The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Has anyone tried making their own Yeast?

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tkarl's picture
tkarl

Has anyone tried making their own Yeast?

Sick & tired of buying costly yeast at the store?  And then being dependent on the store for more?  Try this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-GmnAD4J7E

I think the raisins turned out the best yeast.  Has anyone tried this or a similar process?  I am volunteering to try this out, as I have done some other fermenting projects.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

But not from a cost standpoint. I can get 2-lbs of instant dry yeast for $ 4.39 at Sam's Club.

2-lbs = 907.2 grams. At 7 grams per loaf, that's about 130 loaves of bread. That's 3 1/2 cents a loaf for the yeast.

But if you could make fresh yeast at home and maintain it, that would be interesting.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Who would use such a thing?

adri's picture
adri

You owe me a "Tempo" I used cleaning my pyjama (no, it wasn't coffe and not my screen, but still...).

In my understanding, sourdough always refers to a symbiosis of yeast(s) and lactobacilli.
I'm not sure if in raisin water there is much lactobacilli and also not about the symbiosis if there are some.

Edit: I've just read, that David already postit something similar. I'm still confused about the (not always existing) thread tree structure.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

I didn't watch the whole video, but the beginning looks like they are making yeast water from raisins. There are lots of people on TFL that have used yeast water. It isn't sourdough. But, it is a living yeast culture that is maintained in a not much different manner than sourdough. I've tried starting a yeast water several times, with different fruits, but never yet raisins. I think the fruit I've been getting is treated with pesticides or something. I need to get some organic something and try it again. Since there is no sourness, it is better for sweet breads or for people who don't like sourdough, but want their own wild yeast bread.

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Natural yeast = wild yeast = sourdough.

Sourdough is not necessarily/always sour.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

My understanding is that sourdough = a symbiotic culture of yeasts and lactobacilli. If there are no lactobacilli, there is no sourdough. That's why commercial yeast is not considered sourdough. Any sourdough culture can be manipulated to make bread that is anywhere on the scale from not sour at all to very acetic. Yeast water and commercial yeast both have exactly zero potential to make sour bread. You can use them in sour bread, but you have to add the sour in some other way, by adding some yogurt or vinegar or something.

suave's picture
suave

Yeast water and commercial yeast both have exactly zero potential to make sour bread

That's not entirely true, there are ways of making sponges that produce palpable acidity.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

but YW has no flour component no LAB and cannot itself be sour.  Once you add flour to YW and make a sponge, instead of making the sponge into a bread dough you can treat the sponge like you would a brand new SD starter.  It will eventually convert it to SD culture as the labs and other yeast take over - might take 10 days or a couple of weeks though,  You can also convert a commercial yeast sponge to a SD culture by doing the same thing.  The natural SD wee beasties will win out eventually:-).

i love YW and it is even easier to maintain than a SD starter.  Just love the super moist crumb and open structure YW gives to a normally very heavy whole grain bread.   When used as a complimentary combo starter with SD one.  the YW starter pretty much cancels out all the sour of the  SD but you get some of the SD keeping qualities lingering.  A SD / YW combo levian makes great pumpernickel bread that actually has a ight, open light crumb!.  Who knew. Still, the sour is muted.  

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Yeast is ubiquitous to our earth with many strains that accomplish different things. Essentially, any living thing on this earth has the microflora to digest it once it dies (and sometimes as its living) and can be cultured for our purposes-wine, bread, stinky cheese, beer, medicine, etc,etc..

Yeast to raise bread can be cultured from the grain we use or even fruit and vegetables. People have been doing it since the beginning of time. I have some cookbooks that tell me how to mix my "yeast" with cornmeal and dry the cakes so I have yeast for during the cold months when the starter is more sluggish. Some form of bread was a staple in colonial America.

If you are interested in fruit yeast, we have several members that have done all kinds of experiments and developed all kinds of beautiful breads. Try the search box and enter "fruit yeast" or just peruse the "Sourdough" forum because those are the people that would most likely experiment with natural levain of all kinds.

