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Tobias Ber
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Hey... i am having some yeast in the fridge. I bought a piece at the supermarket, used it for dough and then put it in a closed container in the fridge.
a few times i used the lump to make fresh dough and put the rest back in the fridge. sometimes i fed it with sugar, water and/or flour.

is that healthy to do? it looks good (no sign of mold).
it smells a bit like alcohol. does every kind of yeast produce alcohol?

thank you...
be blessed
tobias
 
Niele da Kine
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Look up how folks keep their sour dough starter, it's about the same as yeast, isn't it?
 
Bill Crim
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Yeast used in beer/wine is fermented with anaerobic processes. Yeast used for bread making uses aerobic processes. Anaerobic processes produce alcohol; aerobic ones produce acetic acid(vinegar).

Sourdough starter, when fed regularly, will be fully oxygenated and aerobically process the sugars coming from the starches in the flour. If you don't feed your yeast(feed+stir+oxygenate) then you starter will start to form "Hooch", which is an amber colored alcohol. If you keep yeast fed and aerated, then no alcohol will accumulate. In terms of bread making, alcohol formation means you need to feed/aerate your yeast more often.

NOTE: yeast can eat starches in the wheat. Regular bread uses sugar to feed the yeast, simply because it works faster. Yeast can process starches, it just takes a bit longer.
 
r ranson
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Can you tell us a bit more about your piece of yeast? A picture maybe or where you got it might help narrow down what kind of yeast it is.

Yeast comes in many forms. There's the powdered stuff most people in North America are use to. There is yeast for beer, yeast for wine, yeast for bread, yeast for all sorts of things. There is liquid yeast, cake yeast, powdered yeast. Yeast sourdough starter which can be liquid, solid, dried or any state in between.



Personally, I don't like the idea of feeding sugar to yeast. A good yeast will be able to break down the starch in the flour and use it as food. Sugar is only really necessary if you are using modern powdered or instant yeast, and then only a small amount to activate the yeast. Most modern recipes for bread include sugar for it's flavour, not because it helps the yeast.
 
Tobias Ber
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hey ...

thank you. It´s kinda standart yeast. We by it at the supermarkets in small cubes refridgerated. Dry yeast is not very common here and kinda expensive.

Ok, I ll feed flour then instead of sugar.

Would it be best to use the whole lump to make bread-dough and put a part of it back into the jar in the fridge? This would feed and aeriate it. Or just keep the yeast in the fridge and take a bit of it for the dough-making and then feed the yeast gain?

I though yeast and sourdough were something different. Like yeast being a well-behaving fungus and sour-dough kinda lacto-bazilla.

Thank you and blesses
tobias
 
Bill Crim
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Bread yeast that we know and love is derived from strains of yeast that were isolated from beer making. Beer makers were the first ones who made serious strides in isolating yeast strains. Eventually the strains diverged into bread-specific strains in the 1800s. It is a faster acting yeast, so bread can rise in 1-2 hours. However it doesn't tolerate acid very well. Bakers in the past usually got yeast from either beer making or commercial yeast companies. They didn't make their own.

Sourdough starter is a combination of wild yeast in combination with lactic acid producing bacteria and acetic acid producing bacteria. It works much slower(8-16 hours) than bread yeast, but once you get a good culture started, it is very stable. It is acid loving. Most other yeast and bacteria can't tolerate the acid, so it makes it easy to carry on a nice live culture. Sourdough was the bread of choice for home baking because without climate controlled conditions, sourdough is the best way to create stable yeast. The longer rising time didn't matter as much to home bakers.

The kind of yeast I think you are talking about is the "fresh" yeast version of regular "dry" bread yeast. Dry yeast is shelf stable for several months, but over time it starts to lose its effectiveness. That is why you need to "proof" your yeast with the sugar and water, to make sure it is still fully active. Fresh yeast doesn't need to be proofed since it is "fresh" and has never been dried. The end result of using fresh yeast or dry yeast that proofs well should be identical loves of bread.

