dough balls... checkered bread.  Layers of speckles and dark and light?  The ideas are flowing in...


teketeke's picture

Wow, Mini  That is a wonderful idea!

Take a starter and add fruit slush & flour to refresh it. Or add different slushes to several starters, divide up a low hydration  unleavened dough into coresponding bowls and when all the doughs are mixed up and gone thru bulk proofs recombine to marbelize a loaf and give it a final proof.

I could imagine how the breads will have nice aroma!!

I think that it may be the same thing what I did recently. I made a starter from some squeezed fresh clementine juice and some rye flour , and on the second day, I added some of it into my white starter.  It was very successful. I tasted nice flavor to my bread.

I have read about your blog " ROPE BACTERIA"   Since then, I have a vinegar spray bottle in my kitchen :)

Thank you, Mini




RonRay's picture

You certainly do not lack in ideas. It is a shame that one cannot stretch time - to allow more events in an unrushed way - to be dealt with. You offer some interesting ideas (^_^)

I am Off to Washington for the day... Happy baking

zÖÖm Ron


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

that stretches and flattens the wrinkles in time.  Maybe one day...

RonRay's picture

Hi Mini,

Now, that would be a money maker that could put Billing Gate to shame... ROFL


RonRay's picture

Your ideas sound as if they would be fun and make some interesting bread at the same time. A great combination ;-)


teketeke's picture

I edited name of " water yeast" on the post that is later website that I traslated I used to name. But, is it right?


 In Japanese, we call it " MIZU SHU" -水種 (水ーWater 種ーYeast) Threre are some words in English, We reverse these words. Example,  Rubber bandー輪ゴムー輪(Band) ゴム(Rubber) Name- Jeffrey Hamelman- Hamelman Jeffrey in Japanese.

IN the other hand、There are also some words as same as English that we don't have to reverse these words.  Example,  Last night-昨夜 -昨(Last)夜(Night) Sundayー日(Sun)曜日(Day)

I just thought which is right... 




RonRay's picture

Akiko, can you read my name (my name is reversed) and artist chop? Top to bottom, right to left....

lei2 lang2 hua4 jia1

Ron Ray aka Lei Lang      LOL

Daisy_A's picture

Looks beautiful, Ron

Although I'm afraid I can't read the original.

Kind regards, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture

I'm afraid I can't read the original either, Daisy. It originated with a Chinese lady artist that I knew who thought I needed a chop for some of my paintings.
I, too, though it beautiful.

Did you every look at any of my paintings, or fractal art?



Daisy_A's picture

I guess it's easy to insert as well. 

I did look at the paintings actually and I thought they were exceptional. I'm afraid I just find fractals too perturbing. However to get that level of detail and saturation of colour in watercolours shows an extremely high level of skill. Some artists can't get that with oils.

I say this as someone who has seen a lot of paintings. My husband works in the arts and I work in the field of Cultural Studies so we try to get to as many exhibitions and collections as we can.

Best wishes, Daisy_A


teketeke's picture

That is FUNNY! Ron :) 

By the way,What does the " aka" mean? 

In Japanese,

Lai ( Thunder) 雷

Rou (APPX, the end of male's name. example "太郎””四郎”。。。) 郎

Sho(Write) 書

Ka(House) 家

My name is 亜希子  亜(Is from 亜細亜 Asia)希(Is from 希望 Hope)子(Child)-APPX、End of  girl's name.(幸子、洋子、久美子。。) 



RonRay's picture

Akiko aka Asian Hope Child....

With no "real" 'R' sound in Mandarin, "Lei Lang" is about as close to "Ray Ron" as one can get, with the choices of  "proper people names".
Lei2 ( Thunder ) 雷
Lang2 ( Master - male of house ) 郎
hua4( Painting ) 書
jia1( Master ) 家

So, my art chop would read "Ray Ron, Painting Master". I used it on a few paintings and most of my posted fractals  (where my web-name is YarNor, my name backwards... LOL)



teketeke's picture

Oh I see!!!

Ray Ron Painting Master...  It sounds very cool!  Mr.雷朗!

P.S Your handwriting is very neat!


RonRay's picture

P.S Your handwriting is very neat!

I fear not. Now, I fear is it but a shaky old man's hand writing, (±¿±)


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Akiko,

Asian Hope Child, Girl. What a beautiful name. Do you mind me asking whether there are calligraphs for Daisy or Pearl (other meaning of my name)?

