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What makes your Yeast .. happy?  RSS feed

 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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For me .. two things.

Lightly warmed water with corn syrup. Helps to leave your yeast out of the refrig overnight also.

To keep things going I use a heating pad on low.
 
charles c. johnson
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any warm place. right next to the refrigerator compressor works well. as far a food for is i use sugar,honey, apple cores work
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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Polyculture.

They do well with companions such as lactobacilli...same as humans do.

Also: whole wheat seems to keep a culture going much better than white flour.

Non-chlorinated water also seems important. Tap water from a kettle that has boiled and cooled seems to work great; there's usually some left after the previous hot beverage.
 
Paula Edwards
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Nothing, yeast always works. You only have to knead it sufficiently.
 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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I asked this question because I "just used white sugar" for years .. then switched to corn syrup .. I found it reacted with my yeast much faster and stronger. I'm at 3,800 feet .. could that have something to do with it? We have used well water for so long .. since 1971 .. that I forgot to even think about the Chlorine in city water .. good point. I also seem to think if a little heat is good .. more is better .. wrong again. I barely heated my water and bowl and I got a much faster rise out of my yeast.

The compressor on my refrigerator blows out on the floor .. we live on a farm. For me that would not work.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I read a little of Tartine Bread in the bookstore. It's a beautiful coffee table book, but it spends a lot of time and space trying to convince me of things I already believe, and teach me skills I could learn from friends.

If you want to bake good bread, from minimally-processed ingredients, I recommend the book, though. Here's Novella Carpenter's review.

I bring it up because a lot of the book is about raising and maintaining a traditional leavening culture. I'd say "sourdough," but the author strongly recommends keeping it in warmer conditions which favor the production of mild lactic acid, rather than vinegary acetic acid, and also strongly advocates managing the leaven and rising process to give a bread with very little sourness of any sort.

It's an amazing treatment of applied ecology: it almost doesn't matter what you start with, if you keep it in conditions that favor what you want, that culture is what you get. The author talks about tasting the leaven his French friend made, on a trip there, and saying it tasted exactly the same as his own culture that started in California, because both of them had happened upon the same schedule, temperature, etc.
 
Len Ovens
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Location: Vancouver Island
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:

I bring it up because a lot of the book is about raising and maintaining a traditional leavening culture. I'd say "sourdough," but the author strongly recommends keeping it in warmer conditions which favor the production of mild lactic acid, rather than vinegary acetic acid, and also strongly advocates managing the leaven and rising process to give a bread with very little sourness of any sort.


I call it "wild yeast" (not that I originated the name.. it just happens to be the one I like)... Just add flour and water every once in a while.... the while depends on the temp you keep it at. The stuff I keep in the fridge from week to week is real sour, but never goes moldy either. If  you run a couple of generations before using it (at least three seems to be the recommendation) it gets less sour. There are other tricks for changing the sourness from none to lots.

Kieffer works just fine too as a starter.... it's sourness depends on how long the milk has fermented with the grains.

The type of flour affects how sour it tastes. 100% rye bread seems less sour than whole wheat... to me anyway.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Len wrote:100% rye bread seems less sour than whole wheat... to me anyway.


*nods*

A part of this is the difference in how quickly, and in what form, sugar becomes available form the starch in the grain. Brewers and distillers also seem to prefer rye to wheat. I think it just favors yeast over bacteria.

On the other hand, it's difficult to get a good crumb structure out of 100% rye.
 
Len Ovens
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:
*nods*

A part of this is the difference in how quickly, and in what form, sugar becomes available form the starch in the grain. Brewers and distillers also seem to prefer rye to wheat. I think it just favors yeast over bacteria.

On the other hand, it's difficult to get a good crumb structure out of 100% rye.


A lot more dense, but still nicer than anything I can get at the super market so far as being cool to the taste and not dry. The crumb has the strength to rebound when squeezed unlike commercial bread that just mushes. Rye has much less gluten than wheat, but has some other proteins that preform the same task. These other proteins are more delicate and will not stand up well to lots of kneading. The end result is less rising. My rye breads rise about half as much as whole wheat.

Of course we could try 100% barley, I hear it makes good ammunition or bricks.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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There are other military uses for 100% dense starchy food products.

Even some civilian uses! For example, a couple of good racehorses were named after them.

...

I guess you could eat them, if starvation threatened. And there were no cattails or acorns around...
 
                    
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I got some live yeast from the local supermarket baker today to see if this makes an appreciable difference to my results. I only need a fraction of what they gave me so I would like to know if anyone can tell me if the yeast can be " kept " alive so I make some rolls tomorrow. How long does it live for ?what does one have to do to store it feed it etc, can it be sustained?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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The yeast may have to acclimatize itself to the way you keep it.

I feed mine daily or at least twice a week, with about equal parts all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, plus enough water to give it a consistency like pancake batter. I leave only a tiny fraction of the starter each time I feed it: it's 90% new material when freshly fed. I keep mine at room temperature.

If it's only yeast, a tiny amount of yogurt or whey might help establish a culture of lactobacteria to help the yeast along (same as you might help a person after a course of antibiotics). If it smells a little yogurty or vinegary, skip this step.

If you need to keep it for a long time, you can dry it out by mixing in flour, and freezing it after it settles down. Freezing a wet starter tends to rupture the yeast's cells, like freezing a full water bottle would: drying them out is like sqeezing down the water bottle before it goes into the freezer, so that there is room to expand.
 
                        
Posts: 148
Location: South Central Idaho
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I'm a couple of months into my "grape starter" and it is mild and raises well on my cold counter top with no heat.

I think taking a flour water mixture and introducing it immediately to the fuz from a grape that has been "hanging on the fence for a month" does several things. It has collected critters that are sugar sensitive / co-habit types.

They take over your culture from the start and drive off others. It is the best start I've gotten in ten years and better than anything I have gotten from Sourdough International such as S. Fran .. which went sideways on me immediately when confronted with what was in the air about me .. we are on the Sourdough Trail .. Oregon Trail .. and I'm always wondering what is "out there" from this trail and a million travelers.

For the past two years I have been using the Alfred Bread Pan. I am so blessed by these pans. They are made from glacier clay .. www.tuftyceramicis.com .. she put me on to a clay museum that analysed some shards we found in a rough spot on the trail .. pastry board from their area .. 1800's. Team ran away and board fell out of a wagon?
 
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