The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ongoing Yeast Water experiments

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Ongoing Yeast Water experiments

Having managed to create two yeast waters, from plums and apples in my own garden, it was time to try them out to make some bread.

I built each of them into a starter with two builds, adding roughly 50 grams of yeast water and 50 grams of bread flour in each build. The apple yeast water was amazing (the one on the left in the photo at the top of the post); the plum yeast water not so much but still doubled within about 6 or 7 hours. Both smelled simply wonderful - clean, fruity and yeasty with a touch of alcohol.

First I made some small sandwich / burger buns with the apple yeast water. I used about 25% Red Fife flour and added some rehydrated minced onion but didn't want to add too much of anything so I could experience the flavour of the bread with the yeast water. I was a bit surprised at the dough, given the activity in the starter; it didn't seem to rise very quickly or much. I ended up popping it in the fridge overnight because it hadn't shown much activity after several hours at room temperature. In the morning it was still sort of clay-like so I left it on the counter for a few more hours, then shaped it. It was nice, soft and elastic but not very light or puffy. I shaped it into buns, flattened them and pressed sesame seeds into the top.

Once baked, the thing that struck me was the pale colour. Very unlike most of my bakes, though they were certainly done inside. Decent oven spring but not huge.

Crumb was a bit dense but decent. The DH says "good bun!" so I guess they pass, but not one of my best bakes.

Yesterday I used the plum yeast water to make some currant buns. I used the recipe from this page for Dutch Currant buns, with a couple of changes. I used the yeast water starter to replace part of the milk and flour, and left out the dry yeast. I also used an egg substitute (ground flax seeds mixed with water) as I wanted to try this out anyway.

Once again, the dough didn't rise much and felt very dense, even after 5 or 6 hours. I shaped the buns last night and put them in the fridge. Not much change this morning, so after letting them sit out for a couple of hours I popped them in the oven.

Once again, little oven spring and a very pale colour. The crumb is dense, but the buns do taste good!

So, I'll continue to test this out. I like the idea of having a source of wild yeast that doesn't have the sour taste of sourdough starter. Perhaps it needs different timing, or a tiny bit of dry yeast for a booster.

 

Comments

Lechem's picture
Lechem

And in my book... If the levain can rise so well then so can the dough. I think it's just about timing and getting used to a new kind of yeast. Don't forget the levain is made with all YW and the final dough is made with the levain so even though your levain had no trouble in peaking after 5-6 hours the dough will be different. Have to say I was surprised that you were surprised (don't get confused here - bear with me) that the dough didn't seem ready after 5-6 hours. YW needs warmer temps and longer time than sourdough. So I'm thinking you're still on sourdough mode. 

Having said that, from where I'm sitting, it looks as if it rose very well.

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Thanks Abe; good advice! I think in the future I'll make the dough in the evening and let it sit out overnight, to see what happens with it.

Lechem's picture
Lechem

It's been a while but exactly what I used to do. I used to let the levain mature for 12 hours and then with 20-30% levain I would make the dough just before bed and then leave it till the morning. 

Been a long while and can't remember if it was closer to 20 or 30%. I shall have to get back into it myself but everytime I try I can't seem to find unsulphured dried fruit or no added oil. 

Is it too much to ask for just plain dried fruit? :)

joc1954's picture
joc1954

As Abe already said, the YW needs some more time. I was baking with YW and SD combo for state level bread evaluation as I wanted to get bread that would be just little bit sour. At that time I started to build levain about 2 days before and when it was ready I just used it to inoculate another levain. So when it was active it was very fast. I don't recall how much time it needed to double but was really fast.

On other occasions I had quite different timings until it doubled. Had no time to experiment and find out how to determine the optimum. I was always judging the readiness by the amount of bubbles produced, but that was quite inaccurate. So it occurred that I was expecting short times, but they were long and vice versa.

I am just developing now a YW from grapes from our home garden. I already mixed the levain and will see how much time it will need to double. My YW is now only two days old.

Happy baking!

Joze

 

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I use my AYW all the time to bake and have to be careful as the bread rises almost as fast as with ADY !! I never leave it out on the counter but put the bulk rise in the oven with the light on. I then shape and place the brotforms in plastic bags and in the oven again with light on. They rise and look almost as fast as   regular yeast. Try the warm temps to rise but be careful as it can certainly over-proof as I have done that. If you look at my last post of the fruit bread I got amazing rise and it was all YW. Good Luck. 

IceDemeter's picture
IceDemeter

Your timing is awesome!  I had been hmmming about trying to build a yeast water starter from some of my neighbour's apples, so will be following your experiments quite avidly.

From the results that you got, added to some older posts of dabrownman's, and added to the other comments here, I have to wonder if a bit of extra malt would be useful, along with only using the YW for a non-retarded bake and using a proofer (or some semblance thereof).  Hmmmm...

Thanks for sharing the fun of the experiment, Wendy!  Hope you and yours are staying well and smoke-free out there...

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Hmmm, something else to think about / try. I guess one can never be 'finished' learning about bread, though you'd think it was such a simple thing! :)

So far we've been very, very lucky here on our Island. The smoke is gone now and not much in the way of fires here though we are suffering quite an extended drought. Driest summer ever. We've had about 2.5 mm of rain in the last three months. Not too good for the garden. :(

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

For today's (and tomorrow's) baking, I've been experimenting with using the yeast water as part of the water to build the final levain. I used the plum YW for the levain for my Fig Nut bread; it goes wonderfully well with the figs, toasted Brazil nuts, poppy seeds, cardamom and honey. Smells absolutely divine! I made the levain yesterday morning and the final dough around 4:30 PM. It didn't seem risen enough when I went to bed around 10:30 so I just left it on the kitchen counter (not even in the cool basement!) overnight. This morning the dough was amazing - at least doubled with a lovely dome, soft and elastic and bubbly! Very happy with it. The bread turned out really lovely too.

This morning I used the apple YW as part of the water to build levain for two more breads - my Colquitz Creek Levain (bread flour, whole spelt and whole barley flour) and a toasted millet porridge levain a la Tartine. I think I'll leave both of these to ferment at room temperature overnight as well, then bake in the morning.

I refreshed both the YWs this morning, inoculated with some of the existing batch of YW and adding more fruit (no sweetener this time). I threw out the sludge in the bottom, but maybe I shouldn't have? I've heard this referred to as "apple dust", but it seems to me it should contain a lot of yeast similar to the stuff that is on the bottom of the primary after brewing a batch of beer (you can certainly use this to rise bread dough). More to learn...

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

the " sludge" is your mother -- Hmmm. Well you are correct that it contains your yeasts. My AYW is 5 years old and I have never tossed it. I shake the jar well before I take out the water I am going to use to bake. I only feed my YW when the apple chunks sink. I remove all of them at that time and add new ,shake and add water back equal to what I removed. That fig nut bread is beautiful! Have you posted the formula before? If not could you? 

If I left my YW bakes out all night they would be so overproofed and collapse . Just goes to show watching the bread not the clock is the way to go. Love your posts! c

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Fig Nut 123 Challenge Bread. Here is the link to the Fig Nut bread post.

Re the yeast water - I'll learn as I go. I suspect that, if I treat it the way you do yours (refreshing but not replacing the sludge) it will get stronger and rise bread a whole lot more quickly.

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I remember now seeing that and I actually wrote it out....brain dead. We are in the process of buying a new house 600 mi away and trying to ready this one to sell. Just decided to do it a week ago so things are moving fast !!  Will get to bread making again at least by Christmas in the new house :)