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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wild Yeast Experiment Part 1

Well I said I'd post about my attempts with growing my own yeast, and in doing this what you are actually doing is "capturing" a wild one and making it grow for your use. I was surfing through youtube one day looking for good sourdough bread videos and I "stumbled" upon a video about making your own bread yeast. It is a British video that has a Asian baker showing how she makes her own yeast. So I though after watching how easy it was I'd give it a try.

Step 1: You need 1 jar per item you are going to grow from, now I'm using raisins and dried cranberries. In the video I watched the woman used almost any fruit, she did say she had tried potatoes, and cabbage but that the cabbage had stunk big time. As she had used in the 3 batches she tried in the video included 2 raisin variety I thought dried fruits of other kids might work too.

Step 2: Place some of the (in this case fruit) item you are trying to grow from in the jars, I went for just under half way full. The video I watched didn't give exact amounts so I guessed from what I saw.

Step 3: Add water, my guess though is to make sure it is non-chlorinated water. Fill it to just over half so there will be an air pocket between the lid and the water. Now after this close the jars tightly! Yes I said tightly. They will sit in a not cold spot room temperature is fine, you need to "swirl" then once a day every day and open the jar for a couple of minutes a day as well. after about 7 days you should hear a sound when you open the jars.

The fruit should rise to the top when it is ready and you should see bubbles, though probably small in the jar. Now the video I watched wasn't too clear on the next part what they said was to strain it and let the liquid sit 7 days then they brought it back to the baker. Well that didn't make much sense to me so what I did was divide the liquid in half. Half I put in a bean pot like bowl and the other half I put in a sterilized jar..btw the bowl was as well.

I few what was in the bowl enough flour to make a paste with it..I took a picture of it but it was over exposed...grrr... if you've had sourdough starter you want it about that consistency. Which is not quite toothpaste consistency, a little "looser".

I imagine you could probably feed the fruit to your chickens after (I wish we had some right now), but just so you know I just tossed mine in our burnables. Now only the raisins seemed to grow as the cranberries are still sitting on the back of my stove not doing anything.

The part of the liquid I fed right away did grow slowly in the next couple of hours so on Silver's advise I added 1/2 teaspoon of granulated sugar to it and mixed it in. It started to grow faster. This morning after letting it grow all night (pretty bubbles it formed), I looked up a "no knead" sourdough recipe; only requires 1 C starter (yeast) 1C water (NON-CHLORINATED) 2 teaspoons of salt and 3 C of flour. Mix it all together until blended (you did feed your left overs right?), cover it with a bowl then let it sit 8-12 hours in a warmish place.

Well this is the point I am at right now, however I will say I could not feed my leftover yeast as after growth it was only 1 C of it. So I decided to go ahead and grow the rest of the liquid. Poured it into my bowl, added the flour; this time putting the sugar in too at the start. I checked it an hour ago and all I can say is WOW! It has more than doubled in size, in a lot less time that the first half of the liquid. It's sitting in my fridge right now as if it gets too much bigger it'll outgrow the bowl.

I'll be posting more on this tomorrow with Part 2 of my experiment provided our net is still on.

Be Well and Blessed Be...

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