Thursday, May 29, 2014

A lifetime supply of FREE yeast!! How to feed your yeast starter

My favorite part of making bread, gooey cinnamon rolls, or any other carbo-licious treat is seeing the yeast work to fluff up the dough.
Bread dough before rising with natural yeast

Bread dough after rising with natural yeast
Store bought (lab created) yeast is not good for you AND expensive!  A good natural yeast starter will last you generations ... and it's FREE.  (Click here if you need to start one from scratch)

As long as you feed your starter you will have free yeast.  If you keep your yeast starter in the refrigerator this will be every 2-3 days.  Here is how:

Once you pull out what you need for your recipe (1/2 cup for every 4-5 cups of flour) you will need to feed your starter.  It is an equal ratio of one part starter, one part filtered water, and one part flour.

I find it easier to put the starter in a measuring cup, then add an equal amount of filtered water and stir until combined.

Then pour the mixture back into the jar an add the flour.  Then stir to combine.   Move your market to mark where your starter is.   When it has bubbled and risen it is ready for use again.  When my yeast was running low I just feed it without using it for a recipe.

Here I had 1/4 cup of yeast left after I took out what I needed.  I added the 1/4 cup of water then poured it back into the jar.



I then added a 1/4 cup of flour.   And remarked my jar.

A few days later when my yeast was ready to feed again I added 3/4 cup water, then 3/4 cup flour.  I moved half of the starter to a clean jar and gave it to a friend :)

9 comments:

  1. How long can you go without feeding it? In the case if vactions and such.

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    1. 3 days is the longest I've gone without feeding it. When I go on vacation I give the jar and some flour to a friend and ask them to feed it for me :)

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    2. According to "Vintage Remedies Guide to Bread" by Jessie Hawkins, refrigerated starter can be fed 1-2 times a month. You just have to give it 1-2 days before baking with it. It can also be dried and turned into flakes which are then reconstituted or even frozen.

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    3. Awesome info Sandi - Thanks for sharing :)

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  2. If we don't keep the yeast in the refrigerator how often do we feed it. And if the liquid separates does that mean it has gone bad?

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    1. If there is a little liquid on top just pour it off and feed. If it's kept on the counter you will eventually turn your starter into a sourdough starter. Depending on the temperature in your house I'd assume every 12 - 24 hours you'll have to feed it :)

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  3. Can this be used in a bread machine?

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    1. This yeast takes 6-12 hours to properly rise your dough. If you can increase the rise times on your bread machine then yes it can, however most machines are hard coded for a 1-2 hour rise so they wouldn't allow for a proper rise.

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  4. I keep at least one cup reserved everyday and feed it one cup of flour and 1/2-3/4 cup filtered water, depending on how thin or thick I like it. I like mine a little bit thicker. It has to be fed everyday, but if you forget to feed it that night you can do it right away the next morning and it should be fine. I always smell it first to make sure it smells alright. You can tell if it's gone bad. I store two extra batches in the fridge just in case I get too busy and let mother one one the counter to bad. That way I've always got a back up starter. You have to feed it like normal before you refrigerate it. I keep mine in the fridge for up to a month. But I like to rotate the 3 I have going. I give away a lot of sourdough starter so it doesn't go to waste. If you don't want to use it very often, feed one cup flour and 3/4 cup water to one cup starter and put it away into your fridge and then take it out to thaw to room temperature for about 3-4 hours then stir and feed. It will begin to bubble quickly and you'll see that your back in business and it's ready to use.

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