The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Organic (Dried) Fruit & Yeast Water

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Organic (Dried) Fruit & Yeast Water

Last week I bought some dried apricots and tried to make yeast water with them. Five days later there was absolutely no activity and I even kept them at the recommended 85°F. No fermentation whatsoever. I gave up. 

Yesterday I bought some organic dried apricots and within 12 hours bubbles had formed around the fruit. Now it's almost 24 hours and more bubbles have appeared on top of the water. Holding it up to my ear and I can hear a slight fizz. Haven't even kept this one in my starter proofer (aka yoghurt maker) either and we have more activity within 24 hours than with the other dried apricots over five days. Which wasn't difficult as that was nil!

On the first packet it just said dried apricots but on the website, you'll notice, it isn't as innocent as that. The ingredients are...

Partially Rehydrated Dried Apricots (99%), Preservatives: Potassium Sorbate, Sulphur Dioxide.

This is what keeps them orange and apparently void of any natural goodness. The organic apricots have turned a dark colour due to the sugars and lack of preservatives and the difference is phenomenal. 

Makes me wonder what we are eating. They do say if food can't spoil it isn't good for you.

hreik's picture
hreik

I had been reading about it and was fore-warned only to get organic, not-treated raisins (what I used).

Glad you are having some success.  What are you going to bake with that YW?

 

hester

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Organic and no additives. All it said was dried apricots on the packet. The website, however, told the full story. 

I've made YW before but don't keep them going. It's something which one just puts together and waits. Unlike sourdough which is more involved. So I figure why keep one when you're only a few days away from making a new one? 

My all time favourite YW recipe - Hamelman's Swiss Farmhouse Bread. I love that bread. 

Have you tried to make YW from dried mulberries? They are strong. 

hreik's picture
hreik

I don't keep YW going.  And yes, Swiss Farmhouse is, imho only 2nd to 5 Grain Levain which I am doing right now... Baking tomorrow. Tho I have to say (hangs head) that I omit the raisins, lol and might one time just do the bread w/o any walnuts either. 

Keep us posted, please.

hester

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

hear, hear! would be a great community bake Hester. This bread is so nice but gets left behind being all lonesome amongst a lot of sourdough recipes.

Yes, it's not got the sourdough taste that everyone is after but tang and sour is not the only taste and we can appreciate what this lovely bread has to offer. I must say the aroma of this bread even at the dough stage is wonderful.

Will do!

hreik's picture
hreik

6 small(ish) loaves of 5Grain-levain on top of 4 of Kamut/Bread flour, I'd do this.  I do think it'd make a great community bake... with or without nuts/dried fruit, etc.

Good luck

hester

David R's picture
David R

The apricots with preservatives do have all of their natural goodness. Potassium sorbate and sulphur dioxide stop them from fermenting, and (very importantly) from growing mould. Some moulds produce toxins that can kill you (and certainly would ruin the "natural goodness" of the fruit as well).

If you DO want to ferment the fruit, it's absolutely true you don't want potassium sorbate in there, because it's meant exactly to prevent that. But buying dried fruit in order to ferment it is pretty unusual - and if your grandmother got sick from eating mouldy apricots I'm sure you wouldn't be happy about it. (Remembering that as people age their eyesight and their sense of smell often deteriorate.)

I don't suggest that anybody eat a whole tub of sulphur dioxide - but I also don't suggest eating even a little piece of mouldy fruit. Preservation is a good and reasonable thing, as long as it's done correctly.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Also preserve it? Not as long I suppose but will prolong the shelf life.

Was telling a friend of mine that it was a waste of five days but then changed my mind as I learned something. If only to see exactly what the effects of the additives were. They are very effective I must say. Five days and absolutely nothing! 36 hours using organic fruit and we are almost half way to having a usable yeast water I think. More bubbles on top of the liquid now and more noticeable fizzing. It's fascinating to see the difference between the two.

David R's picture
David R

If it got 100% dry - dry as dust right through to the middle - then I think it would be more resistant. Until it got damp by accident...

And I don't think anyone would buy it, if it was dry as dust all the way through.

The "lovely dark colour" is the fruit breaking down and slowly going bad. (but very slowly, and not in a dangerous way.)

Yippee's picture
Yippee

are what I've used to successfully make YW. When I used the organic ones, mold always grew. Never considered the factors involving preservatives, I just used whatever works. Now this discussion makes me wonder 🤔🤔🤔 why the non-organic raisins work❓❓❓

7oaks's picture
7oaks

Hi Yippee,

Good to hear that you have used non-organic raisins successfully. I guess that the ones you have sourced were not treated with sulphur dioxide. My point really was that non-organic fruit was more likely to have been treated with yeast killing preservatives than organic fruit.

I am sure too that just as raisins are not always from the same type of grapes across around the world, and that local regulations may determine how the fruits are treated, could affect the outcome.

hreik's picture
hreik

raisins and walnuts? or some other combo?

