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Friday, December 4, 2009

How to Make Yeast for Bread

I had been trying to figure this out, and being spurred on by reading a great book about self-sufficiency "Living the Good Life: How one family changed their world from their own backyard", I searched for and found this recipe.

And since I just made bread 2 days ago, first thing tomorrow, I'm starting a batch of this yeast!

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Step 1: This step pulls the wild yeast from the air in your kitchen. The more you bake with yeast, the more you'll have in your air, so be sure to capture yeast shortly after you bake bread.

Combine in a medium-sized bowl: 2 cups of warm water, 1 tablespoon white table sugar, 2 cups of flour. Cover bowl with a cheesecloth, and place in a warm area in the kitchen. Stir every day at least once. When it bubbles, it means you have captured yeast from the air. From then on, just allow it to sit for 3-4 days to continue to bubble.

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Step 2: This step makes the yeast into something you can use.

After the 3-4 days of bubbling, prepare a cookie sheet or dehydrator tray with plastic wrap or waxed paper. Thinly spread the liquid mixture on the prepared tray. When dry, break the dried yeast into small chunks. Grint into a powder (food processor or mortar/pestle). Use what you need. For longer, place in an air-tight container and store for short term in refrigerator. For long term storage, freeze in the container.

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Step 3: This step shows how to use the yeast you made. This yeast isn't as concentrated as the yeast you can purchase (since it's mostly flour), so plan to use 1 cup of homemade yeast for 1 ounce of store-bought yeast.

Take 1 cup of liquid that your recipe calls for, and dissolve 1 cup of homemade yeast in it. Make the dough, making sure to reduce the flour you need by 1 cup (because your yeast is mostly flour!). Knead and rise dough as usual, which may take longer to do. Bake as usual.