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How to Make Yeast Water Starter and Yeast Water Bread

This recipe gives you an easy alternative starter if you have struggled with making a sourdough starter or can't find any packaged yeast at your local grocery store.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Starter Fermentation Time8 d
Total Time8 d 45 mins
Course: Breads
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: Yeast Water, Yeast Water Bread, Yeast Water Starter
Servings: 3 starters
Author: Mary's Nest

Equipment

  • 32-ounce bottle or jar with lid

Ingredients

First Yeast Water Feeding

  • 2 Dates Other dried fruit can be substituted, such as 2 figs, a handful of raisins, etc. Fresh fruit may also be used. Apples, grapes, or berries work best. You will need to fill the bottle or jar a quarter of the way full if using fresh fruit.
  • 1/4 cup Sugar White sugar or dried whole cane juice (Sucanat) can be used.
  • 2 cups Water, preferably filtered

Second Yeast Water Feeding

  • 1 Date Other dried fruit can be substituted, such as 1 fig, a tablespoon of raisins, etc. Fresh fruit may also be used. Apples, grapes, or berries work best. You will need to fill a bottle or jar an eighth of the way full if using fresh fruit.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Sugar White sugar or dried whole cane juice (Sucanat) can be used.
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 cups Water Enough water to fill bottle or jar will be needed, leaving about two inches of headspace to allow for the contents to be easily mixed.

Subsequent Yeast Water Feedings

  • 2 Dates Other dried fruit can be substituted, such as 2 figs, a handful of raisins, etc. Fresh fruit may also be used. Apples, grapes, or berries work best. You will need to fill a bottle or jar a quarter of the way full if using fresh fruit.
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar White sugar or dried whole cane juice (Sucanat) can be used. If you do not see any foam developing after 2 days, you may find that on these subsequent feedings, you will need more than the 1 tablespoon of sugar. If so, you can increase the sugar up to 1/4 cup.
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 cups Water Enough water to fill a bottle or jar will be needed, leaving about two inches of headspace to allow for contents to be easily mixed.

Preparing Yeast Water Starter

  • 1 cup Yeast water All purpose or "plain" flour can be substituted.
  • 2 cups Bread flour

Baking Yeast Water Bread (A No-Knead Bread)

  • 3 cups Bread flour All purpose or "plain" flour can be substituted.
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 cup Water, warm
  • 1/2 cup Yeast water starter

Instructions

First Yeast Water Feeding

  • To your bottle (or jar), add the date (or other fruit), sugar, and water. Shake well until the sugar is dissolved. Place the bottle in a warm place between approximately 78°F-80°F.
  • Each day for the next four days, shake your bottle twice per day, preferably once in the morning and once in the evening. If there's a lot of foam in the bottle, be sure to loosen and then retighten the lid before shaking the bottle. Otherwise, loosen and retighten the lid after you shake the bottle. This process will release some of the build up of carbon dioxide gas in the bottle or jar and prevent breakage.

Second Yeast Water Feeding

  • On the morning of the fifth day, strain the yeast water into a large measuring cup or bowl and remove the old dates. Return the yeast water to the bottle.
  • To the bottle, add 1 new date, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add enough water to the bottle, leaving about 2 inches of headspace. Put the lid on the bottle and shake well until all the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Return yeast water to its warm place, and each day, for the next four days, shake your bottle twice per day, preferably once in the morning and once in the evening. If there's a lot of foam in the bottle, be sure to loosen and then retighten the lid before shaking the bottle. Otherwise, loosen and retighten the lid after you shake the bottle. This process will release some of the build up of carbon dioxide gas in the bottle and prevent breakage.
  • On the evening of the eighth day, the yeast water should be quite foamy. Strain the yeast water into a large measuring cup or bowl and remove the dates. Return the yeast water to the bottle and refrigerate. Your yeast water will stay active in the refrigerator for two months.

Subsequent Yeast Water Feedings

  • As you use your yeast water, remember to always leave approximately 1 cup of yeast water in your bottle. When you reach this amount, it is time to feed your yeast water. To your bottle containing the yeast water, add 2 dates, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Add enough water to the bottle, leaving about 2 inches of headspace. Put the lid on the bottle and shake well until all the sugar and salt are dissolved.
  • Place your bottle of yeast water in a warm place for 3 days, remembering to shake the bottle twice per day and loosen the lid to release the build up of gases as described earlier.
  • After the third day, the yeast water should be quite foamy. Strain the yeast water into a large measuring cup or bowl and remove the dates. Return the yeast water to the bottle and refrigerate. Your yeast water will stay active in the refrigerator for another two months.
  • To keep your yeast water active, repeat this process every 2 months.

Preparing Yeast Water Starter

  • Mix the 1 cup of yeast water with the 2 cups of flour in a bowl. Stir well until all the flour is moistened.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, a damp towel, or a well floured towel.
  • Place the bowl in a warm place, out of drafts, and leave undisturbed for approximately 16 hours.
  • After approximately 16 hours, the yeast water "starter" should show some bubbles on top and some bubbles throughout the mixture. The mixture will look similar to a traditional sourdough starter.

Baking Yeast Water Bread (A No-Knead Bread)

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour and the salt together.
  • In a measuring cup, mix the water and the yeast water starter together. Add this mixture to the bowl with the flour and salt. Mix well until a wet shaggy dough forms. Cover the bowl loosely with a towel and allow the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, place dough onto an un-floured board or other flat surface and fold the dough over onto itself about 4 times. Next, shape the dough into a ball and place the dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  • Cover the dough with a damp towel and allow the dough to double in size in a warm place for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.
  • At 1 1/2 hours, stick your finger in the dough up to your nail bed. If the dough springs back, it has not risen enough. Give the dough more time to rise. If the finger poke stays indented, your bread has risen sufficiently, and it is ready to bake. (See the video for a demonstration of the finger poke test.)
  • Place the baking sheet with your dough on it into a preheated 450°F oven and bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown on the top. When you tap your bread on the bottom, it should sound hollow.
  • Dutch Oven Method: Alternatively, if you prefer, you may bake your dough in a dutch oven. If so, preheat your oven to 500°F with your dutch oven in your cooking oven. Once the oven reaches 500°F, carefully remove the dutch oven from your cooking oven onto a heatproof surface and place the dough along with the parchment paper into the heated dutch oven. Cover your dutch oven with a lid, and return the dutch oven into your cooking oven. Bake the bread for approximately 30 minutes, then remove the dutch oven from your cooking oven. Once again, carefully remove the lid and the parchment paper from the hot dutch oven. Return the dutch oven with the bread in it into your cooking oven and allow the bread to bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown, and you hear a hollow sound when you tap the bread on the bottom.
  • Regardless of which method you use to bake your bread, once baked, transfer the bread to a cooling rack and allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
  • Your bread will stay fresh for about 2-3 days on the counter in a bread bag or bread box. If refrigerated, your bread will stay fresh for about one week if wrapped well. And yes, bread may be frozen if wrapped well in freezer-proof wrapping and then placed in a freezer-proof bag. Bread will stay fresh for 2-3 months when frozen.

Notes

Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/how-to-make-yeast-water-and-yeast-water-bread/
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