Fermented fruit water

Am I alone in making yeasted water with fruit? I came across this on the net and now have lots of jars with unspeakable looking contents! However, it is marvellous for feeding the starter and also making the final dough. The Kilner jars pop as I open the lids because of the gas. I’ve got a beetroot one and a pear and an apple. Suppose it’s similar to using beer in bread. The oven spring on these loaves is phenomenal too.


Fay-this sounds interesting. How did you make the water? Thanks Phyllis

Dear Phyllis,
By filling a jar with chopped fruit: windfall apples and pears mostly, but it also works with vegetable peelings. Top up with water and seal the lid, then leave to ferment until you can see activity in the jar. This can be anything from a few days to a week or more. I think it depends on ambient temperature. Anyway, when it’s obviously fermenting you can use it to feed the starter and also make the dough.

Fay-thank you for the quick response. Will let you know how I do. Phyllis

Yes, please tell me how you get on.

Fay, Thanks for the Ideas. I have been baking bread for 20+ years, my introduction to Breadtopia and articles like yours have taken me to a level of baking that I did not know existed. Thanks to you my kefir has yet another use, though I don’t think ill feed my starter…it is prone to explosions as it is.

Looking forwared to making NoKnead using the fermented water in the recipe.

Tkx again.


Hi Chuck,
Yes, it’s great to share tips with other ‘addicts’! The fermented fruit water has become my regular method now and I have lots of them bubbling away. Another thing I do is when I strain my homemade yoghurt I use the whey too in the bread. And today I fed my starter with coconut water. I love living on the edge!

There’s a fabulous book called The Handmade Loaf where Dan Lepard travels eastern European etc villages and explores all the different liquids and grains etc that they use. Traditionally these were used because of the local produce… grapes or apples or whatever. Sooooo interesting

Thanks Kate, I will have to get hold of it. Yes, it is very interesting to learn about different cultures’ techniques and the history of baking bread. I love Michael Pollan’s work too. His series of programmes on fermentation are brilliant (on Netflix). Fay

In addition to fruity water, you can use whey (if you make your own yogurt), water that you’ve boiled potatoes in, & water that that is leftover when/if you pressure cook/steam certain vegetables (you want to be picky here based on flavor of the liquid) or apples if making applesauce, etc. All these will give your loaf a great spring.

I am a true novice when it comes to bread making. I am an expert in cooking, but not baking or bread making. I started making my own bread because I have to stay away from regular white flour, so I am using einkorn, spelt and rhy/pumpernickel. I’ve had some success, but I’ve never heard of using fermented fruit water. I love this site and have tried his recipes. I did try kefir one time successfully. I’m not a huge fan of kombuchu but what else would you use the fruit water for? Do you only use the starter made with the fermented water? Do you still add yeast? I made rye with a starter and it was ok. Too sour for me.
I only make bread every couple weeks. I don’t eat a lot of it anyway. I’ll need to check out the other suggestions in this feed. Thanks Fay!

Adding to this thread the results of a recent experiment using the leftover liquid whey from making cheese in two loaves of sourdough bread. 1 cup per loaf.

My husband was the cheesemaker, not me, but I can say we started with a gallon of whole milk and ended up with maybe a quart of ricotta and three quarts of liquid whey.

I used 500g flour (50% whole grain rye in one loaf and 50% whole grain kamut in the other)
260g liquid whey
130g water
2 tsp salt (usually I use 1.5 tsp. I can taste the difference and like it, but will probably drop back down for others in the house)
150g starter (twice my normal amount)

The fermentation was quite slow but it eventually got going and the loaves turned out quite delicious. The crumb is very tender and springy.

Hi Fay,
I have been baking with what I call yeast water for about 1.5 years. It was created using organic raisins and fed regularly with whatever fruit, mostly apples, is around. To feed it I strain out the old fruit, take what I need for baking leaving some of the yeast water as a seed culture, put that back in the bale top mason jar without a rubber seal that is used as a storage vessel, add new fruit, and top off with water. This is left on the counter for a few hours to ferment and then stuck in the fridge right beside my flour starter until the next time to bake. Before mixing dough the yeast water is taken out and allowed to come up to room temperature.
I like to use yeast water because it makes for a lighter whole grain loaf plus adding a new demention to the flavor. Usually it is used in conjunction with a flour starter but I have used just the yeast water as the leavening agent. One of my favorites is a loaf using millet porridge, white whole wheat and spelt that uses both the yeast water and my flour starter.

