The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

The Fruit-fed Yeast Adventure/Madness

breadbythecreek's picture

The Fruit-fed Yeast Adventure/Madness

Over the last couple of weeks I've been experimenting with the properties of fruit based yeast waters. Starting with a strawberry water, I've so far transformed Txfarmer's 36+ hr baguette  from a standard sourdough to one fed strawberry yeast water.  The result was as to be expected, crunchy crust, moist crumb, not a hint of sour, and interestingly, a surprisingly dark color despite the exclusive use of AP flour in the dough.

Strawberry Yeast Water Baguette, and one with Peach Yeast Water - Same recipe, same flour.

I have also created a number of boules using Ron Ray's Darling Clementine recipe.  I've used that same boule recipe to create a strawberry, cherry and blueberry boule.  From these loaves I have come to some conclusions.

Once out of the oven, these boules are virtually indistinguishable in terms of color, crust, and crumb. The only distinguishing feature was the strawberry loaf aroma while it was still baking. So, my conclusions are that it matters little exactly what kind of fruit one uses to cultivate yeast (except of course for those containing actinidain or actinidin), only that the yeast exist. Fruit based yeast from these types of waters will alter the color and consistency of the bread but will not impart any fruit essence upon baking.  The reddish/purplish fruits that I tested will significantly alter the color of the crust and crumb, and the relative amount of sugar present in the water will also affect the taste (the blueberry water, made from a quantity of dried blueberries was quite sweet to begin with).

 Strawberry, Cherry, Blueberry Boules: Beauty Shots, Profiles, and Crumbs




 I think after this experiment, I'll retire all but the strawberry water, as it is the most pleasing in terms of aroma, at least when it comes out of the oven.  So, in conclusion, choose your favorite fruited yeast water and keep only one type. Also, don't forget to feed your sourdough starter too because what is life without a little tang?

Happy Baking!






RonRay's picture

Pamela, thanks for adding some new Yeast Waters to those that TFL has for references.  I had hope your Blueberry YW would give us a nice purple, it would have been an interesting addition to the palette LOL

I see I have some index updating to go do ;-)

     *** Index has been updated:


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to marble a loaf?  Two or three types of yeast water doughs swirled or braided together?

breadbythecreek's picture

I think you can discern from the strawberry loaf crumb shot a faint swirl - this was the unintended effect of mixing the fruit yeast water and starter with increments of the additional flour.  The last bit of the flour wasn't completely blended.  So yes, I believe is is possible to get a marble effect with different YWs if you were content to not expect more than shades of white/brown.  You could do one  light colored dough with raisin/pear/apple/clementine YW..., which would probably yield a lightish crumb, and another of strawberry/cherry/blueberry/raspberry... YW which would yield a darker brown loaf.  With just the yeast water, I would not expect any difference in taste.  If you wanted to have both striking coloration and fruity flavor, I think the way to go would be to add fruit puree (à la banana levain) to the actual dough. This would most likely have a dramatic effect on the color of the crumb (esp. if the flour were restricted to only white AP), as we saw in the recent blueberry bagels on this site.

Right now, I'm training my standard SD starter to like peach puree instead of water and flour. I hope this starter, fed on fruit like the YW starters will not be sour and have all of the crust and crumb effects of the traditional YW method.    I intend, most likely tomorrow, to bake a peach pain levain with purely peach puree for water and some of the solids.  It should be interesting, if not successful.  It's all about the thrill of discovery.

-Happy Baking!


Philip25's picture

I want my pizza dough to look like your Strawberry Yeast Water Baguette, how do you suggest I get there?

breadbythecreek's picture

Hi Philip - This dough will make fabulous pizza!

That's the first place to start.  See RonRay's discussion on WBB's for more info on the care and feeding of Yeast Water using strawberries instead of raisins or apples to make Strawberry Yeast Water (SYW).  I took a clean 1 quart mason jar, filled it 1/4 of the way with fresh, organic, unwashed strawberries, chopped roughly and added enough filtered water to fill the jar 3/4 full. To this I added a sugar cube just to speed things along.  This was placed on the counter for a couple of days, shaking often (but left with the lid unscrewed as to not explode). When I was confident that it was sufficiently bubbly (it will bubble like soda), I shook it up really well and removed 10g of the water. To this I added 10g AP flour.  This was stirred up and left to rise at room temp for about 6 hours until double.    Then continue with  Txfarmer's 36+ hr baguette recipe, substituting all of the water with SYW.  Specifically,  to this 20g of starter add 30g each flour and SYW to make the levain.  Stir it up, and cover it.  In a separate bowl, take 212g AP flour and 150g SYW (call this the autolyse) and stir this up and cover it as well. Both of these, the levain and the autolyse were put in the wine cooler 46*F overnight. The next morning I combined them both into a dough and added 5g salt. This was given a thorough S&F in the bowl and rested 1/2 hour.  For another 2 1/2 hours this S&F/rest was repeated every 1/2 hour. Then it went back in the cooler.  

For pizza, the next day, I'd preheat my stone to 460* (with the sugar in the water, might burn if higher) take the dough out, let it come to room temp (1/2 hr in this AZ heat, I'm in Phoenix) then spread it as thin as possible on a sheet of parchment (it'll be really sticky and scary, but it will work.) then when the oven is hot, top the pizza (not too much toppings please!), slide the whole business onto the stone.  After the crust sets up, remove the parchment. presto!

Let me know if I can help.