Author Topic: Old tech bread  (Read 445 times)

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Offline Mesophilic

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Old tech bread
« on: November 28, 2019, 02:37:43 pm »
Any of you guys make breads from non modern methods?  Maybe this should be in the cooking sub forum, but it's more conceptual and not really recipe orientated.

I used to be a homebrewer and for about 10 years before I quit drinking, made amazing adult beverages.  Had my own yeast ranch, worked for a university Bio Chem deprtment, and I have an AoS in culinary arts....figured how hard could it be to make bread without modern yeast?

I've been experimenting and not having good success.  My fisrt attempts at collecting wild yeast ended miseably with a stinky dough that wouldn't rise after a couple of days.

Tried making a starter with just flour and water, got no where with that.   Tried flour, water, and a little malted wheat for a sugar kick and still nothing came of it.  That second attmept seemed to ferment, not the clean fermentation of a good batch of beer but a stinky sour fermenation, so thought maybe I fjnallh had a sour dough starter.  Bread still wouldn't rise after two days.

Third attempt was essentially making a small batch of beer.  Made up a mash, extracted the wort, etc.  Put it jn a mason jar with a cheesecloth covering.  Took a while and eventually fermented...again stinky and sour.  Whatever grew in it still wouldn't raise a batch of dough.

Tried a fourth attempt at the beer starter method but dropped in some grapes.  I've heard that the white film sometimes found on grapes is wild yeast.  Still a no go.

So for a control, I made other batch of the beer, and added a little commercial ale yeast.  It fermented as expected,  with a nice clean smell.   Made a batch of dough and it rose, albeit much slower than commercial bakers yeast, and the bread turned out fine.

Anyone else experiment with breads? Any input?  This is really frustrating.
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline Stoker

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2019, 04:22:04 pm »
One does not yeast to make bread. Just makes it go faster.
Thanks Leroy
Bacon is food DUCT tape - Cipriano

Offline Del the cat

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2019, 04:41:56 pm »
I've used the pulp left from making plum wine to make lovely fruit buns... but I probably used wine yeast to make that.
I make cider most years with no added yeast... just pulped and squeezed apples. I expect dregs from the cider when it's racked off would probably work.
Del
Health warning, these posts may contain traces of nut.

Offline Mesophilic

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2019, 06:38:32 pm »
Del, is the cider naturally fermented?  No commercial yeast? 

If it is spontaneously fermented, maybe that's the route I need to go.

I'm also thinking about geeking out, make up some plates and see if I can isolate some wild yeast.  I know it's not something the ancestors would've done, but may eliminate some frustration.
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2019, 11:25:12 pm »
Maybe take a look at the Irish soda bread recipes.  Also, try making several small batters, and set them outside in warm places to capture some wild yeasts that aren't too sour.  Sooner or later, you should catch a good one.  It may be too dry in your area, though.  That reminds me, I have to feed my starters.  King Arthur Flour sell a starter they claim descends from a New England starter that is very old, I.e., "for generations"!  Also, Goldrush starter is descended from the California gold rush days of the 1800's.
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Mesophilic

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2019, 11:46:55 am »
How do you feed your starters?

In the past, with starters I've been given or purchased, I fed them with a mixture of regular flour and malted wheat or barley flour...as the malted grain has amylase enzymes to break down starches in to sugars usable by the microbes.  Had pretty good success this way.

Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline Del the cat

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2019, 01:13:09 pm »
Del, is the cider naturally fermented?  No commercial yeast? 

If it is spontaneously fermented, maybe that's the route I need to go.

I'm also thinking about geeking out, make up some plates and see if I can isolate some wild yeast.  I know it's not something the ancestors would've done, but may eliminate some frustration.
Yeah, the cider is nothing but apples. I pick 'em up, rinse 'em, quarter 'em, run them through the scratter and press than ito demijohns... nothing added.
here's a vid' :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHVlsD1K7fw

Del
Health warning, these posts may contain traces of nut.

