How to make your last sachet of yeast last forever

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TimW

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Mar 31, 2020, 2:21:20 PM3/31/20
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Yeast being unobtainable in the UK atm, this is what I am doing. You may
need to adapt:

My last sachet of yeast went into a batch of dough of about 2kg, so I
keep back about 200g of dough at the weighing, dividing and shaping stage.

The 200g is made up to 400g with 100g flour and 100g water and left out
until it is bubbling and active, then covered and put in the fridge.

The day before I want to bake I take out my ferment, make it up to 800g
with equal flour and water, leave it out to ferment and get active.

Baking day I make up the dough as required on top of the ferment to
about 2kg, giving it a good few hours to ferment.

Repeat ad infinitum.

TW

graham

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Mar 31, 2020, 4:33:31 PM3/31/20
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I've been thinking of doing the same with a free sample I received
recently of Red Star Platinum Sourdough Yeast. It's apparently a blend
of yeast and SD additives/culture. It came from the USA and since I
haven't found a local source yet, I thought it would be worthwhile
culturing it.
I have plenty of yeast and a good SD culture already but it never hurts
to experiment.

Nyssa

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Apr 1, 2020, 9:48:03 AM4/1/20
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You're really making me feel guilty for having ordered
two one-pound bags of instant yeast in mid-February. They're
still sealed and safe in my freezer and should last me a
couple of years along with a partially used bag of active
dry yeast that I rarely use since I switched most of my
recipes to use the instant stuff.

My neighbor reported yesterday that the Army commissary she's
entitled to use was totally out of flour (among other things).
No word on whether or not yeast was still available.

I wish I could use a transporter beam to send you a yeast
care package to tide you over until things return to whatever
the new normal ends up being.

Good luck with your work-arounds. Do keep us up to date on
how they're working for you.

Nyssa, who has already baked bread and sandwich buns this
week, but already needs more sandwich buns





graham

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Apr 1, 2020, 11:06:23 AM4/1/20
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I saw it coming and stocked up on flour. It seems that most of the
shortage is due to new bakers having to find something with which to
occupy themselves.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/article-flour-mills-under-pressure-as-new-home-bakers-take-to-comfort-covid/

http://tiny.cc/otuamz

Nyssa

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Apr 2, 2020, 5:30:04 PM4/2/20
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This morning I made my first trek into town in three weeks
both to get my mail (danged bills!) and to pick up a few
things at the grocery store for myself and a couple of
neighbors.

No eggs at all. The whole refrigerated case was cleaned out.

No flour at all (including AP, Bread, and Self-rising) except
a few bags of an outrageously overpriced organic flour in
two pound bags plus a few boxes of cake flour and plenty of
corn meal.

I did manage to get buttermilk and whole milk. It turned
out the dairy aisle was the most dangerous because it seemed
like 80% of the people in the store were in that aisle. No
way anyone could keep 6 feet apart!

Most of the rest of what I purchased was fresh produce which
seemed to be in good supply.

So what's the situation elsewhere? I'm in SE VA, USA. in a
rural area.

Nyssa, who feels as though she's just returned from a
dangerous mission behind enemy lines

Peter Flynn

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Apr 7, 2020, 5:34:59 PM4/7/20
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On 02/04/2020 22:30, Nyssa wrote:
[...]
> So what's the situation elsewhere? I'm in SE VA, USA. in a
> rural area.

[Ireland, city]
I saw some of it coming but not all. I'm good for yeast (but as people
have pointed out elsewhere, that is never the problem: yeasts are
everywhere). The supermarkets had a week where some things were
unavailable — toilet rolls, notoriously; and flour — but it's all pretty
much back to normal again apart from some of the things that come from
the UK, which is having its own problems, but we were expecting that for
entirely non-COVID reasons: ie Brexit, so there are alternative
arrangements.

P

Nyssa

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Apr 8, 2020, 9:21:02 AM4/8/20
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Peter Flynn wrote:

> On 02/04/2020 22:30, Nyssa wrote:
> [...]
>> So what's the situation elsewhere? I'm in SE VA, USA. in
>> a rural area.
>
> [Ireland, city]
> I saw some of it coming but not all. I'm good for yeast
> (but as people have pointed out elsewhere, that is never
> the problem: yeasts are everywhere). The supermarkets had
> a week where some things were unavailable ? toilet rolls,
> notoriously; and flour ? but it's all pretty
> much back to normal again apart from some of the things
> that come from the UK, which is having its own problems,
> but we were expecting that for entirely non-COVID reasons:
> ie Brexit, so there are alternative arrangements.
>
> P

Sounds like you're doing pretty well, all things considered.

When I ventured in to town last week, the one thing that
I wanted that was missing was eggs. So I've been rationing
my use of eggs in baking to recipes that use only one or
two eggs until I can get a re-stock. No brioche for me!

I mentioned my lack of eggs to a neighbor's girlfriend,
and she came through for me yesterday with three dozen
eggs! She works and lives ~50 miles from here near a
large city, plus her workplace is next door to a large
chain grocery store. That's twice she's been able to
score some needed item for me that is in short supply
here in the boonies.

