Sunday, October 31, 2010

use local, wild yeast for bread? For free?!?

Wow. Just learned I can do this. And YOU can do this.

Heard it on the radio, and finally researched it this a.m. The method I'll use is here*.

Many call for boiling potatoes, and some require no fruit/veggies at all, but I'm leaning toward the one using (organic) grapes. Since, you know, we have a vine (read: free, organic, & 2 steps from my front door).

Baking bread using the yeast from your own back yard!

Apparently (according to the sites I've read) the (beautiful) white powdery haze the grapes sport is yeast. I just now (after 1st draft of this) went out to gather, basically, raisins, and voila! There's several very large clusters of honest-to-goodness grapes! And these are big cats, so this is a lot of grapes.

Way more than the 1 lb I require.

Anyhow, I just need to then mush the grapes in a bowl, cover and let them sit at room temp for 3 days, then for the next 2 days there's a little of adding (water, flour), tossing (excess liquid), and mixing, and I'll have starter!

Then I can keep in the starter in fridge indefinitely, feeding weekly.

Sounds AWEsome to me. And since it's been cold, I want to bake bread. However, it will get warmer this week, so that's great for getting yeast happy to multiply.

Anyhow, HOW LOCAL will my homemade bread be if it's yeast from OUR HOUSE?!?

WAYYY too cool. =) This is one happy conservation biologist & occasional baker. And, as you may have determined, I get VERY happy with stuff that leads to or enhances self reliance. TOO cool.

Anyone out there interested in trying, too? Or have you already? DO tell.


P.S. I wonder about the white on the grapes being yeast. If so, why do I have to hold this sugary liquid on my counter for 3 days just like the method with NO grapes (but water and flour)? For the latter, it's to collect yeast and allow it time to grow. Specifically directed to cover my grapes with cheese cloth, I'm guessing to let the yeast in. Thoughts? Anyone? Does anyone know what that white cast is on grapes?

*any thing that explicitly tells you to "Crush with hands" has GOT to be fun. =)

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