I have a note in my file that it was my husband's favorite, way back when... b/f he got used to my sourdough... which he doesn't taste as sour any longer..............yay!

hester

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

currants and walnuts. I prefer the way how currants (not being as soft as raisins) bake inside the bread. Texture wise I think they're nicer, although I still like raisins so they're still an option. I love walnuts so they're a must! Another option might be cranberries and walnuts. So basically walnuts and something else still to be decided on :)

I think we're on track for a weekend bake. More activity this morning. Apricots have swelled and more froth on top. Fizzing away.

David R's picture
David R

It entertains my limited mind, to remember that dried currants are not currants at all, but raisins (i.e. they're grapes, not another fruit). But the fresh ones (as in currant jelly etc) are a different species.

(The currants that are grapes, admittedly are an odd type of grapes... but still... We talk funny.) 🙂

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

and practically are raisins but we have raisins which are more juicy and currants which seem to have come from a particular grape, which are smaller and not as soft. Since baking makes fruit softer I think currants have a nicer form at the end. Having said all that I do like raisins and they will be a contender alongside currants or cranberries. Depends on what I can find and whim.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

❓🤔❓🤔❓

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

While ease plays a big factor i'm a very tidy worker in everything I do. This translates into my baking as well. I like the way the fruit ferments and leaves a clearer yeast water rather than a fresh fruit which dissolves leaving it murky and lots of bits floating around. Fresh fruit just seems messier and me being finicky I opt for the less messy approach.

:)

7oaks's picture
7oaks

Hi Abe,

This is used in winemaking to prevent spoilage or instability in the process especially once bottled. SO2, sulphites or E220, must be shown on labelling in both the US and EU. It is an anti bacterial and anti fungus so will stop fermentation dead. It is only used in small quantities in wine but most wines have it included today. Much larger quantities are used in dried fruits and, if consumed in large amount can trigger asthmatic attacks. Very high levels on dried fruits are banned in EU.

Glad to hear that your second attempt is working fine. I note references to using dried fruits as an ingredient in baking, if they have been treated with SO2 then I would expect they would inhibit fermentation of the dough? Organic is likely to be more reliable in this respect. This also reinforces the need for cleanliness in bread making to avoid inadvertently introducing unwanted bacteria.

 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Very good point! I didn't think of that. Now I know the importance of organic to make the yeast water but also a very good idea to make sure what goes into my loaf is organic. I'm quite sold on organic now actually.

I'm also thinking of the importance of organic when making a sourdough starter. If we want things to grow we don't wish for growth inhibitors.

Yeast Water is very much alive and fizzing.

David R's picture
David R

The comment about any food that doesn't go bad being suspect is mostly false. Dried pasta doesn't go bad under normal circumstances. Neither does peanut butter (even organic), honey (ditto), or many others. Certainly there is such a thing as overusing and misusing preservatives, and some foods are bad for you because of it - but it doesn't mean preservatives are somehow universally bad, nor does it mean they're always behind non-spoiling food.

syros's picture
syros

Just when I was set on making an 2nd porridge sd now I want to try this one! I have never made a YW before - so that will be what I do when I get back from my weekend trip with old university friends. I agree with you about using dried fruit vs fresh fruit. I am not big on things floating around. For my first attempt, I think I will use organic raisins - probably the Sultana ones. I found the recipe for the bread in my downloaded edition of Hamelman’s book. 

Personally, as you know, I don’t like a sour sourdough bread, so this one looks like an interesting one for me to try. 

Hester, great idea for the next CB. But like you, the 5G Levain is becoming my all time favorite. 

Sharon

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Every bit as fascinating as sourdough. Handful of raisins in a jar, cover with water and keep warm. That's it. Watch nature work it's magic.

My yeast water has progressed onto the next stage. More froth on top and fruit has now floated to the surface. All within two and half days. What we need now is a steady bubbling and it'll be ready. Right on schedule.

You've read through my post but I feel the need to say this again. No sulphur dioxide! Just had to get that off my chest.

Enjoy!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

maybe longer...  I had an apple loosing crispness and wrinkling in my fruit bowl.  I washed it, cut out the blossom and stem ends and while most of the flesh seemed brown and bruised, cut it up, removed the seeds and cut into chunks.  Put into a jar with some water and just a tiny tip-of-the spoon measurement of bee honey (in laws have hives) and put the screw cap on loosely.  So... in about 4 to 5 days... tightened and shook once everyday, loosened the cap and pretty much ignored it sitting in a warm spot about 24°C.

When shaking created quite a burp upon loosening the cap and it was fizzing it was ready for a test.  It passed a 50g each AP flour & yeast water test.  It tripled volume in 16 hours so both jars went into the fridge.  First the flour test, then the yeast water a day later.  Apples still floating in it.  There they sit now for about a week + or - a few days.

 I'm ready for the community bake.  Bring it on!

Mini 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

A pleasure to make. And what a nice way to make use of apples that were going off. Very creative. I like that!

