The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cherry Lemonade Cream Cheese Wild Yeast Water Rolls

isand66's picture

Cherry Lemonade Cream Cheese Wild Yeast Water Rolls

I wanted to make some good soft tasty rolls using my Cherry Yeast Water starter.   I figured since I can't drink the starter I should use some organic cherry lemonade in place of the water.  In order to get the rolls to be nice and soft and rich I decided to add some cream cheese and butter and used some Durum flour in the levain as well as the final dough.

As I have mentioned in previous posts I have found that the best way to use the Yeast Water starter is to build up the levain in 2-3 stages.  For this bake I did a 3 stage build detailed below.  If you want to know more about starting your own WYW starter let me know and I will be glad to help you.  It is really easy to start and maintain and WYW does not have nearly as much of a sour tang as sourdough starters.


Wild Yeast Water Starter Build 1

50 grams AP Flour

50 grams WYW

Mix the flour and the WYW in a bowl and leave covered at room temperature for 4-5 hours. You can refrigerate it after 4-5 hours if you don't have time to go to step 3.

Wild Yeast Water Starter Build 2

100 grams Durum Flour

100 grams WYW

Mix the flour and the WYW in a bowl and leave covered at room temperature for 4-5 hours.  You can refrigerate it after 4-5 hours if you don't have time to go to step 3.

Wild Yeast Water Starter Build 3

100 grams Durum Flour

150 grams Water

Mix the flour and the WYW in a bowl and leave covered at room temperature for 4-5 hours.  You can now proceed to the main dough or refrigerate overnight and use the next day.

Mix additional ingredients into Build 1 and use your hands to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated.  You should have a fairly firm 65% starter.  Leave covered for 4-5 hours at room temperature and then either proceed to main dough or refrigerate over night.

Main Dough

375 grams WYW Levain from Above

512 grams Bread Flour (KAF)

88  grams Durum Flour (KAF)

393 grams Organic Cherry Lemonade (I bought it at Whole Foods and it has about 23 grams of sugar per serving)

16 grams Salt (Seas Salt or Table Salt)

102 grams Cream Cheese Softened

49 grams Unsalted Butter Softened

Add all the Cherry Lemonade except 50 grams to the starter to break it up in your mixing bowl.  Next add all of the flours and mix on low for 2 minutes.  Let the dough autolyse for around 15 - 20 minutes up to an hour. This will help the dough absorb the flour.  Next add the salt, remaining Cherry Lemonade, cream cheese and the butter and mix for 4 minutes on speed number 1.   You should have a nice smooth dough which is still tacky.  Move the dough onto your work surface and dust lightly with flour if necessary or spray some cooking spray instead.  Most of the time if the dough is not a high hydration I will not use anything on my wood board.

Do 4  stretch and folds and form the dough into a ball and leave uncovered for 10 minutes.  After the first rest do another stretch and fold and cover the dough.  Let it rest for another 10 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  You can now put the dough into a lightly oiled container or bowl and cover it.  Let it sit at room temperature for 2 additional hours or less if it is warm in your kitchen.  After 2 hours place the covered bowl in the refrigerator for 1 - 3 days until ready to bake.

When you are ready to make your rolls take the dough out of the refrigerator and keep it in its bowl at room temperature for 1.5 -  2 hours.  After its rest it is time to shape the rolls.  Depending on how big you want the rolls, first cut the dough in half and then roll half the dough into a log.  Next cut off the desired size piece you want and roll it into a tight ball.  Place rolls on cookie sheet and cover the rolls with a clean lint free towel sprayed with water or a piece of plastic wrap lightly sprayed with cooking spray.  Let the rolls rest at room temperature for 2 hours or until they are at least 1.5 the size.

Around 30 minutes before baking the rolls, prepare your oven and pre-heat at 450 degrees.  I used my usual set-up for steam and added 1 cup of boiling water to a pan on the bottom shelf but for rolls you could omit this step and you will get softer rolls if that is what you desire.  After adding the steam lower the oven to 425 degrees and continue baking.

It should take around 20-25 minutes to bake the rolls and they should be nice and brown on the bottom and top.  When done, let them cool on a wire rack and enjoy.

The rolls ended up nice and soft with a chewy and nice open crumb.

This post has been submitted to the Yeast Spotting Site here:


dabrownman's picture

lemonade was pretty muted in the flavor?  The crust and crumb are classic YW.  Were they moist too.  We like the cream cheese in these rolls too.  I've got a test going for YW, YW combo with SD, SD, and Desem starters.  Will probably make rolls or bialys with them.  Want to see how they differ - exactly!

Nice baking Ian - I'm starting to get into rolls.

isand66's picture

Thanks are right, the taste of the lemonade is very muted, but it does add a little bit of sweetness.

These came out real well as we only have 4 rolls left from this morning!

I can't wait to read about your experiment.



dabrownman's picture

doing straight up YW and SD comparison for the first bake. Used your caramelized onion with bacon and combined it with breadsong's basil and parm bake this week.

The YW rolls just came out of the mini oven - look and smell super but the SD aren't ready to go in yet. Using the Joe Ortiz SD starter.

isand66's picture

I wish I could take some your rolls with me to China! :(

They sound amazing.

I look forward to reading about them when I can.


Mebake's picture

Lovely rolls, Ian!

That is some serious dedication to baking with yeast water. I have never baked with yeast water, nor would i be able to appreciate the flavors brought by such fermentation. Your baking with yeast water, however, should mean that the flavor of such breads is quite good.


isand66's picture

Thank you Kahlid.  Appreciate the compliments.  It is different than SD and worth the extra efforts.

I'm only just beginning to explore the possibilies.


jarkkolaine's picture

Hi Ian, 

Very nice rolls, and the flavor sounds interesting. Would love to taste a bite :) 

I was reading about fermentation last night, and was quite surprised to find out that the recipe for fruit mead is exactly (or close enough) the same as what we call wild yeast water... Water, honey, fruit, and some time. So, I'm thinking that drinking the thing might not be that bad after all. 



isand66's picture


Thanks for the kind words.

We shall have to have a  toast to Wild Yeast Water one of these days!