My recommendation is to NOT try to save the fresh yeast for long periods. The conditions tolerated by bakers yeast are also the conditions for lots of other bacteria to grow. I'm not saying it would be unsafe, just that over time your yeast may diverge into making sub-standard bread. It could also just turn into a sourdough starter by the acidity rising high enough to kill off the normal yeast and leave wild strains behind. If you want "bread yeast" as opposed to "sourdough starter", it is usually better to get new yeast regularly and not try to make your own.
 
r ranson
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Tobias Ber wrote:hey ...

thank you. It´s kinda standart yeast. We by it at the supermarkets in small cubes refridgerated. Dry yeast is not very common here and kinda expensive.




I love that yeast. It's difficult to find in this corner of Canada. Some bakers use it, but they usually won't sell you any. I've seen it called Cake Yeast and Fresh Yeast here. The name varies depending on where you live.

One of the rare times I managed to get fresh yeast, I made sourdough starter with the leftover bits. Just feed it flour and water, mix well, exactly like maintaining a starter. It made the most amazing bread. I'm very sad I lost that starter.

Bill's answer is excellent. I really can't add much more to that.

Happy baking
 
Tobias Ber
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hey bill and r ranson ...

thank you very much for your kind and in depth answers. I checked the jar and it tasted very acidic and somewhalt like alcohol. so i m gonna compost it...

i ll look into making sourdough bread then... i hope, the search function of permies will help.

i am a bit alarmed, cause i read that many bread-products contain glyphosat (round up or something ... yucky). traditional bakeries here are declining. instead of them we have more and more bread-shops and "fresh" stuff in supermarkets. but they only take half-baked and frozen things from factories and bake them in the shops or supermarkets. i am not sure that it s healthy. industrial bread production requires lots of additives...

blesses

tobias
 
Tobias Ber
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ok... i start some sourdough starter ... i put whole grain organic rye flour into jar with soft lid and mixed it with water to a creamy batter consistence.

i put it in a sunny, warm place and see what happens... i ll feed it with flour and water every few days until it s bubbly and smelling sour

i hope it turns out well ... then i ve to learn how to make bread. i ve a bread making machine, maybe i can use it for this...
 
Tobias Ber
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starter is bubbling and foaming... i fed it a few times with rye and wheat flour and water...

how do i know, when the starter is ready? it tastes a little bit sour (shortly after feeding)

thank you and have a great and blessed week!
 
Bill Crim
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If it is bubbly, it should be OK to use. When starter is new, there is a chance the bacterial cultures will become unbalanced, but it isn't unsafe to use. You just might get inconsistent performance. To get the best baking performance, make sure to feed it the day before you use it. I fed my starter every day the first month.

For a month, just make sure there is no pink or green scum. If there is, throw it away and start again. Brown, amber, or yellow liquid on top is safe(it is "hooch", the alcohol from the yeast), its just you should be feeding your starter more and make sure to keep it stirred and not in a completely sealed container. This is aerobic process, if there isn't enough air, the alcohol builds up and the acetic bacteria don't feed on it. More Air = More Acid. More Acid = Less chance of Contamination, therefore a more stable culture.
 
Tobias Ber
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ok... the starter is working. i keep it in the fridge and keep feeding and shaking it.

the first bread did not get much of a rise. it tasted good, but was too wet. it was 1030g bread at 630g of flour.

the next one (i took less water) got much of a rise. it was 830g at 630g of flour. looked good... i should have taken and photo ... before the beagle stole it and ate nearly 1/4th of it within seconds.

i tried pizza with the starter. wheat flour, half white half full grain. the crust turned out good, but where the covering was, it stayed wet and wobbly (but tasted good).

has anybody here tried pizza with sourdough?

thank you
 
Bill Crim
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You are one up on me, I have been making sourdough bread for 3 years, and I still haven't gotten around to making pizza, bagels, or pretzels. All three things that theoretically have good recipes for sourdough.

From what I do know about pizza dough, pizza places usually have like a 700+ F oven to cook the pizza. I think a REALLY hot oven is the way to cook with fresh dough. For normal ovens, you want to do Parbaking. That is where you partially cook the dough first, but don't let it brown. Then you can either add toppings and cook it till crispy, or you can refrigerate or freeze the pizza crust. I have not done this myself, and I am still researching the best way to attempt it.
 