Best wishes, Daisy_A

teketeke's picture

Hi, Daisy

Daisy-雛菊  Pearl--真珠  

Both of them are  very beautiful names!   My parents named " 亜希子”, but they didn't mean " asian hope child" instead of that, they named me 亜希子 because there is a talented and smart woman 亜希子 who is a famous professinal baseball player's  wife  in Japan. (The baseball player already retired, of course.. I don't know if he is still alive) They wished that I would be like her.  Their didn't get their wish LOL

Ron is very talented, isn't he? 


Daisy_A's picture

Hi Akiko,

What beautiful calligraphs - many thanks indeed! 

I see - you were named after someone. Doesn't the name mean the same thing still, though? Talented and smart? I'm sure that applies to you also if your posts on TFL are anything to go by :-) Yes Ron is talented too!

I was named after my Great Aunt Margaret, but she herself used to call me Pearl when I was little, so thank you for doing that calligraph also :-)

Best wishes, Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture

Hi Akiko,

Thanks for all the wonderful translation work you are doing to help everyone interested in natural fruit yeasts :-)

You ask about the order of the words. I think either works but when I've come across a similar term with raisins it's been 'raisin water', so maybe 'yeast water'?

In English 'fruit yeast' implies that the yeast is made with fruit so 'water yeast' does not fit quite so well although it makes sense.

'Grapefruit water yeast' on the other hand does work as a composite term as it implies the yeast is made with 'grapefruit water'. However you could also say 'grapefruit yeast water', implying the water was infused with yeast made from grapefruits. The only term not to work so well is the simple 'water yeast' (implies yeast is made from water).  Hope this makes sense!

Thanks again for all you have done. Kind regards, Daisy_A


teketeke's picture

Thank you, Daisy and I appreciate your thoughful comments for me.  Thank you, too!

Yes, The word order of your idea makes sense. " water yeast" and " yeast water " and " grapefruit ( fruit name) yeast water"  sound good.  

And, I will post the result of " Dutch oven" later :)


teketeke's picture

:( I almost finished to post the result of grapefruit water yeast bread, All of sudden, my computer shut off this website for protection.  Hmm.. It happens a lot recently... I don't know why..

-----But, I want to post this result  for fun anyway.

Before I tell you the result of this water fruit bread, I want to tell you another story.

On 12th, I made Hamelman's whole wheat levain with white starter, meanwhile I had used a big stainless bowl to cover my bread to have good crust. yesterday, I came up some idea to use a frying pan and the stainless bowl as a dutch oven.

I had good bloom and ear but the bottom was burned. 


On the 12th( the same day above),  I made 123 sourdough bread with my new grapefruit water yeast. I had fed 100g water + 1tsp honey into 100g grapefruit water yeast. It took a half day until it is fully fermented.   I made a levain with 110g yeast and 110g bread flour.  The water hydration was higher than the 123 sourdough recipe ( 75% overall)

so then I used a flower saucer for my dutch oven method this time.


I used Sylvia's steaming method besides the dutch oven. When I took the lid out of the pan, It was barely cooked and flatten~~!!  I immediately took the bread out of the pan, then placed it on the baking stone to cook well. I started to rise in the oven. phew.... I felt good at the moment...  I like this flavor as well as I like my new white starter.

----Today, I made another 123 sourdough bread with CLEMENTINE water yeast :) it was successful, too!   It was born today.   I had fed 100% apple juice to the clementine. See what happen...  This ingredients are as same as the grapefruit one above. Although I didn't change the water hydration this time.

For the dutch oven method, I will test a new thing.

I forgot to say that I retarted both of the 123 sourdough breads.

To be continued again :) I will put more pictures of my water yeasts by then.



RonRay's picture

I was just on the way to bed when your post notice came, and I had to say congratulations!

Some people would be very pleased with your "Big holes in the crumb..."

Look at this crumb, for example.

Good night, ;-)



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and it worked better with shallower bowls (heats faster) and also when the bowl was also a fry pan with same or a darker color (less heat reflection.) That's how I ended up with thick rimmed woks one on top of another for a baking chamber.  Got a wok you can invert over the loaf?


teketeke's picture

Thank you, Mini!

I  put a wok in my bread shopping lists now :)


Daisy_A's picture

My stainless steel bowl is also about the size of Akiko's in the picture. Might start with something shallower then.

