You just aren't looking in the right place!

Its just dawned on me that apart from the wild yeast route that people are turning to in our life of lockdown one can buy “commercial yeast” and its staring at us in the face. I just had a lightbulb moment and surprised it took me so long (I guess because I only use wild yeast) but I once experimented using this product with great results.

There is a probiotic called S. Balardii. It is actually a yeast with probiotic benefits. Its full name is Saccharomyces boulardii and was once thought to be a different species to S. Cerevisiae aka Saccharomyces cerevisiae aka bakers yeast. However it is so similar it is now classed as a sub species of S. Cerevisiae which makes it almost identical to bakers yeast!

However you won’t find it in your regular store or supermarket but you will find it in a lot of pharmacies or health food shops. Don’t know what brands are available to you where you live but in the UK this one is easily available.

Granted it is more expensive than your regular bakers yeast but you don’t need a lot. One capsule is enough for a poolish and given time it’ll raise a loaf. You won’t find any difference to when using regular yeast poolish style.

Another good idea is to use Kefir. Fermented milk made from kefir grains. Like a sourdough starter it is symbiotic and has yeast and bacteria. You need to buy one that is live and made from “grains”. If it doesn’t say fermented using grains then don’t use it. Simply make a preferment using kefir and flour and once its risen and bubble like a sponge its ready to use. This brand has been tried and tested by me - works a charm. If you brew your own then you’re good to go.


Now you’re tempting me to see if I can leaven a dough with my dog’s probiotic powder :slight_smile:

Fruit yeast water is also a totally sustainable source of yeast. After the initial population growth that comes from the skins of dried fruit, you can feed it sliced apple or something easier to come by. I don’t even make a preferment. Just fizzy yeast water into flour and salt = bread

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:slightly_smiling_face: now that would be an interesting experiment. If its a yeast probiotic then can’t see why it wouldn’t work. And I wonder what makes them a dog probiotic. Do they use the same yeast and just package it for dogs or do they use a different kind? Might have to turn them into some kind of doggie treat though. I think your dog is going to dine well!

And talking of yeast water I do have one ongoing in my fridge. I’ve heard of putting it straight in the dough swapping some of the liquid for yeast water but my method is to do a preferment. I guess I feel better when doing hit this way and the YW has proved itself. Often its been sitting in the fridge for a while and I like to think the preferment is a good prep to get them lively and raring to go for the final dough.

Have you tried Hamelman’s Swiss Farmhouse bread leavened with Yeast Water? I highly recommend it!

Is the recipe in Hamelman’s “Bread”?

I read the label of the dog’s probiotic – oops, I will NOT be wasting flour on that. It’s got a lot of mystery animal protein in it. I could make him treats, but he’d probably still prefer a little piece of sourdough lol.

Yes. Its on pages 320-322 (at least in my print). Such a lovely recipe. It starts with making a yeast water but if you already have one to go then you can start with the first build. I haven’t met anyone who’s tried it who doesn’t like it. One of my all time favourites I return to often.

Lol… Don’t think you should try it. It seems your dog is treated to only the very best!

I haven’t had yeast water for a while, but I will in 5 days lol. I’ve got untreated apricots. Let the substitutions begin.

The dog lives a good life indeed :slight_smile:

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Looking forward!

I’ve made a loaf of Hamelman’s yeast water bread with grape yeast water. The bread had raisins and walnuts in it and it had a really wonderful flavour that must have been from the grape yeast water. The resultant bread definitely had more of a fruity flavour than any other raisin walnut bread that I’ve made. The recipe I followed did use a preferment made of the yeast water and flour that was later added to the dough as you would a sourdough levain.

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It is a wonderful bread isn’t it! A fascinating process with delicious results. Yeast Water does have its own characteristics which makes it unique and well worth being part of your leavening arsenal. Glad you enjoyed it.

What’s the thinking about starting with any kind of living yeast (not nutritional yeast) and naturally introducing ambient yeasts as we leave the lid not-quite-closed on the jar? I’ve had others say to me that, over time, the levain you have becomes more and more what’s in the air around the place where the starter is left and less what you started with. I’m not sure I see this, since the yeast you start with has a head start in establishing itself.

When you say “any kind of living yeast” which kind are you thinking? And what is the purpose of having other yeast taking over if you have the any kind in the first place?

In yeast water it is yeast growing on the fruit naturally “taking over if you will” and its kept going like a sourdough starter.

The purpose of my original comment was to propagate the yeast around us, be it in a product you didn’t know was yeast or capturing wild yeast, to make bread. Once you have yeast its easy to keep going. I would think the ones with a stronghold have the odds on their side but overtime certainly it can be affected by the environment depending of a few factors.

Yeah. I was asking what your thinking (or the thinking of others) was about instant/Rapid-rise/regular active yeast/levain obtained from someone somewhere.

There are people in my area who are insistent that they not have any levain that has yeast from any sources other than what’s in the air in the city where we live. Maybe a bit extreme, but there are purests everywhere.

Some people are purists and will just start out with flour and water to make a sourdough starter. Others claim that if you start one with yeast then over time it will become a sourdough starter as it picks up cultures from the flour and environment. So yes, you can obtain some yeast and keep it going in a medium of flour and water. See for yourself what happens over time and if the flavour changes.

You can also do the old dough method of making a dough with yeast and keeping some dough back as a starter for the next bake. Just keep it in the fridge and either use it or feed it within 3 days.