The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

YW Experiments

golgi70's picture

YW Experiments

So now that my culture is alive and well I'm starting to play.  Things I've learned.  It's slow, slower than sourdough (I was told this and its true).  It really likes to be warm (78-80)  If much cooler it barely acts at all unlike sour which will just go slower it just won't get going at all.  Second and third builds start to act more like a sweet levain and timings shorten significantly.  As a combo with SD it adds nice structure and oven spring and balances sourness (this is great if desired but if you want sour this will not help).  

Below are both 100% YW breads.  First is a Currant and Fennel which is built off a levain made with the actual yeast water.  The following are baguettes which were a second build from the extra levain.  

fennel and currant crumb.  Maybe coulda used a bit more proofing but the taste and texture were quite nice.

Overall a decent sweet baguette but poor keeping quality and not as good as Sour/IDY.  Next up will be SD YW combo which I have high hopes for.  

Happy Baking All



dabrownman's picture

spring out the YW in that boule and the open crumb on the baguettes looks just like YW- they are pretty special on the outside too, The keeping quality of YW is like commercial yeast breads, no worse - no better but when mixed with SD it keeps a little better.  Wait till you try this with Stollen and Panettone!

I made a panned durum semolina with a pinch of rye and spelt with 40% bread flour one time when the dough  took forever to doubled in the pan but then nearly doubled again in oven!  Some day you will caught by surprise at how it springs in the oven - can be explosive.  Great for opening up heavy whole grain breads. 

Your YW experiments are paying off Josh.  We got the brisket out of the freezer for tor Saturday's smoke! and the Holiday Pate Maison is baking away right now - think real upscale chopped liver - you would love it.

golgi70's picture

Never heard of it.  I've never developed a taste for liver.  When I was a child I used to eat chopped liver (Jewish family) on crackers not knowing what I was eating and its a strangely fond memory of yumminess.  But I've had french pates since and just don't much go for it.  Maybe this pate maison is what I need to break through.  What's the plan for the brisket?  

YW has already proven its ability to some extent and I'm sure will continue to amaze me.  I made that third build with wheat and retarded it overnight and the ciabatta I made this morning was certainly sour.  So it only takes a couple builds then cold fermentation to get sourness even with YW as the levainer.  

I intend to make some whole grain bread with olives this weekend and since olives have some zing I think I'll try a SD/YW combo and see how the YW helps here. 



Janetcook's picture

Hi Josh,

Glad you are discovering how your YW behaves.  They do have a personality all of their own. *-)

I bake for someone who loves fennel.  Do you mind posting the formula for your Fennel Current loaf?  I am assuming it is a basic lean loaf with fennel and currants added so maybe all I need is the % of fennel you used.  (I bake with fruit a lot and generally use 20-25% depending for whom I am baking.) 



golgi70's picture

Formulla for 2 loaves

400 g ripe yeast water levain (mine was white but it might be nice to use some of the rye here as well)

Final Dough (DDT 78-80F)

500 Malted Artisan Flour (11.5 % protein)

300 Rye, whole freshly milled

530 H20 

22  Salt

2    Fennel, toasted and lightly crushed in my hands just to bring out the flavor a bit


autolyse 1 hour

add salt levain and fennel

develop with slap and folds until smooth and elastic. 

bulk ferment 4 1/2 hours (3 stretch and folds adding currants during first 2 folds.  the first two folds were "double folds"                                          that is letter fold from one direction, turn dough and repeat then rest)

Divide and pre shape rest 

shape to floured bowl and proof for 2-3 hours 

bake 500 with steam for first 12 minutes continue baking for 20-25 minutes longer 



Janetcook's picture

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the numbers.  I will have to try this combination out on a loaf for a friend who loves fennel.


Mebake's picture

Nice! love those baguettes ad their gorgeous crumb. Nice job, Josh!

Thanks for the tips on how YW differs from SD.


Casey_Powers's picture


The crumb and crust on those baguettes are so impressive!  I would love to have either.  The bread sounds yummy!  I look forward to your further YW exploration.

Warm regards,