I'll be baking a batch of bread for her this weekend since
bread is the one item that is hard to find both here and
where she lives. Her son was laid off from his job, so
he's stuck at home needing the makings of meals, so a supply
of fresh bread will help her out. Only problem will be if
he gets hooked on my home-baked bread and won't eat the store
bought stuff anymore. lol

Nyssa, who is SO glad she had just done a big stock-up
before the supply problems and lockdowns began

Peter Flynn

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Apr 19, 2020, 5:20:12 PM4/19/20
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On 08/04/2020 14:21, Nyssa wrote:
[...]
> When I ventured in to town last week, the one thing that
> I wanted that was missing was eggs.

This baffles me. You can't hoard 'em, and hens are still laying at the
same rate. Maybe people are just eating more of them.

> I mentioned my lack of eggs to a neighbor's girlfriend,
> and she came through for me yesterday with three dozen
> eggs!

Excellent. I'm close to the countryside here, and there are people I
know raising ducks, so I can score duck eggs :-)

> [...] Only problem will be if he gets hooked on my home-baked bread
> and won't eat the store bought stuff anymore. lol

Someone else mentioned that. When we get back to normal, will anyone
want to eat factory-made bread any more?

Stay safe, people.

P

Peter Flynn

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May 8, 2020, 6:50:11 AM5/8/20
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On 31/03/2020 19:21, TimW wrote:
> Yeast being unobtainable in the UK atm, this is what I am doing. You may
> need to adapt:

Apparently manufacturing dried yeast is not a process that can be
expanded or speeded up without huge retooling costs, so Allinsons and
other makers are just still making the quantities they always did. Quite
why that means it has become unobtainable is a mystery.

I have 2 × 7g sachets left, so I want to experiment with this, but
(a) I'm using a bread machine because of arthritis
(b) I'm not starting from a 2Kg batch of dough.

> My last sachet of yeast went into a batch of dough of about 2kg, so I
> keep back about 200g of dough at the weighing, dividing and shaping
> stage.

I mixed ¼tsp dried yeast with 250ml lukewarm water and 200g plain flour.
left it overnight at room temperature under clingfilm, and this morning
it had risen nicely to about 2× original size.

So I think I have roughly what you describe above, just that it was
mixed and risen independently, not as part of a loaf. AFAICS this is
basically a biga.

> The 200g is made up to 400g with 100g flour and 100g water and left
> out until it is bubbling and active, then covered and put in the
> fridge.

That will be my next stage tonight. But I ultimately need a 700g mix to
put in the machine, not 2Kg, so I will make this up to 300g with 50g
flour and 50ml water.

> The day before I want to bake I take out my ferment, make it up to
> 800g with equal flour and water, leave it out to ferment and get
> active.

Do that tomorrow morning, making it up to 500g with 100g flour and 100ml
water.

> Baking day I make up the dough as required on top of the ferment to
> about 2kg, giving it a good few hours to ferment.

Tomorrow night, make it up to 700g and let the machine take over overnight.

> Repeat ad infinitum.

What could possibly go wrong?™ :-)

Peter

Peter Flynn

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May 9, 2020, 6:32:21 PM5/9/20
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On 08/05/2020 11:50, Peter Flynn wrote:
> I mixed ¼tsp dried yeast with 250ml lukewarm water and 200g plain flour.
> left it overnight at room temperature under clingfilm, and this morning
> it had risen nicely to about 2× original size.
>
> So I think I have roughly what you describe above, just that it was
> mixed and risen independently, not as part of a loaf. AFAICS this is
> basically a biga.

It worked, and I was astonished that I seem to have got it roughly right :-)

Took half the preferment (ie 100g) and made it up to 800g with 350g
flour and 350ml water. Left it outside (it was warm) and it rose nicely.
Took 100g of it and added it back to the preferment, which went back in
the fridge for another day.

But I didn't think to ask THE missing question until too late: after all
the cutting and pasting of preferment, when exactly are you supposed to
add all the other ingredients in the recipe for a loaf (eg sugar, salt,
oil, etc)?

Presumably NOT before you take out the 100g to add back to the
preferment, because that would contaminate it. But to do so after would
mean knocking back the second rise in order to get it all mixed in. It's
like those web pages "fixing" a technical problem that explain
everything except the one most important bit :-)

But that's what I did anyway, and I didn't think it would rise yet again
but it did, and I used the Bake program for 50 mins and got a very nice
if rather low-slung ciabatta-type loaf, which is what I was aiming for
(the texture, not the low height).

I think what I should have done is left that last rise for longer, and
put it in the actual baking tin after adding the oil and sugar and salt,
rather than in a bowl, so I wouldn't have to manipulate it to shovel it
into the tin.

But hey, it worked, and I am back to 200g of preferment in the fridge
for Monday. Thank you to everyone who helped. Once I've done it a few
times and got the hang of it I'll post a summary.

Peter


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