Well we are aiming for Hamelman's Swiss Farmhouse bread made from yeast water, walnuts and raisins. It's a two stage process. A six hour build with yeast water and flour. Then it's fed with water and more flour and left to mature overnight. final dough is made with the add-ins etc. That's the gist of it. Do you have the recipe?

Might be some time yet as we've just had a community bake but a practice run?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

in my edition of BREAD but can't find it.  On page 320 is decorative dough.  Hmmm.  Math....%. Good for the grey matter...

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/55266/swiss-farmhouse-bread-hamelman

Need the metric version.  

, please.  (Smile, puppy dog eyes.)

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

But i'll include it here as well :)

Here is a write-up I did but for some unknown reason I've only done percentages for the first part of the recipe. Think I did that because Hamelman himself doesn't give all the recipe in grams and couldn't be bothered converting. If you follow my write-up you might have to work backwards to get to the final yeast water preferment build.

Leslie has a good write-up of her process and has added in some wholegrain too.

 I'm at work at the moment but can get the full recipe to you later, or tomorrow, if you wish.

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

That reminds me of those McDonalds happy meals that people kept on the shelf for ten years.  They remained unchanged and no mold.  Haha. Scary..

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Yes, there are foods that we have processed to not go off. Or there are natural sugars (like honey) which won't go off. But nutritional food you'll find are the ones that spoil.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

the raisins and apricots.  If you thoroughly wash them first, washing off the preventative chemicals, they just might work better.  The cells will hydrate with cleaner water than if they weren't washed (I wash all dried fruit and teas except the ones I dry myself) there is enough going on within the fruit to start a process. Raisins especially once wet, have a lot of interior volume.  Try your treated apricots again but wash them first they let them hydrate with washed skins and clean water.  Can even do a scalded water experiment at the same time.  I bet that blows a hole in the surface-yeast theory. ???

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I always thought the yeast would be on the outside. That's another reason why I use dried fruit as I can't bring myself not to wash the fruit first but then i'd be doing away with all the good stuff that makes yeast water. That would be an interesting experiment. Another breakthrough to be made when it comes to all things fermented.

Here is a write-up I did but for some unknown reason I've only done percentages for the first part of the recipe. Think I did that because Hamelman himself doesn't give all the recipe in grams and couldn't be bothered converting. If you follow my write-up you might have to work backwards to get to the final yeast water preferment build.

Leslie has a good write-up of her process and has added in some wholegrain too.

 I'm at work at the moment but can get the full recipe to you later, or tomorrow, if you wish.

syros's picture
syros

If I do this I want to make sure I get this right.

As to sulphites, I don't react well to them - I can eat dried apricots - actually the organic ones do not appeal to me either in taste or texture. But my mother used to make an apricot pie and she cooked the dried apricots before using.

All to say, I will be using only organic raisins for this bake. I use organic flour so I want to keep this free from unnecessary things.

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

Taking the figures from my old post and armed with a calculator I've come up with this...

FIRST BUILD:

  • Bread Flour 152g
  • Yeast Water 95g

Form dough and leave for 6-8 hours in a warm place till well risen.

SECOND BUILD:

  • Bread Flour 191g
  • Whole-Wheat Flour 91g
  • Water 177g
  • First Build 247g

Form the dough and leave for 12-14 hours.

FINAL DOUGH (makes 2 loaves)

  • Bread Flour 476g
  • Water 360g
  • Salt 17g
  • Walnuts 198g
  • Raisins 136g
  • Second Build 706g

METHOD:

  1. Form the dough and knead till medium gluten formation.
  2. Add the walnuts and raisins - incorporate.
  3. Bulk Ferment for 2.5 - 3 hours giving the dough a stretch and fold half way through.
  4. Pre-shape and bench rest.
  5. Shape and final proof for 1.5 - 2 hours
  6. Bake.

P.s. I've now consulted the book to check my maths. The final dough is spot on. The two builds are slightly out by a gram or two but believe it or not my workings out based on percentages (not the lbs and oz given in the book) are more accurate. After converting I checked the hydration of the two builds and they're closer to what's asked for in the recipe. This is why I don't like lbs and oz. Grams is easier. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

i can make that work. :)

there are quite a few threads on that bread already  

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

It's now been three days. The fruit is floating there's froth on top and when you hold it to your ear it's fizzing a lot! There's just not a lot of rising bubbles. I'm not ready to proceed into the first build till tomorrow evening. Should I refrigerate now or it'll be ok to be left at room temperature? 

BreadLee's picture
BreadLee

.... For this.  You are some very helpful,  kind folks.  Thank you! 

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

I haven't given the instructions to make the yeast water but if you need advice then pop back and ask. Hope you like the recipe.

syros's picture
syros

You've made life much easier, although I guess I could have figured it out myself... But now at least I know it's correct. Will keep you posted!

Abe's picture
Abe (not verified)

My pleasure Sharon. I've doubled checked with the book and added a post script. It's odd but Hamelman's lbs and oz don't quite match his percentages. My workings out using percentages only are more accurate.