Thursday, July 23, 2009

catching yeast

i don't know if i've mentioned it here, but i'm on the path to becoming a master herbalist. i am 5 units into my studies, and really enjoying it! most of it has been based on nutrition, and that's always interesting to me, even if it's not exactly new information. this week however i did learn something new- the importance of eating fermented bread.

i have been grinding our grain to make our homemade bread for quite some time now. while i prefer the nutritional quality and taste of homemade, i still felt heavy after eating it. so we just don't have it around much. i had been thinking here lately though that it would be nice to have bread on hand more often. for late night snacking, or that 4pm witching hour when everyone is "starving" and cranky.

so, here's what i've been learning:
there is yeast all around us. especially concentrated in kitchens that lots of baking goes on. you can catch your own yeast for making your very own sour dough breads. the yeast you catch will not be the same strand found in baker's yeast. by allowing your natural yeast to ferment your flour you are breaking down phytic acid (the bad guys that block your bodies ability to absorb certain minerals). it pre-digests the gluten, allowing gluten sensitive people to digest it more effectively. here's something i think is so amazing and shows god's hand even in the small things- fermented bread has more usable zinc, magnesium, and iron. but the phytic acid would block your body from using it. so the fermentation breaks down the phytic acid, increases the bioavailability of the minerals in place, therefore allowing your body to use them! that is great design!
fermentation also allows good bacterias to be present. these good bacterias protect the wheat while it is fermenting to keep it from spoiling. commercial yeast causes rising to occur too quickly and doesn't allow the bacteria to grow (this takes about 12 hours). this bacteria creates a healthier food for our bodies.

so that's what i know so far. you can probably tell that i'm still trying to sort all the information, to make it a permanent part of my thought process so i can better explain it, but i'm getting there!

catching yeast:

day 1- 8:30 am

1 cup rye flour to 1 1/2 cups room temp filtered water
cover and put in warmish place (on top of the refrigerator works well for me)
12 hours later, feed the yeast!
1 cup rye flour to 1 1/2 cups room temp filtered water

i woke up the next morning and found this:


seriously- it was alive! it was hissing and spitting at me. so cool! i'm basically following this same method of feeding every 12 hours for about a week. at that time it should start smelling fermented- like wine. at every 4th feeding i'm dumping half of the batch. that way it's not waaaaay out of control.

i'll update as soon as it's done!

and in non-yeast news, my aunt just added some new items to her etsy shop. she creates such beautiful quilts, and the best quilted cards. give her a peek!


Momma Bear said...

so interesting, thanks for sharing. Just curious if you cared to share where you are going through to receive your master herbalist cert?

mandi said...

sure! i'm going through vintage remedies, with jessie hawkins.

crockerdile said...

Very cool. Great info!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info!! Good luck to you on your studies, so very interesting!

Mandy said...

so, is the natural yeast just in our air and gets in there by itself? that's interesting!

Nicola said...

fabulous post! here in coastal california, sourdough breads are amazing!
good for your on becoming a master herbalist!

Nicola said...

i'm back to ask....would you think about posting about how you grind your grains and where you buy them? i don't do this (yet?) and don't even know where to start.

Mandy said...

I need an update on this bread. That is fascinating to me!