Tobias Ber
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hey bill ... my oven wont go hotter than 480.

i did some reading on pizza baking before and hope, i ll remember right.

maybe it would help to make the dough dryer and use only wheat (white and full grain flour mixed). this might help.
then one could bake the dough for a short time before topping it, like you said.

there are metal pizza pans. i think from alumimium. i think they will conduct the heat better into the dough than just the air.
then there are pizza stones which would be preheated. they ll have huge thermal mass. and i think they ll draw out a bit of the water. not sure if that s true. but it might be a difference compared to an in-permeable metal pan.
maybe even a preheated, heavy cast iron skillet would help.

i ll do some testing...

thank you and blesses
 
r ranson
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I usually cook my sourdough pizza at 400 or 425F. However, I place the pizza on the bottom shelf, as low and as close to the element as it will go. That way the crust will cook faster than the toppings. I also like a thin crust, so it works well.

If I have a lot of toppings or am making a thicker crust, I'll use a bake stone or pizza stone - a flat ceramic or stone thingy that goes in the oven and gets really hot. I'll heat the oven to 450 or even 475F, to get the oven and the stone really hot. Then I'll put the pizza, toppings and all, right on the hot stone. Turn the oven down to 425 and in about 12 minutes, the personal size pizza is ready and crunchy.
 
Tobias Ber
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hey ... i did another few tries of making pizza. i had more wheat and more white wheat flour in the dough.

i prebaked them a bit. that helped. but they still got mostly wobbly cause i used some 60% fat weird turkish cheese ... very good taste but not that crunchy. the last pizza i bake was literally fried in the fat

i made some bread rolls, as well. first try.

i think it might help to use a bit of yeast, as well. like having your sourdough-starter with part of the flour to sit ovenight. then add flour and yeast and let ist rise 1-2 hours or so untl (it s ready).


one of these might be the way to bake pizza ....


 
Bill Crim
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There is a method of creating better tasking bread using regular yeast. It is called the Poolish method. Whatever your recipe, you take equal parts flour and water(like 1-2 cups) and mix with 1/8 of a teaspoon of regular yeast. Mix it together. Leave for 8-12 hours. Then mix the rest of the flour/water/yeast that the recipe calls for and make like normal. This was a French perfected technique(imported from Poland) to increase the flavor and general quality of bread, but still use more modern(1800s+) techniques of mass produced bread. The small amount of yeast and natural enzymes in the wheat would start breaking down the starches and give you the flavorful post-fermentation byproducts that make the bread taste excellent. This lets you have short-rise times, but slow-rise levels of flavor. The bonus is you don't need to adjust the recipe, you just mix a part of the bread earlier.

This would let you get really awesome bread without the hassle of maintaining a starter.

A side note about using a somewhat weak sourdough starter... Sometimes a specific culture of starter isn't very vigorous. It may "work" but it just never gets good rise. This is just like farming, if you have a bad performer, cull it and get new stock. however, sometimes you can still make good bread if you give a slow starter some help. For a loaf of bread, add 1 tablespoon of potato starch/flour.(or 1/4 cup of mashed potatoes). I have gotten really nice "pop" for my bread using this. The potato starch is easier to digest for the yeast; even easier than sugar.
 
Tobias Ber
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ok. even been making bread with that starter for some time now. it works very well. thank you all.

it s simpler than i thought. when doing bread with yeast, i did not get that good bread.

with sourdough it seems to more fool proof. it seems to tolerate a big span/variation of water content, proofing time, oven heat, baking time etc.... and STILL turn out good! that helps alot.

i want to encourage the readers to try it. it s much easier than i thought. and it s not very much work. i can do 2 breads at once and they ll last for about 5 days (2 persons). they would store even longer, so i could make 3 breads at one time.
when baking bread, i try to have other thing baking along with it (sweet potatoe, fallafel, feta-cheese, gratin etc.)

happy baking and blesses
 
r ranson
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So glad you are having fun with bread.

Tobias Ber wrote:

it s simpler than i thought. when doing bread with yeast, i did not get that good bread.

with sourdough it seems to more fool proof. it seems to tolerate a big span/variation of water content, proofing time, oven heat, baking time etc.... and STILL turn out good! that helps alot.



Yes. Sourdough is worlds simpler to work with than commercial yeast. It takes a bit of getting use to, but once you have the knack, you can make sourdough do your bidding. Want to make a quick bread, no problem, a slow one where you leave the house for 12 hours between stages, easy peasy. Sourdough bread works with you, instead of demanding you work for it.

Sourdough is the bread for the people.

Happy Baking to you too.
 
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