This is my starter (leaven) made from organic prune yeast.
I wanted to make it from raisins as it is meant to be easier but I couldn’t find raisins without oil-coating. I checked a number of shops and asked around a couple of organic shops… but no luck. So I used prunes instead.
When you use prunes (or any other dried fruit), make sure it doesn’t contain preservative nor oil. Check the ingredients at the back of the package. If they’re oil-coated, it’s usually indicated as “vegetable oil” or “sunflower oil”.
First I make prune yeast extract by adding 225g of water and 75g of prunes (without oil coating and preservative) [water 3: prunes 1] * in a sterilized glass jar. * I used to put [prunes 3 : water1] on this post by mistake. I apologise to those of you who tried my method.
I leave it in a warm place for 3 to 10 days (it depends on ambient temperature), shaking it a little and opening the lid every morning. (I check the smell as well.)After a few days you will notice the smell changes and gas coming out like when you open a beer bottle. It’s nearly there!
When it’s ready (the yeast has developed) you will see all of your prunes (or raisins) float in the water with tiny bubbles on top. It should smell a little like a sweet wine.
Once I reach this stage I leave my jar for one more day at room temperature to make sure it’s working then keep it in refrigerator.
Once you have your yeast extract you can make your starter. There are a few methods to do this but here is an easy one.
You will need
- 2x 50g of yeast extract
- 50g of whole meal flour
- 2x 50g of high grade (strong) white flour
- 50g of water
Day 1 : Mix 50g of the yeast extract and 50g of whole meal flour together in a large jar (about 2l). Leave it in a warm place until the mixture doubles in size. Then keep it in the refrigerator.
Day 2 : Add 50g of the yeast extract and 50g of high grade flour into the jar and mix. Leave it in a warm place until the mixture doubles in size, then keep it in the refrigerator.
Day 3 : Add 50g of water and 50g of high grade flour into the jar and mix. Leave it in a warm place until the mixture doubles in size, then keep it in the refrigerator. *when you keep your starter in refrigerator, you should repeat Day 2 step every a few days (or when you use the starter).
Every time I mix the mixture I mark the volume of the contents by sticking a piece of paper on the jar, that way it’s easy to see when the mixture doubles in size.
You might notice that the ratio of flour to liquid is it is always 1:1.
Instead of using water in the last step, you can use more of the yeast extract to make your starter stronger. And of course, you can use your choice of flour. One more thing, you can keep maki
Now the starter is ready for baking bread!
You can use yeast extract for baking bread if you wish but I prefer using the starter as it’s much more stable and takes less time to ferment.
There are many uses for this yeast extract – I will try to make lots of yummy things using it and will post the recipes!