The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Yeast Water and Loaf

mwilson's picture

New Yeast Water and Loaf

I've always been intrigued by the yeast water method of raising bread.

Although yeast water is started with fruits I did something (just can't help it) different...

I created yeast water from sourdough!

I took my mature Italian style sourdough and let it float in water (a standard procedure), forgot about it and eventually it sank. I threw some sugar in there and gave it a stir. The dough had all but dissolved by then. I left it overnight and in the morning the mixture had separated into a white starchy bottom and a watery top which I poured off and kept, discarding the starch. To this collected water I added honey and left it for a couple of days, aerating often.

I now have a yeast water solution that fizzes and smells just like champagne! See this video I made..


With this yeasty winey water I made a sponge and left for 14hrs.

  • 37.5% Flour
  • 25.25% yeast water

The next day I completed the dough

  • - fermented sponge
  • 62.5% flour
  • 43.75% water
  • 2% salt

So here is my first yeast water loaf...

and the shreddy crumb...



dabrownman's picture

to make YW.   You have a great sandwich loaf result for your first loaf.  Looks plenty shreddable.  If you would have used cream we would have thought you to be a Master Japanese Bread Maker :-)

Nice baking Michael

mwilson's picture


There's another Japanese art-form I'd like to be master of, but I have a long, long way to go...


Janetcook's picture


I took a peek at your youtube video and couldn't help but wonder about someone who doesn't bake watching it and wondering 'what the heck'....Amazing what one can find on youtube these days :-)

I have been experimenting with YW again too though mine are made from the yeast on raisins and apples.  Never even occurred to me to try to make one as you have done though I have combined my YW with my regular SD leaven to get a less sour leaven for a specific loaf.

Your loaf looks great!  Very soft crumb and good height which speaks of a strong yeast population.  Did any sour flavor come through or was the loaf more on the sweet side?

How are you maintaining your YW now?  (I keep mine in the refrig and toss in a few raisins several times a week - giving it a good shake to keep the yeasties awake and on their toes :-0 )  Did you find that your YW loaf took longer to rise than a similar loaf using regular SD?

Jan Hedh, a renowned Swedish baker, has a book out that has recipes in it using YW but he uses fruit too and claims that a YW leaven (YW with flour added just like a SD leaven but he liquid is YW) that is stored in the refrig for several days actually has more rising power than one that is fed more regularly and kept at room temp.  Something I am experimenting with now too.

So many experiments and sooo little time :-)

Thanks for giving me new ideas :-)

Take Care,




mwilson's picture

Hi Janet,

A tad random my video! And certainly odd out of context, yeah.

The loaf smelt sweet but being this is a first attempt with a pseudo yeast water solution I did get some undesirable acetic sourness in the loaf. I don't think I completely separated the yeast from the lactobacilli.

Rising was rairly swift. I could see activity as sooon as I made the dough.

I've decided to discard this yeast water solution now... I didn't want to maintain yet another culture. My beloved Italian style sourdough gets all my attention. Along with feeding it, like any SD. Sometimes I have to give it a bath and sometimes I wrap it up tightly for a sleep in the fridge.

I will experiement with a 'proper' yeast water solution in future.


isand66's picture

Facinating way to make a YW starter.  Glad it worked so well as your first bake looks superb.

mwilson's picture

Thanks Ian.