Monday, February 22, 2010

Yesterday I was reading a blog written by a lady in West Virginia. She had been sent by another reader, an old cookbook from the 1930's. In it was a recipe for homemade yeast for baking bread.

She posted it with photos of her instructions and modifications as it was written with the implication that you just knew how to do it. I guess they did back then. Anyway, I just had to try it. And if this works like it is supposed to, I will never have to buy those little packets of yeast again! Woo Hoo! Sounded like a frugal idea to me! So this is how mine played out!

First, the recipe!

Cooked potatoes, sugar, yeast and salt and ground ginger. Ginger? Why? I have no idea, but I added it per the recipe anyway. She explained a bit about yeast in her blog. All yeast whether it comes from a package (Fleishmans) or homemade, comes from wild micro organisms from the air. The original recipe called for 3 cakes of yeast, but then, you use your homemade yeast to make you own new yeast, forever if you want to and never buy it, ever again! Add warm potato water, (that the potatoes were cooked in) cooled to barely warm.

Cover and set aside to rise till bubbly.

Meanwhile, as the yeast is rising, dry a couple of cups of cornmeal in a warm oven.

When the yeast is ready, start adding the cooled corn meal,
until it is stiff enough that you can roll it out like pie crust, about 1/8 inch thick.
Allow to dry, crumbling it up with your fingers or a fork several times as it dries. I think mine could have used a bit more cornmeal as it was still a little sticky.
When it was dry enough, I put it in the Magic Bullet and blended it into a coarse powder. (this was my own modification). As soon as I had some ready to use, I used her bread recipe that is a heirloom recipe from her grandmother and greatgrandmother,
and my own homemade yeast and this is the beautiful and very tasty result!
Oh, so good and I have almost a full quart of homemade yeast to use anytime I want! It did take longer for it to proof, and longer to rise, but my kitchen was cool too. But even so, I think the longer proofing and rising, made the bread that much tastier!! Oh yum!!


KentuckyFarmGirl said...

I read Chickens in the Road and want to try this also! I am so glad to see that yours turned out great!

I also love the Pioneer Woman's cookbook!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Lois said...

Wow, I can smell it from all the way down here by the Ohio River!I wouldn't use that much yeast in a long time, so.....if you want to make a buck or two, I'll buy your first package, for your baby sister, yes? You're also a good photographer, nice pictures.

Yvonne said...

Wow - I'm impressed!!! (And you thought I didn't read your blog anymore...right?)