Introduction: Homemade Yeast- Make Your Own and Save $$$

Picture of Homemade Yeast- Make Your Own and Save $$$

                                                                 Yeast is yeast  ??

Yesterday, at the store a three pack of Fleischmann's  yeast cost $2.25, now it is a great product, a solid and reliable brand, no fail ever for me, but it just cost too much .

Call me"green, frugal, cheap, or just smart" I do not buy store bought yeast anymore.

In the "old days" folks needed yeast to cook their daily bread-  Fleischmanns did not exist. What did they do?

"They extended the yeast that they already had," it is a simple natural process that  I have up-dated to modern ingredients and measurements.

Step 1: Ingredients Needed:

Picture of Ingredients Needed:

3 Packets of regular active yeast - not rapid rise

2 Cups of Corn Meal- Approx.

1/2 Cup of Sugar

1/2 Cup of Flour

1 Teaspoon of Ginger (either fresh grated or powdered)

Enough potatoes peeled and cooked  to make 1 cup of mashed potatoes

Step 2: Getting Started:

Picture of Getting Started:

Peel and cook the potatoes until soft drain and mash reserving 1/2 cup of the coking liquid.

In a medium bowl add the 1/2 cup of  potato liquid (cooled to between 105-107F.) to three packets of Active Dry Yeast- mix well.

Set this bowl aside for 10-15 minute until the mixture gets foamy.

 Into a large bowl add  the "working" yeast/potato water to:

1/2 cup flour

 1/2 sugar

  1 cup of coled mashed potatoes

  1 Tablespoon of ground Ginger

 Set the bowl aside loosely covered with a kitchen towel until the mixture has risen and is bubbly. The time it takes for this step depends on the warmth of the room.


Step 3: Putting It All Together:

Picture of Putting It All Together:

Let the mixture "work" until it is nice and foamy - in warm weather, this should take just a couple of hours.

Start stirring in the cornmeal, a little at a time, until you have achieved a  thick solid base that can be rolled out.

Place on  cornmeal dusted waxed paper and dust  the  surface also lightly with cornmeal. I use a full sized baking pan with a waxed paper covering to sandwich in the mixture. roll out until about 1/8" thick.

After the "dough" has been rolled out 1/8" thick,remove top sheet of waxed paper. This can then be cut into packet-sized pieces and air dried or placed in a food dehydrator (on low setting).

It took 24 hours to air dry this batch.

Step 4: Finishing Up

Picture of Finishing Up

When completely dry, use a food processor to grind yeast mixture until it is "crumbles."/ or wrap as "cakes"  The yeast will store in an airtight container for up to a year in your freezer.

When your supply starts to get low, just start over from Step One with 3 tablespoons of your homemade yeast mix.

I use 1 tablespoon of yeast to = one package of yeast.

This yeast mixture will be slower to proof/rise, but I'm never in a hurry when baking.

Step 5: Does It Work?

Picture of Does It Work?

These are the bagels that I made using this "extended yeast mixture."

Eight were made, I just forgot to tell the folks I needed pictures.


bowow0807 (author)2012-07-31

Can I do the same thing with my sourdough starter? I mean if ever my starter dies I can restart it with this. And can I share this over at thefreshloaf? This is something that would really help a lot of bakers over there.

NancyC131 (author)2016-09-05

1 tablespoon or one teaspoon of ginger???

TristanioC (author)2016-04-17

If a recipe I want to make calls for fresh yeast, would I let this air dry, or use it without air drying it?

pitbull1779 (author)2016-02-04

Does it make any difference whether the corn meal is yellow or white? I live in a tiny Amish community and our local IGA grocery store only occasionaly has yeast of any type available. I was finally able to purchase 3 packets identical to the ones featured and would LOVE to always have frest, active yeast available in my kitchen! I have had very poor luck with yeast from there even when I have been very diligent about the temperatures and time, etc. Even the extended rise methods have bombed. Thanks for ANY advice!

ClayOgre (author)2012-11-02

Why not rapid rise yeast? What about Instant yeast? (I generally prefer to use instant yeast).

TheMageKing (author)ClayOgre2016-01-19

Intant and rapid rise yeast bolth are full of either baking soda or made of hybrd/GMO strains of yeast. Bolth do not extend.

AminM4 (author)2015-02-10

Great article thank you,

just wondering compare to original sachet how effective this extended yeast works slower/same/faster ...?

TheMageKing (author)AminM42016-01-19

In theroy, the same. If your using
"instant yeast" it probuly has baking soda in it to speed up rising. But the strain of yeast, assuming it was not GMO or hybrid, would be the same

bburleson (author)2015-05-02

why do you buy the first 3 packets of yeast? Potatoes already have a natural yeast on them that works great for bread. Just culture it and save yourself alot of money on all of the other stuff. You really only need the potatoes. Other fruits and veggies have other types of yeast already on them that works great for other products. Like sweet fruits are good for liquor. Wines, Alcohol ext. The yeast found on potatoes are excellent for breads. Sourdough starters are made with just plain flour. You don't need the packets from the start of it. Just let it ferment on its own. Your way might speed up the process, but you still end up paying the money for the packets to start with. here is a great link for making a sourdough yeast, you can see what I mean.

