The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

It's either squash vinegar or possibly squash yeast

clazar123's picture

It's either squash vinegar or possibly squash yeast

I left a bowl of pureed,cooked squash on my counter for a few days (unintentionally) and when I came back to it, it had a very sour tang and taste but no bubbles.It looks absolutely normal-no funny growths or anything. I have been making lacto-fermented pickles and sauerkraut this past summer as well as my usual sourdough bread so my kitchen is prob well populated with lactobacillus. I believe the squash lacto-fermented just like a pickle. I put some of the squash puree in water and am wondering if it will develop a yeast culture with the lacto culture so well advanced?It is quite sour. Whenever I've done sourdough, they grew simultaneously.

So will this go on to form vinegar? Will it develop a yeast friend? Can I use the thicker,fermented squash puree for bread(either sweet or yeast)?

I wasn't quite sure which forum to post this since it isn't sourdough and it's not bread-but I'd like to use it for bread.


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

(use the squash water as yeast water) and give it some salt and see what kind of loaf you can make.  If it's pumping out gas, I predict a tender crumb.  A little nutmeg might be good and why not a little orange or lemon zest?  A shake of tabasco and or black pepper if you feel lucky.   If you find that after 16 hours progress is slow, add some instant yeast.  Go for it!  :9

If you let the squash ferment too long it will be "overproofed" so take a little and feed it some flour to continue as a starter. 

Good luck!  ...I can picture a warm slice with butter melting on it!

clazar123's picture

I made a small ball of dough (just 1/4 cup flour and a little squash water) to see if there was any activity. Well, overnight in a cool (63F) kitchen and this morning in a warmer environment and there is some lift! I think I will try a mix an actual loaf with it-today(and tomorrow) is baking day!

I don't see any actual bubbling in the squash water but it tastes sour and has a bread-like aftertaste-almost like eating a cracker. I'm interested in seeing what it will taste like in a loaf.

Hot sauce and pepper? Might be very interesting!

clazar123's picture

So here is a pic of the bread from squash experiment. It is a white whole wheat,since I needed sanwiches for the week and WW is my preferred flour for that. It has 1 cup of the fermented squash in it (strictly for flavoring) as well as nutmeg,coriander and a little orange zest. It is quite delicious. THe crumb is even and tender-it smells heavenly.

I did do a small loaf made from about 1 cup of AP flour and squash water.It was alive!! It rose over the course of 16 hours so I decided to add a little salt and oil and baked it up after a 4 hour additional rise.It probably needed a longer second rise but it was getting late and I was impatient. It didn't last for the picture session this AM and was quite delicious! It developed a very wonderful,fermented flavor but wasn't at all sour. Perhaps a planned overnight rise for an additional loaf today. I don't often do strictly sourdough because of the time factor but it may be worth the experiment today.

I took Mini's idea to add some flour to some of the squash and now have an additional starter-it just took about 3 feedings and is quite bubbly.

And the fermented squash still seems happy and is as sour as can be.

It is not bubbling-it just sits and stays sour.The pinpoint holes are bubbles from stirring. I'm sure, like a pickle, if it is left to its own will eventually develop spoilage bacteria but I might use it all up today.Brioche is on the menu for today's bake. Pumpkin brioche,anyone?

What a delicious adventure.