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:
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:
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 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:
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
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?
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.