TheMageKing (author)bburleson2016-01-19

The idea for this is not to start your own yeast but to contnue what you have. The idea is to use known strains to make better bread

CaptainS4 (author)bburleson2015-09-08

Awesome that that works for you. But I'd imagine mileage varies with strain, region, source, and storage. For one thing, it's not just yeast that's on potatoes, and not always the yeast you want (just as sourdough can end up growing the wrong things in it and need to be thrown out). Inoculating with known stock makes it more likely that anything you don't want will be overwhelmed by what you do. It will also give it a quicker start.

SammyBoas (author)2016-01-05

Hi there,

I have two questions and I hope you can help me with it.

One is: Here where I live the stores do not sell corn flour, is there either some product I can use instead or don't use at all?

And my second question is: can this be done with any other yeasts as well for example wisky yeasts or any other special brewers yeast?



TheMageKing (author)SammyBoas2016-01-19

Corn flour was likely chosen becase it has high amounts of starch. Look for corn meal, as well. If you cant find that, and you have a dehydrator, use it to dry out cornkernals, then grind them in some way.

I dont know about the specal yeasts, but it may work for some types. I can offer more help given time.

irenebaldwin (author)2015-11-29

Thank you :) !

MichealF (author)2015-09-01

This is great. Cheers for the info.

Bloodocean7 (author)2015-03-08

Great Article! Very useful information.

GREY EC (author)2015-02-01

What are COLED mashed potatoes? (Seriously, does NO ONE spell check or proofread anything anymore?). Before you roll your eyes, COLED could mean "cooled" or "cold," which, when dealing with yeast, temperature matters.

bywaterdog (author)GREY EC2015-02-02

Perhaps if you dismounted from your high horse and read the entire Instructable you would what understand the recipe.

JPcreo (author)2012-06-30

Wow original instructables.
I was wondering why the ginger? (author)JPcreo2014-11-27

Actually, ginger helps to cause the yeast to reproduce.

This recipe seems it would have a corn flavor to it due to all the cornmeal. also, I really wanted to know how to make live cakes of yeast (like old budweiser yeast cakes)

Cai (author)JPcreo2012-06-30

The ginger is for the bit of acid that the yeast likes, and yes, yeast likes acid. I am sure a bit of vitamin c or a vitamin c pill would work.(Crushed) This instructable is GENIOUS! I am sick of my starter going bad if I wait too long between loaves...thanks for this awesome instructable!

JosephChanceWatkins (author)2014-11-25

Thanks for the info; Jesus Christ Bless you! :)

brenda.corbin.7 (author)2014-10-07

In the beginning in the list of ingredients, you state 1 Teaspoon of ginger, then further down you state 1 Tablespoon of ginger....WHICH is it ...teaspoon or tablespoon? Big difference between the 2.

meb1982 (author)2014-01-06

You've still haven't made homemade yeast. You have used three packets of store bought yeast. I made my own yeast by soak apples in water and putting them in warm places. It takes time but what doesn't.

shelbym (author)meb19822014-10-03

No, she didn't create yeast, she bred it to make more. I have seen this method a few times. It's almost like the sourdough starter, but in dry form and you are not taking wild yeast. What started as three packets will now be about a large jar full.

timnitro (author)2014-01-12

Well I just made this. since Im at high altitude my yeast got frothy in about an hour and actually started to sink a bit. I added the cornmeal turned it into a sticky "dough" kind of like biscuit dough. I used a tablespoon right away for bread. The dough didn't rise well enough even in 2-3 hours at high altitude. Did I do something wrong? The mixture doesn't get frothy when i put it in warm water.

karalalala (author)2014-01-08

Very cool!

sunshiine (author)2012-07-02

Thank you so much for posting this! I can't wait to share the link.

westfw (author)2012-07-01

dry yeast is one of those "interesting" products that is MUCH cheaper at a big-box store like Costco. They sell a 2lb bag of dry yeast for about $5 (compared to the "bulk" price in a regular grocery store of $10 for 4oz. I don't know why the price is so different...

kalimo (author)2012-06-30

How long can you store the yeast for?

bywaterdog (author)kalimo2012-06-30

I usually run out at about 6 months, but it should keep in the freezer for a year.

It has never "not worked" for me.

Treasure Tabby (author)2012-06-30

Great Instructable. But can you use lemon juice instead of ginger?

Also this reminds me of making sour dough and then leaving it in the fridge for when ever you need to use it.

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