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Natural Yeast?

Sheepy sent me a link to a radio program that talked about natural yeast, something I’ve never heard of before. (Self-Reliant Living by Preparedness Radio hopefully the link will be active for a little while. I’ve heard that the owners of the site don’t always leave it up for free, so download the program if you don’t have 90 minutes to listen to it.)

Sheepy knows I can’t eat wheat because I’m gluten intolerant, but there are some people like me who can eat bread made with this kind of yeast.

It sounded so interesting that I listened to the 90 minute program the next day.

By that evening I had contacted the author of the book and picked up a natural yeast start. It’s sitting on my counter growing. Apparently this strain of yeast is about 200 years old. That’s old.

This is what it looks like this morning.
Nice and bubbly, just like it is supposed to look.

Natural yeast is very different from quick-rise yeasts that you buy in the grocery store. The way it acts on wheat is different, too. Apparently there have a been a few university studies done that show that this breads made with this type of yeast do an amazing job controlling your glycemic index. That’s really important to Sheepy since her hubby has diabetes.

Caleb Warnock has a blog here. He doesn’t talk much about natural yeast on his blog, but he has some good ideas about gardening and being more self reliant. He’s also an authro and hosts writing workshops and classes in our area. Nice guy, too!

I bought a copy of his book from him last night, too, which he graciously signed. It’s called the Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency. It’s a great introduction to self-sufficiency skills, it doesn’t go into too much depth, but gives some good ideas on how to begin to grow gardens, keep chickens, and use natural yeast.

I haven’t explored the Original Fast Foods site much at all, but Mr. Warnock gives their site as a reference in his book. The link to a discussion about the history of quick rise yeast can be found here.

For the next few days I’ll leave my start on the counter, feed it, and watch it grow. If I can get a little more comfortable with the whole idea of using 1 1/2 cups of yeast starter in a batch of bread, then I’ll give it a try next week and let you know how it goes.

Sheepy tried it. Her first batch of bread was great! But the next four batches went to the chickens (sad day!) So my job is to give this stuff a try and keep a ‘lab notebook’ (aka blog) to chronicle the successes and failures of using it.

Here is a video I found about starting your own yeast from raisins:

Sheepy told me she found a site somewhere on the internet that showed a woman who made all sorts of bread from different fruit starts. In the interview listed above Mr. Warnock mentions that the white-ish film on the outside of grapes and other fruits is yeast, so it makes sense (sort of) that you can grow yeast starts from fruit. Here’s a blog I found that seems to show the process Sheepy was telling me about. Bread and Original Yeast. I’ve got alot of exploring and reading to do on that site!

If you’ve used this type of starter, please comment below and share some links! I’m sure there are great sites tucked in hidden spots on the internet that I haven’t found yet.

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