Yeast plant

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Yeast plant

Postby saucisson » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:33 pm

I don't know how many people made homemade ginger beer as a child with that jam jar on the windowsill you threw sugar and ginger at, but I'm trying that approach to keep a permanent fresh yeast culture going.

I started yesterday with 2 teaspoons fresh yeast and 700ml water and a teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of wine makers yeast nutrient. I took off 320ml today to make bread with and added 320ml water and a teaspoon of sugar back. The plan is to repeat this every day and add the pinch of nutrient every other day. I used a milk frother to evenly disperse the yeast and get some air into the brew before decanting.

Time will tell :)

Dave
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Postby Gordon » Wed Jul 16, 2008 6:58 pm

I have found a web site that takes you through making a natural leaven ( with pictures :D )click here it's pretty much the same as the way Dan Lepard makes his and I think it's what we would all call a 'yeast plant'

Just noticed it is a Dan Lepard article :oops:
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Postby wheels » Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:04 pm

An interesting one this Dave.
Most 'starters' of this kind use a water/flour/yeast method (or omit the yeast and use just water/flour) at equal parts water/flour.
My experience with these has been that long-term it produced a sour tasting bread - I am looking at a sourdough route (water/flour in equal parts) but then using this to make a 'starter' (poolish) the day before I bake. I understand that this is what many artisan bakers do - although they would just use some of the previous day's dough.
The idea of 'not using' (bought) yeast really appeals - I like the idea of a real artisan loaf - just flour water and salt.

Is your plan to use your 'yeast plant' to make a starter? Or, will you use enough to hydrate the whole mix in one?

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Postby Oddley » Wed Jul 16, 2008 7:48 pm

Dave, I really hope this works for you mate. Unfortunately I think you know, that in brewing circles, you would only use a yeast clone 10 times, before it starts mutating.

Keeping my fingers crossed.
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Postby jenny_haddow » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:37 pm

I read somewhere (long ago) that it was traditional to give a new bride a yeast plant for her future bread making, and that it was kept in the chimney; probably the only permanently warm place in the house in those days.
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Postby saucisson » Wed Jul 16, 2008 9:58 pm

It's an experiment that may fail, but will cost me a teaspoon of sugar a day to try out with yeast I had to throw out otherwise.

But I've never tried to cultivate bread yeast before so I'm giving it a go, just to see what happens. I have no expectations that it will succeed. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

I'm not keeping my fingers crossed, but thanks Oddley :)

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Postby Oddley » Sat Jul 19, 2008 9:26 am

How is the yeast plant going?
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Postby saucisson » Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:41 am

So far so good. I've been taking 300ml off every day to make bread with adding back 300ml water and a teaspoon of sugar. Then the pinch of nutrient every other day. I'll keep informed.

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Postby Oddley » Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:09 am

I had a bit of luck today. The wife asked in our local bakery if they would sell us some yeast, they said yes, but only in a 1 Kg block. It was �6, which works out a 20g per loaf �0.12p. I am more than willing to pay that for the increase in quality over dried yeast. Dried yeast works out about 10p a loaf anyway.

Hopefully I can use them as my regular supplier
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Postby saucisson » Sat Jul 19, 2008 11:39 am

Excellent :)
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Postby saucisson » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:15 pm

Well the yeast seems to have stopped dividing. It's happily devouring sugar and producing CO2 but has stopped growing. So if I continue to use it I will be using half as much yeast each time I bake. So, if you have a small amount of yeast you can keep it going in the short term ( I got seven loaves out of one loaf's worth of fresh yeast) but you still need a regular source of yeast.

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Postby wheels » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:32 pm

Dave

I've been doing it another way - I use some of the dough from today's bake (100gms of flour's worth) and tonight I will add flour and water to it - ferment overnight in the fridge - add the rest of the bread ingredients tomorrow am, then rise/prove as normal - as I don't take the initial dough into account in my recipe, I'm left with the same amount each day.

I've been doing this for 5 days now and it's worked great although the rise/prove takes longer and the dough seems slightly wetter so I have cut the hydration slightly.

It even worked for the day I didn't bake so the initial starter was 48 hours old.

My true sourdough's also doing nicely, bubbling away like some Quatermass type thingy in the corner! Will report back in due course it hasn't devoured us by then!

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Postby saucisson » Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:46 pm

:D

I'll leave the sourdough to you Phil, but next time I bake I'll try your hold back some dough method.

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