Tuesday, June 19, 2012

How to Never Buy Yeast Again. The Everlasting Yeast No Knead Bread Tutorial.

This tutorial is for the Birds. Literally. The Birds are my darling students who brought me their first loaf of homemade bread the day after they came to one of my bread classes. Hence forth I'm calling them the Love Birds. Seriously. I love them. They've stayed in touch ever since. Mrs. Love Bird is an adorable woman who I've come to just cherish. Her husband reminds me very much of my dad. To make a long story short, when she showed up at a show with a loaf of her first Kamut bread she thought it was a little dry and we talked over e-mail.   Saturday, she was on loaf number four (or so) and brought it to me at my meal in a jar class. I was thrilled to see her progress! This is a woman who never once made bread until she met me.  Thrilled! Look at her no knead bread that she baked in her Solar Oven!
 Mrs. Love Bird. You're the best!

True confession. I've been toasting this bread for 3 days and I'm loving this. Thank you so much my darling!
You've made me smile!

At any rate, at the original bread class that the Love Birds attended, I mentioned the method I use for never having to buy yeast again and basically perpetuating an everlasting yeast. It is strengthened  by the length of it's existence and a remarkable skill to have for not only saving money but for any emergency situation or camping. The bread made with it is not a sour dough, but can be a sourdough if you let the yeast go too long between uses. I'm amazingly fond of this method for the fact that I'm a cheap-skate and I really don't like spending money on something that should be free. For thousands of years people made yeast-raised bread without commercial yeast. Somewhere along the way we've become totally dependant on the powdered active-dry and instant yeast in our bread making. This doesn't have to be the case. In fact, in my house it is usually the exception. The bread made with everlasting yeast has remarkable depth of flavor and beautiful results. I make bread often enough that I haven't had a problem with my lump of dough ever getting too sour or molding. It has been a dear friend for quite some time. I dare say...about 5 years. So, to the Love Birds and anyone like them who wants to see the finer details of this yeast method, here you go.

First, retain a small amount of dough from the next loaf of No knead 4 Ingredient Bread Anyone Can Make. I usually save about a half a cup of dough and keep it moist with 1/2 cup of cool water. Covered in a bucket 24 hours or less from the time I made my bread. It can be up to a week in the fridge, but in the summer here at room temperature I haven't gone longer than a day or two.
 I'm going with the old-school method here and just showing you what I do. I'm not going to weight the dough. You're just going to have to trust me. This is your yeast-dough-ball. It's is what I got from my last loaf of bread and is basically now the yeast you will use forever. Make friends because this can be around for many years to come.
 Dissolve the yeast-dough ball in 3 1/2 cups of cool water in a food-grade gallon size bucket with a lid or you can also use a large plastic bowl. I don't use metal because if the dough does sour, I don't want to deal with a mess. It hasn't so far, but ya know...there's always a first time.
Smoosh and swirl it around until it is a liquid mixture.
 To the bucket or bowl add 7 cups Hard White Wheat Bread Flour ( or you can use 8 1/2 cups California's Best Bread Flour ) and 2 tsp salt.
 Mix and combine the dough by hand about 2 minutes. You don't need to knead it. Just combine it.
 If it appears a little dry, add 1/4-1/2 cup more water.
 It should be moist enough to stick to your hands, but not moist enough to fall in pools of pathetic sadness on the bottom of your bucket. It will hold it's structure.
 Now that the dough is combined, cover it with a lid and let it sit at room temperature 12-14 hours. It can go up to 24 hours but not much longer. In cooler weather, it will take the full 24 hours to raise.
 This is what it will look like when you take off the cover.
 The dough will have some pretty nice gluten development.
 It should look almost stringy.
 Lightly flour your counter-top and transfer to dough to be made into 2 loaves of bread.

Retain one small handful of dough.
 Add 1/2 cup of cool water to the handful of dough and put it back in your bucket. Cover. Use within 24 hours for more bread or put the lump and water in your fridge after 24 hours for up to 1 week. It will become sourdough after that time and will need to be discarded or it can be used for a sourdough bread starter in any of the many recipes I've done here on the blog for sourdough .
 With the dough you have on your counter, follow the directions of the Sandwich loaf molding tutorial, but allow the loaves to raise about 3 hours (it may take up to 4 hours the first few times you use the yeast), covered at room temperature. The longer and more often you use your everlasting yeast-dough-ball the stronger it will be and that time will shorten dramatically.