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2019, 11:14:25 pm »
I use whole grain wheat flour, usually King Arthur, and bottled spring water.  Also, have a buckwheat starter that I hope is still vibrant.  I store them in the fridge, should feed them every couple weeks to keep them "fresh".  If I am baking a lot, I feed them every time I use them.  I am relearning how to bake a lot of stuff because my wife can't have wheat based products on the keto diet.
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline burtonridr

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2019, 03:25:00 pm »
This is just going off of what I have read from historical journals written by pioneers, trappers, explorers, etc. But your last attempt sounds about right. I seem to remember, for example, a batch of sour dough would be prepared the night before being used, allowing it to sit near a woodstove overnight. When I have read accounts of prepping dough for baking I got the impression that it would take longer to rise than modern commercial yeast from packets.

This is something I have wanted to try for a while now, I'm interested in hearing how things progress.

Fun fact, people in the alaskan bush have used sour dough starter to tan caribou leather.  :OK
Offgrid mtn living

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2019, 12:26:33 am »
A starter only bread will raise nicely over night,  maybe too much, pancakes do very well on the counter!  The "modern" yeast does speed up the rise time, probably due to strength of numbers!  I use both methods.  There are a lot of recipes out there and plenty of opinions, too!  I usually double the amount of starter for a starter only recipe.
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Mesophilic

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2019, 08:22:05 pm »
Well, I think for now I'm going back to established starters.  Kind of like making a bow from a tree, I was hoping to start from scratch with some wild yeast.  I'll give it a other shot when the weather warms up.  Might do up some agar plates to take some of the guesswork out of it.
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2019, 12:13:02 am »
I can send you enough starter to get going again - one whole wheat and one buckwheat - no guarantees, except they are real!  Got to treat them with TLC, though. Pm me an address!.
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry

Offline Strelets

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2019, 11:24:35 am »
Wine, baker's and brewer's yeast (at least the top-fermenting ale yeasts) are one and the same species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It occurs wild as the bloom on the skin of grapes and other fruits. It is believed that baker's and brewer's yeast originated from wild S. cerevisiae, perhaps from fruit added to the wort extracted from  malted barley or wheat. The use of brewer's yeast to leaven bread certainly goes back many centuries and quite possibly millennia, right back to the start of the cultivation of barley and wheat. Some archaeologists have suggested that grain cultivation originated to provide malt for brewing, rather than for bread or porridge. So, using brewer's or baker's yeast would be entirely authentic if you want to make "old tech bread".

Offline Mesophilic

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2019, 07:59:28 pm »
Wine, baker's and brewer's yeast (at least the top-fermenting ale yeasts) are one and the same species, Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It occurs wild as the bloom on the skin of grapes and other fruits. It is believed that baker's and brewer's yeast originated from wild S. cerevisiae, perhaps from fruit added to the wort extracted from  malted barley or wheat. The use of brewer's yeast to leaven bread certainly goes back many centuries and quite possibly millennia, right back to the start of the cultivation of barley and wheat. Some archaeologists have suggested that grain cultivation originated to provide malt for brewing, rather than for bread or porridge. So, using brewer's or baker's yeast would be entirely authentic if you want to make "old tech bread".

For the scope of my experimentation,  I wanted to collect wild S. cerevisiae, like one would have had to do way way back in the day.   Maybe you came over during colonial times and the captain of the boat wouldn't share his ale for you to collect yeast.  Maybe your bronze or stoneage village was plundered and burned and you have to start all over.

I don't know why I need to do these things,  but it's along the same lines of why I save fats from cooking to make homemade soap.  Once I get the itch, it's pretty much OCD until I either succeed or throw in the towel in failure.

I did make a sour dough starter over the course of this past week using ale yeast.  Baked some bread, and my 8 year old says "mommy, you have to try this, it actually tastes like what it's supposed to taste like".  I guess everyone was getting sick of my experiments  >:(
« Last Edit: December 13, 2019, 08:37:27 am by Mesophilic »
Trying is the first step to failure
-Homer Simpson-

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: Old tech bread
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2019, 01:18:07 am »
Here's to the. 8 year old!  Starting over from scratch is a good thing to know!  Here's hoping it doesn't come down to that!  Keeping the old skills alive is important, in all areas of technology!  Just making a fire can be a life saver, or collecting water to drink!  MAking bread raise is a leaps and bounds jump!
Hawkdancer
Life is far too serious to be taken that way!
Jerry