Wild Yeast

I have a huge interest in primitive technologies and how people did things before we had 24-hour superstores and electric gadgets of every conceivable type. So I occasionally find myself on a quest to learn how to make homemade soap, yogurt, baking soda, vinegar, or whatever else I can think of to fulfill this interest.  The idea is to know how to be completely self-reliant.  My latest science experiment is homemade yeast.

I have a huge problem making yeast breads.  I never have living yeast on hand.  It has always expired and is usually worthless upon proofing it.  I am usually a soda bread or corn bread gal.  Simple, inexpensive, right up my alley, but yeast bread is elusive to me.  I have done it once and it was even edible.  However, I need a better way to keep yeast.  I’ve heard you can keep the live culture packets in the freezer, but how long can they stay in cryogenic sleep before dying?  I certainly don’t know.

There seems to be two main methods of getting your own yeast.  One is catching wild yeast from the air, and the second is cultivating yeast from fruit water. I am working with the first method mentioned.

I started with just all-purpose flour as that is all I had on hand (I do have oat flour, but I wasn’t sure if it would affect leavening as it does in baking).  It looked to be warm this week so I started it last night and in 20 minutes I have to feed it again.  I should begin to see fermentation with this feeding.

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