Have fun with yours,

The above mentioned bread made yesterday. It is as good as remembered.

Looks beautiful! So, I tried a little googling first so as to not ask obvious questions, and I came across this lovely article where the baker talks of making music from the DNA sequence of her yeasts.

And go figure, I still have some basic questions lol

About how much of the jar is filled with fruit pieces or raisins?
The article above has the lid on tight and you mention no rubber seal…so loose works too, or did I misunderstand?
According to this article, to start things, you need the fruit water on the counter a week before it’s ready. Does that sound right?
Once developed, your method is to refresh the fruit, let it sit on counter for a bit and then store your fruit water in the fridge. Can it store more than a week? Is there any way to know if it’s run out of food / gone bad / needs new fruit? Smell?
Can the yeasts be plentiful after refreshing in just a day or two in the fridge? i.e. if my baking is every few days, is the fridge going to slow things down too much? (No worries if your answer is: go experiment with that to find out!)

Thank you, Stu!

The picture is of the jar taken out of storage so you can see the amount of apples I use.
As with most if not all fermentation their is carbon dioxide excreted by the yeast which is why I don’t use a tight lid. If you do use a tight lid maybe there will be a little more effervescence than I get, an experiment worth trying, but take care not to create too much pressure.
When I read about this technique it was suggested to use the organic raisins because they are high in wild yeast. A good handful of raisins were put in the jar and it was filled halfway, when the raisins started to float being suspended by bubbles the culture was growing and the jar could be filled with more water. If I remember correctly it took about five days to get a strong culture.
I think it could last longer than a week because the fermentation is slowed by rhe cold temperature but I very seldom keep it much longer. When I strain out the fruit it has usually gone mushy and a little brown.
A note on my timing. About two hours before anything is mixed the yeast water and my flour starter is pulled put of the fridge to start warming up. Then a leaven build is done with 50g flour starter, 84g warm water(not the yeast water), and 120g flour. This is a 70% hydration which is also what the starter is kept at. After the mass has doubled and is good and bubbly depending on temp three to four hours the dough is mixed using the yeast water as the hydrating liquid. Keep in mind that I make a smaller loaf than most people with 350g total flour not including that in the starter so if you are making a larger loaf the leaven build might have to be increased. Right after the dough is mixed fruit is added to the yeast water and the jar is topped off and left on the counter until the dough is ready to be formed, usually three or four hours then put in the fridge.
I hope this helps.

PS. I forgot to mention that I keep the yeast water in a pint jar but am sure you could use a bigger one if you want to make more or larger loaves.

PPS.I keep forgetting stuff. The reason why I keep refreshing instead of starting over, which is not that hard if you want to go that route, is that I usually don’t know that far in advance when or what I’m going to make so it is nice to have the yeast water available on short notice. As far as losing flavor that might be but I can tell you that when the fruit is changed I can taste a difference. One of my favorites is peach. I have not tried using things other than fruit but can see an experiment in the future. Possibly using some of the yeast water as a seed culture and fermenting two jars side by side, one with the normal fruit, the other with something else (poblano peppers come to mind), and baking two loaves to see if there is a difference in baking qualities and taste.

Thank you so much for all the answers to my questions! Also your baking process outline - nice anticipation of questions I’d have five days from now. I hope :slight_smile:

I have sulfer dioxide covered non-organic raisins, and dates that have nothing on them but are also non-organic. I’m trying these first to see what happens, since I have them in stock anyway.

I remembered I have fermenting lids so i dug them out – wide mouth jar, so it’s 2 large experiments.

Here’s is a pic, day 1.

Thank you again!

Your welcome! I am curious to see the comparison between the two and especially if the sulfur dioxide makes a big difference.

I overheard this conversation from another room last night.

Husband: “What’s Mom doing now?”

Daughter: “She’s rotting things in jars.”



LOL. If you really want to freak them out start making your own sauerkraut. That can raise a bit of a smell.