Cider Yeast Bread

cideryeastthumb.JPGIn the process of making cider, I had some yeast sediment to discard - this is wild yeast that occurs naturally on the skins of the apples - I couldn't help wondering if I might be able to use it to make bread.

cideryeast1.jpgIt all started with a half centimetre layer of buff-coloured sediment left over in the bottom of the bottle - the product of a two week fermentation of natural, pure fresh pressed apple juice - nothing added or removed.

About Yeast

Yeast is a single-celled micro-organism classified as a fungus - unlike green plants, it cannot manufacture its own food so it feeds on carbohydrates - sugars and starches.

When this process happens in an environment deprived of oxygen, the yeast cells are forced to respire anaerobically - and one of the waste products of this is alcohol.

There are different strains of yeast in cultivation, each having been selected for a different purpose - so bread yeast is not usually the same variety as wine, beer or cider yeast.

That doesn't mean they can't be used interchangeably, of course - and doing so can sometimes yield interesting results - which is exactly what I'm hoping will happen here.

cideryeast2.JPGI mixed it with a couple of tablespoons of plain white flour and enough water to make a softish batter. I covered it with plastic film and left it to ferment for a while.

cideryeast3.jpgThe next morning, the starter seemed to be bubbling away nicely, so I mixed it into a simple bread dough - a pound of flour, half a pint of water, a little salt.

cideryeast4.jpgIt took all day to rise to double its original volume, by which time the dough was very relaxed and soft.

I tipped it onto an oiled tray and baked it

The result was a nice-looking and great-smelling loaf - a bit flat and heavy though - I think probably a full 24 hours resting would be required to properly develop the yeast to get a presentable loaf.

cideryeast5.jpg

The taste was very good though - with a great aroma and sweet, but tangy flavour. The yeast flavour was quite noticeable - and not everybody likes that - but I do.

A partial success then - I've proven it's possible to use cider yeast sediment to make bread - I just haven't perfected it.

 

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