This is just an amazing forum where just about anything bread has been done or seen by the international members. I am continuously amazed-as will you be- at the variety of experiences and knowledge on this forum. Don't be shy-bread questions are a favorite subject here.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

suave,

Okay, you got me, sorta. I did say that the bread could be made sour by introducing something else to it besides the yeast. As I understand it, yeast doesn't make anything sour - period. The sour must come from somewhere else. That was my point. If a sponge can make bread sour, it most likely has some bacteria in it, probably lactobacilli.

suave's picture
suave

Not most likely, certainly.   You just have to give it a chance to develop some.   This is the whole reasoning behind longer preferments.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

suave,

Of course, you're right. But, then again, that would make it a sourdough culture!

suave's picture
suave

I prefer not to draw a distict border between the two.  There's an area where it's not already quite yeast <preferment>, but not a sourdough yet, and some amazingly complex and tasty breads can be made riding that edge.  Of course spiking produces much the same effect with much less labor involved. 

tkarl's picture
tkarl

and it does not appear many have watched the video either.  I'm really not sure where the line is drawn from bread to sourdough bread -- thanks for one reply-er's valiant effort there.

As far as cost goes, I think it depends on whether the raisin-yeast can be maintained in some way.  The video did not cover this and I added comment to it to that affect.

As far as why anyone would do this:  it really relies on how comfortable one is with being dependent on your sources for various food items.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

tkarl,

There are actually several people on TFL that have done this. They just haven't shown up for this conversation yet. I've tried making yeast water with other fruits and failed lots of times. But, I have heard, as you commented in your original post, that raisins are the easiest/best for making the yeast water. Once it is established, you just add a few fresh raisins and maybe a tsp. of sugar every day or so. The search pane at the top right of this page will bring up lots of interesting and informative posts, including very well-written instructions for starting, and also for maintaining the yeast-water.

As far as I'm concerned, the difference from sourdough is only very meaningful in the starter itself, and how it is maintained. The yeast-water will have no trace of sourness in it, so it will be better for recipes where the sourness is not needed or wanted. Some have commented in the past that yeast-water is also good to use as a booster for sourdough bread, to give it more/quicker rise. Just substitute yeast-water for some or all of the plain water called for in the recipe.

Yeast-water can be converted to sourdough by feeding it with flour instead of fruit and sugar. Sourdough can also be made to lose its sour by being fed with milk instead of water, some amount of sugar, or starch, such as corn starch and/or potato flakes, and changing from any other flour to AP flour, or doing away with flour completely. Both yeast-water and sourdough can be started with commercial yeast, but it is not needed for either one, and most people will tell you that it is cheating (or something to the effect "that's not REAL sourdough", usually).

While making your own yeast (whether in the form of yeast water, or some other wild-yeast culture) may or may not reduce your cost of baking, it can be very fun to do, and thousands of people around the world find it very rewarding in its own right. There is some amount of satisfaction to be had in being able to say that the only ingredients you use to make your bread are flour, water, and salt, with naturally occurring yeast to make it rise.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I've played around with them, making them and keeping them but a sourdough starter is a lot easier to keep up and maintain.  Your refrigerator and kitchen may smell like you're making wine so be ready with the "come backs."  

"Must be that new organic floor cleaner!"      

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

earlier but as long as you're stuck to your bread machine...   

Yeast, wild yeast is pretty easy to grow.  It will make your crumb darker and softer.  Lovely stuff especially if you are out away from civilisation or only get your yeast by mail.  All you have to do is give yeast something to eat regularly and use the yeast water.  You are basically making wine and using it to raise dough during the beginning stages when yeast levels are high.  You can even use vegetables.  And you can drink the stuff too. (hick!)  Don't expect the yeast water to impart tons of flavour to the dough, for that one has to eat the fresh fruit or root.  Think carbohydrates and you will be pretty much on track. 

Site search: Yeast Water

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

about YW is that it can be explosive during oven spring even if ti doesn't poof much before it.  The are tons of YW posts.  Just type YW or Yeast water in the search box,  RonRay is famous for his video of his apple YW bubbling away and has lots of recipes and teketeke has a great post on how to make raisin YW too..

i too have posted quite a few recipes of straight YW and YW / SD breads of all kinds.  Just perfect where sour is not needed or wanted and it is a naturally cultured yeast.  Debra Wink also did a piece on YW at the BBGA web site too.   She referred me to it when I asked herif she knew just what yeast was in YW and of course she did but I haven't a membership so haven't read it :-)

I also have a post titled YW Primer that shows folks how to start and maintain yeast water here and a few of the bread i have made with it - YW is the Bomb!

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/35473/yw-primer

Happy baking.