Tag Archives: homemade bread

An update on my fruit yeast water bread…

Further to my previous post about generating wild yeast from fruit and water, I have continued to make more loaves and experiment with different fruits and would like to share some more ideas and tips…

This loaf was made with yeast water derived from an apple

I have now made yeast water from apples, dates, dried figs and a fresh fig. They have all worked well, but so far my favourites are the dates and apples. 

This bubbly water was generated from dates 

I have observed a few things that I feel may be of use in case you are trying this method, or would like to experiment yourself. I have continued to follow the method for making the yeast waters, and for then making the bread from my previous post and they have continued to be a success…

Bread made with yeast water cultivated from a fig

I can now tell you that different fruits result in different shaped loaves; I’ve had rounded loaves from apples and peaked loaves from figs – just like the shape of the fruits! And the apple water generates the most wonderful aroma in the final loaf.

The second time that I made fruit yeast water from an apple, it didn’t generate any bubbles, but when I opened the jar it gave an audible puff of air several days in a row, and it smelt strongly, so I chanced it and it worked well – so maybe bubbles aren’t always necessary. (I know that one person who made apple yeast water tried drinking it and likened it to cider!) 

When I made date yeast water, I used up nearly all of it for a couple of loaves, then I topped the jar up with a bit more water and it generated more yeast water from the same dates. I do think that each fruit can generate enough water for several loaves – I’ve ended up with water for 2 or 3 loaves at a time so I’ve made them and frozen the loaves that I didn’t immediately need and they feeeze and defrost well. 

Following my posts on here and Instagram, I know that several people around the world have been experimenting with fruit yeast water with varying results. I do think that different fruits in different countries generate different results, and flour from different countries DEFINITELY behaves differently. Only you will know from your own experience whether the flour in your part of the world requires more or less water than mine. 

​​Making the starter with the yeast water and flour works best when made with strong bread flour. Other flours will generate a starter but it will not be as strong and could then result in less rise in the bake. A bubbly gluten free starter can be made with buckwheat flour and fruit yeast water but I’ve only seen it in use in a cake so far. 

Likewise with ovens, and this goes for any baking and cooking, all ovens behave differently, even ovens that are the same make and model! Therefore, you may need to amend my temperatures and timings based on knowledge of your own oven.

I hope these tips are helpful and that you have fun if you do try the fruit yeast water…check out Suzanne’s experience so far…


My sourdough experiments…

You may recall my previous post about sourdough and my first experiences using the sourdough starter that Selma sent me, derived from Celia’s starter all the way away in Australia. These starters have given birth to endless loaves and experiments all over the world and a whole new community of sourdough bread bakers 🙂

As is my wont, however, I wanted to find out how to create my own starter, and make a sourdough loaf completely and utterly from scratch in my kitchen (I do still have some dried ‘Star’, the starter I created from Selma’s dried starter, in my fridge as a back up, I’m not completely nuts!!) so I got busy looking up methods and had a go…

This is what I found on kitchn.com and the instructions I followed for the first starter I made; it was amazing, just mixing flour and water and leaving the mixture to draw yeast from the air in my own kitchen. I got so excited everyday as I fed it and watched the bubbles develop: so let me introduce Bodicea, my very own starter..

..she created a very different looking loaf from the ones I baked with Star. The dough did not grow as much during the proving, and the bubbles that did grow were a lot bigger. I had to knead the dough more often to encourage the proving, and when I baked it, the top looked like the surface of the moon, as if covered in craters..

The boys tucked in though, and ate the whole loaf, very happily, which filled my heart with joy 🙂 

I decided to make another starter from slightly different instructions to see if it would behave differently when I came to bake a loaf..Bodicea the second grew happily, just like her predecessor, and again the dough performed as before, the dough did not grow huge during proving, but it still baked well and created a good, holey, loaf..

You can see in the first photo below how the dough proved with big bubbles..

I have to assume, therefore, that this is the type of yeast that floats around my kitchen (I try not to think about just how weird that sounds!) and that this is how loaves will develop with my homemade starters – and whilst the boys eat their way through every loaf I bake, I have to assume I’m doing something right.

Having had a kitchen full of sourdough starter recently, I’ve also made all sorts of pancakes with it rather than waste it – and they’ve all been eaten up too! 

I recently watched a cookery show that explained the history of sourdough bread: it was first created in Egypt, in fact, sourdough is the oldest form of making risen bread using yeast, wild yeast as it is in sourdough. Prior to this discovery, the world only ate flat breads; so I have been creating the oldest form of bread in my own kitchen! Wow! Isn’t that cool?? 

I’ve now got another starter experiment brewing in my kitchen so I’ll let you know how Bodicea III performs 🙂