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Thursday, May 19, 2011

How to make homemade yeast

Capturing yeast is a miraculous event. It isn't easy, you might have to go through several water and flour mixtures before you finally get something. So instead of 1 1/2 cups water and 2 cups flour mixed in a bowl (non metal) and set out for several days (no longer than 4) hoping and praying that the right organisms will fall onto it, we are going to start with store bought yeast. This will be the last time you ever buy it.

Creating more yeast is similar to making a sponge for potato bread.

1 large potato peeled and sliced
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
3 packets yeast (not rapid-rise)
2 cups cornmeal

Boil the potatoes until soft. Strain, reserving the liquid. Mash the potatoes with a little of the reserved liquid.

Mix 1 cup of mashed potatoes with the flour, sugar ginger and yeast. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Make sure the the liquid has cooled a bit, too hot and it will kill the yeast. If you are not use to testing the heat with your finger use a thermometer. The temp should be 110F - 115F.

You should have a pancake batter. Set aside to rise and bubble.

Place the cornmeal on a cookie sheet and set into a low temp oven for about an hour. Do not brown it merely dry it out.

Once the pancake looking batter has risen and is bubbly, you want to mix the cornmeal in with it. Slowly. You don't want the batter to dry out too much. turn out your dough, and use some of the cornmeal to help roll out the dough. You want to get it as thin as possible.

At this point you can cut out cakes with a cookie cutter or leave whole for a crumble. For the crumble you want to occasionally take a fork to it and "fluff" it. Separating it. Depending on the humidity in your home this can take up to several days or only a few hours.

Once dried put into a quart container and place into your freezer. If making cakes, they have to be individually wrapped. 6 months is the recommended time but can stay fresh for up to 1 yr. Once you are running low, repeat the process using your homemade yeast.

Stock photo. mine still isn't dry

To use, bring desired amount to room temp. 


SkippyMom said...

You are awesome! It is amazing that you can make this at home. I had no idea. Thanks. :)

Mr. H. said...

What an interesting post, this is something we will definitely have to try...and we even have the peach leaves. Glad you shared this.

Adele said...

I have instant yeast, the kind you mix with the dry ingredients not the wet ones. Is this rapid rise yeast? Can I use this yeast cause I bought 2 pounds of it before I moved because it is in mylar and until I open it, it will not go bad, so they say. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Phelan said...

This dry active yeast. Not rapid rise. Not sure what you can do for the rapid rise, but I do suggest storing it in your freezer.

Unknown said...

This is amazing, I have recently decided to go frugal, all natural, ummm whatever I can do to help save money. It started as saving money and feeding a family of four on 400 a month. We live in an apartment, and no garden or decent farmers market. But now it has become more of a lifestyle and I love making our breads, pastas, basically everything, we haven't eaten a "box" meal in months now.

This homemade yeast I can already see I am going to love, thank you so much. Though not sure how well it will dry out, we live on the gulf coast, humidity is seriously high here. Will try anyway.

Anonymous said...

Hi.... Just wondering about this post and recipe. It comes from here:

Phelan said...

No, actually I didn't get the recipe online anywhere have had it for awhile, got it from the same book that I got the potato bread recipe from. But thanks for the link looks interesting.

Anonymous said...

I was so happy to find this. I lost my job so I now find myself trying to find ways to save money. I have been baking bread in a cost saving effort and making my own yeast is something that will save me money. Can you tell me if the ginger needs to be fresh or can I use ginger powder. Thanks again...

Phelan said...

Powdered works fine.

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