The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

possible to substitute tartine starter for fresh cake yeast? any conversion ideas?

peaceinesb's picture

possible to substitute tartine starter for fresh cake yeast? any conversion ideas?

I've got a foccacia recipe that calls for fresh cake or compressed yeast which I cannot find. I have never worked with active dry yeast but have a very healthy Tartine starter. Is it possible to subsitute my starter for the fresh cake yeast?

The recipe calls for about 15.5 ouces of flour to .39 ouces of cake yeast.

Forgive me if this is a completely insane idea...I just would like to make good use of what I already have rather than try to buy a new product that is very difficult for me to find.

Sincere thanks for any advice.

mrfrost's picture

For a "simplistic" starting point, you might try the tip suggested at sourdoughhome:

"Mike's Simplistic Conversion Technique
A cup of active sourdough starter has about the same rise potential as a package of yeast. So, substitute a cup of starter for each package of yeast and then subtract about 1/2 cup of water and 3/4 cup of flour from the recipe to compensate for the water and flour in the starter. You'll probably want to play with the ratio between the flour and water, and adjust the amount of riser to get the results you want, but this rule of thumb is a good starting point."

Even though his conversion is for a package of dry yeast, I would still use a cup(of fed and matured/peaking starter) as described above. Then you would just proceed as directed by your recipe. Of course the proofing/rising times may be much longer than described for your yeasted recipe.

I don't use this exact method(I use a little more starter, etc.), but I bake at least twice a week, usually converting a yeasted recipe to sourdough. It gets to be very easy after a time, or two.

Good luck.