How to make natural yeast for baking sounds like a crazy adventure. I guess in all reality you might say you are capturing the natural yeast. Many people have never heard of this concept and it is a little amazing this can be done.
How to make natural yeast
You may have never heard of natural yeast, but I am sure you have heard of sourdough starter. They are both essentially the same. The sourdough yeast just has well, a sour taste.
Maybe you have heard how people many years ago would sleep with their starters. They needed to keep them warm so the starter wouldn’t die.
They also gave starts to their children and their neighbors. A sourdough starter was a precious gift. They needed this starter to survive. To bake their breads, pancakes and other things to feed their families.
Meet Bubbles – my starter
Meet Bubbles my natural yeast start. I have to admit this may be Bubbles #9 because I forget to feed them in the back of my refrigerator and they die. But no worries they are easy to get started again. And if you don’t want to start over there is a way to preserve your original.
Meet Bubbles – my starter
You will be amazed when you find out how easy it is to make your own start of natural yeast. The first thing you need is a large canning jar. I like to use a big jar because I like to have enough when I bake. Especially when I plan on making pancakes. They are awesome.
Once you get your large jar make sure it is clean. Take one cup of warm water. (If you have chlorine in your water let it set on the counter over night so the chlorine can evaporate out.)
Step by step instructions
Pour your one cup of warm water into your jar. Pour one cup of flour into your jar and stir it with a wooden spoon or a spatula. It may be a little lumpy but that is ok.
Take a piece of cheese cloth or a clean cloth and put it over the top and secure the cloth in place with a rubber band. Put it in a warm place in your kitchen and wait 24 hours.
It should start to grow and double in size. When your start is bubbly and healthy you can use it or if you need more you can feed it again. It will have water that separates from the yeast mixture. Just pour that water off. If you don’t get all the water dumped off it is ok.
You should try to increase slowly but you can add equal parts of water and flour to your yeast mixture. If you need to you can add 3 cups flour to 3 cups water as long as you have 1 cup of yeast starter in your jar already.
I have found at times it takes longer for your yeast to grow than other times. I think this depends on the temperature of the room you have it growing in.
Storing your natural yeast when not in use.
I think the main thing you need to remember is if you just want a natural tasting yeast, put it in the refrigerator when you are not using it. When you are using it regularly you can keep it out on the cabinet so it will continue to grow as you feed it and if it is in a warm place.
If you want a sourdough yeast just leave it on the cabinet longer so that it starts to ferment and smells sour.
TIP: This is an important tip to remember. If you are making cheese do not leave your starter out. It may invade your yeast starter and make it taste, well I think yucky!!
If you are in a hurry to get your yeast started and growing well you can add some whole grapes to it. You can rinse your grapes if you need to but the white film you see on your grapes is the yeast itself. So don’t scrub those grapes. Drop them into your bottle of yeast and watch it grow.
How to preserve your starter
Also something else to keep in mind. By putting a thin layer of starter onto a piece of saran wrap and allowing it to dry. This is a great way to preserve your yeast start for another time or to give to a friend.
There are lots of fun recipes you can try with your new found starter. Like I said mine is named Bubbles. When I gave her a name it helped me remember to keep her fed. Like a new pet!
Good luck with your natural yeast adventure. Please feel free to share what you learn along the way. Share with a friend and you can take this adventure together.