Bake your bread in a hot oven or you can do like the Love Birds are doing and use this:  Baking Bread in a Solar Oven Tutorial. All I know is that the bread ends up being moist, delicious and well...amazing. You're going to love this method. It will save a lot of yeast money for other things...like grain to feed your family. There you go. Make some everlasting yeast. For more frugal ideas visit my friends over at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways and vote for my frugal tip. It's a great blog hop with great ideas for being frugal...and sustainable. Xoxo!

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Anonymous said...

That has to be 1/2 tsp salt I believe.

Chef Tess said...

Nope. It is really 2 tsp salt.
You're using 7 cups of flour. Seriously that's not much for 2 loaves of bread and it will help regulate the yeast.

Holly said...

I wish I could hug you for this post! Thank you!!!!! Not only do I love the concept,and plan to start this today, I also love all the photos...I'm a visual learner, so I "get it" way better when I see it. I am also glad to be freed from having to purchase yeast ever again!

Gina said...

Would I follow the same directions making gluten/wheat free bread? (just using my GF flour instead?)

Chef Tess said...

Holly, I could hug you back for letting me know your gratitude. I love it when people actaully say thank you! Xoxo! Gina, unfortunately gluten free is a totally different ball game. I have a full tutorial on gluten free bread that is amazing and whole grain. I will experiment with it and this method for the yeast. But...it is not in need of the long fermentation, as it is already not needing gluten developement.

Becca Swan said...

Thank you SO much for this post! I hate having to buy yeast, it's so expensive and seems like such a rip-off for something so simple (yet vital) to breadmaking.
Now I never have to buy it again!
I was planning on making bread today, so I'm going to try this method out. Visiting from Frugally Sustainable's link party. :)

kris said...

Can I use a dough ball from any recipe to try this, or does it need to be a dough ball from your no knead 4 ingredient bread?

Unknown said...

Thank you-This is great! I have been making bread for years now and have never heard of this method. I make whole wheat in the Bosch mixer...but that you don't even have to knead this is amazing! I'm going to pass this along to friends who don't have mixers but want to make bread.

Unknown said...

Thank you-This is great! I have been making bread for years now and have never heard of this method. I make whole wheat in the Bosch mixer...but that you don't even have to knead this is amazing! I'm going to pass this along to friends who don't have mixers but want to make bread.

Chef Tess said...

Love it! Yes Kris, it needs to be a dough ball that doesn't come from a recipe that has use eggs, fat or added sugar to get the same results.

kris said...

ok, thanks. I'm excited to try it!

Anonymous said...

A big thank you to you and the love birds! I felt bad that this was not on the computer disk I bought. Now I have it! Being that you are reviewing how to do your bread. Can you please go over the part where you put a meat therm. in the loaf? Love Ya!

Lynn M said...

I had no idea you could do this!!! thank you so much!

Kerri Lindstrom said...

I can't wait to try this! Thank you so much for your great recipes!

Polly said...

I've heard of this many years ago but never got around to it. Thank you so much for the reminder! I can't wait to get into the kitchen with your recipe.

Anonymous said...

I just have a quick question about when you start using your "new yeast" from the first batch....for the second batch and after, do you still have to include the 1/4 tsp yeast? Thank you, you are truly inspiring & I LOVE your blog. L~

Chrystalyn said...

When I am ready to make bread do I take the dough ball that has been sitting in the water, out of that water and dissolve it in a fresh 3 1/2 cups of water? Do I toss the old water and use a clean bucket for the next handful of dough ball I will be saving? Thanks, so excited to try this.

Chef Tess said...

Nope. Just dissolve it in the water it has been sitting in and use that as part of the water for the recipe.

Heidi said...

In your instructions you state that the yeast ball can be kept in the fridge for up to 7 days...have you ever tried freezing it, thawing it, then using it?? I have had some luck doing this with Amish friendship bread starter and wondered if it is similar.

Chef Tess said...

Yes I've frozen it. So far that has been good up to 3 months. By far my favorit is to air dry some of the dough and break it up in chunks. Kept dry it can be re-hydrated and used as a starter. It takes about 24 hours for the first raise but then it is bold and beautiful pretty quickly for daily use again.

Opinionated One said...

I have never heard of this, and just started making homemade bread regularly. Still only tried one type. If I do this dough ball but wanted to make other types of bread with it would I just remove a piece of dough again before adding a fat or egg? Does that make sense? Or do I need to use yeast when making sweet breads or something else? Thanks this is so awesome and I am excited to try! Opinionated One

HeidiP said...

Would it matter if I combined different types of wheat for the starter? Or, would you suggest using one type of wheat and then adding different wheat flours when bread is made up? Is there a certain type of wheat that works better than others for starter? Thanks so much for this helpful tutorial (with pics)!