Best wishes, Daisy_A

Daisy_A's picture

Top idea Akiko!

I had been wondering how to do this 'Dutch oven' stuff. I don't want to trust my Le Creuset to the oven but I have a bowl and a black Aga iron frying pan with an iron handle, which will take the highest oven heat, if heated up with the oven. Might give that one try with a boule for formulae that call for it.

Best wishes, Daisy_A

RonRay's picture

Apple Water Yeast, Day 3 & 4

On the third day the brew looked active enough, so I tried a test Apple Water Yeast (AWY) and AP Flour mix, of 22g AWY + 33g APF and in 12 hours - first 9 hours at 71ºF(21.6ºC) it rose 35%, last 3 hours at 80ºF(26.6ºC) it jumped to 116% rise (more than double). So, I took that levain and started a 200g, 100%HL build.

The apples had a great variation in how much different pieces had been changed, so I decided to even things up a bit. So, Day 3, at 9 PM, I took a Cuisinart SmartStick 200-Watt Immersion Hand Blender and without removing the apples from the jar, I emulsified the remaining apple slices.

On Day 4, 18 hours later, most of the activity on the apple parts seemed complete enough that I decided to strain off the the AWY.

I obtained 254g of mildly alcoholic "apple sauce" and 700 ml of Yeast Water (AWY), both of which I placed in the refrigerator.

Along with the successful 200g of 100%HL AWY levain.

Now, I can try it in bread...  ;-)



teketeke's picture

Hi, Ron

I just want to tell you about my experience. I think that yeast water ( water yeast) dough is more likely wetter than soudough culture dough.  It was really soft like pudding while shaping when I made 123 sourdough with my grapefruit yeast.

Your progress is very helpful! 

I'd like to hear your first bread of apple yeast!

Happy baking,


RonRay's picture

Hi, Akiko

I made the dough late last night, and split the dough into 3, equal parts. Placed in their separate 1L/1Qt containers. Today I made the 1st loaf. I have photos, but not in the PC yet. I will post info tomorrow, but it went well.

zÖÖm Ron


teketeke's picture

Congratulation, Ron!!!   I'd like to see your first loaf 's picture!! 

Happy baking, Mr.雷朗書家 :)


RonRay's picture

Ms 亜希子

I have posted the AWY loaf infomation/photos (^_^)

Ron aka 雷郎

teketeke's picture

The result of the bread of the clementine yeast.

Today, I made another 123 sourdough bread with CLEMENTINE water yeast :) it was successful, too!   It was born today.   I had fed 100% apple juice to the clementine. See what happen...  This ingredients are as same as the grapefruit one above. Although I didn't change the water hydration this time.

For the dutch oven method, I will test a new thing.

It didn't work..   The bad thing was that I put the pan the lowest level in the oven, too.  As Mini mentioned, I better use a shallow pan on the bottom.

200g levain ( 100g clementine 100g bread flour)

400g water

600g bread flour ( I put some rye flour  around 50g, bread flour  550g )

14g salt

-----71% hydration  is too wet.   " Okiraku Tennen koubo pan"'s  writer suggested  70% hydration is for imported flour.  But I think that it is better to use 66% hydration for Japanese bread flour like she uses.


200g levan ( 100g fruit yeast, 100g bread flour)

362g water ( 700g( 600g bread flour + 100g bread flour from levain) x 66% -100 ( the amount of  fruit yeast liquid)

600g bread flour

14g salt

------ If I use " OKIRAKU" recipe,  My formula will be like this below.

200g levain ( 100g fruit yeast, 100g bread flour)

440g bread flour ( OR 330g bread flour +55g whole wheat flour + 55g rye flour)

187-264g water (53%-67%)

6.6g salt ( 1.2%) 

I didn't measure sugar from volume into metaric so I don't know about the sugar amount exactly.

0-15g butter or oil


I think that you can add more salt up to 2%.. I have not tried this recipe yet though. 

By the way, when I used 100% apple juice, it rose faster for some reason. For the taste, I prefer feeding fresh fruit to my fruit yeast ( I mixed up grapefruit and clementine yeast because I can't take care of two fruit yeasts and white starter and rye starter) that has more flavor in my opinion.



Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

As Mini mentioned, I better use a shallow pan on the bottom.


teketeke's picture

it worked better with shallower bowls (heats faster)



I am sorry about that, Mini!