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Friday, 5 October 2012

Feeding The Yeast


In the old days, my grandaunts did not have the luxury of using instant yeast. Back then, you had to buy fresh yeast from somebody. And if you use yeast frequently, you could maintain a supply of yeast by cultivating it yourself. You can cultivate your own renewable supply of yeast at home from dried instant yeast.

My grandaunts use this fresh yeast mainly to make "Roti Paung". If you are from Terengganu or have been to Terengganu, you will know what these are. "Roti Paung" will be featured in my next post and I will show you how to make the yeast mixture first.


You may ask, why? Can't we just use instant yeast? Of course you can, but the "Roti Paung" made using yeast prepared this way has a more intense aroma. Besides, it is interesting to learn how to cultivate yeast and keep it alive for future use.


Please note that I am no expert on this matter and what I am sharing with you here is from my own experience and observations. And I will be referring to the yeast cultivated using this method as fresh yeast. I welcome comments and  please do correct my errors in the ways of the yeast :)


This recipe and method was given to me by my Aunt who got it from her friend.

Ingredients (Part 1):
7 spoons plain flour
2 spoons sugar
1 spoon instant yeast (I use the whole packet of 11 grams)
Some warm water

The spoon used here is the Chinese soup spoon.

Method :
1. Mix the above ingredients and make into a paste.
2. Set aside until mixture doubles in volume.

Ingredients (Part 2)
1 spoon plain flour
1 spoon sugar
Some warm water
1 spoon of yeast mixture from part 1

Method :
1. Mix the flour, sugar and water into a paste.
2. Add 1 spoon of the first yeast mixture into the paste. Stir to mix.
3. Set aside until mixture doubles in volume.

Ingredients (Part 3)
1 spoon plain flour
1 spoon sugar
Some warm water
1 spoon yeast mixture from part 2

Method :
1. Mix the flour, sugar and water into a paste.
2. Add 1 spoon of the second yeast mixture into the paste. Stir to mix.
3. Set aside until mixture doubles in volume.


This part 3 yeast is the one that is used to make the Roti Paung.

What do you do with the yeast mixture in Part 1 and Part 2 ? According to my Aunt, you throw it away. But I find this quite wasteful.  I experimented by using up all the mixture to  make a few batches of the part 3 yeast.  I put them in individual air tight containers (1 spoonful each) and I kept some in the fridge and some in the freezer.



The one kept in the fridge is still potent up to 1 week only. Take it out to room temperature and let it sit overnight before using. What I do is open the container lid and put it back on loosely. The next day, if your yeast is alive, there will be bubbles on the surface. Of course, if you do not bake buns very frequently then you would most likely end up with dead yeast in the fridge.


As for the frozen yeast, defrost and let it stand at room temperature overnight. Same as above, I open the container lid and put it back on loosely. There will be bubbles on the surface which indicate that the yeast is alive.


A word on the proofing time. With the refrigerated and frozen yeast, it will take about 12 hours for your dough to proof and approximately the same length of time for the second proof. That's my experience so far. This long proofing time may not be convenient for most of you. For me, I like it because I can just take my time and do other stuff while the yeast does it's thing.

However, if your are using the yeast fresh after making it (ie not refrigerated or frozen) then the proofing time is about 8 hours for first proof and 4 to 6 hours for the second proof.

As of now, my frozen yeast which is more than 1 month old still works. So I am continuing to test every month to see how it goes.

How long will the process from Part 1 to Part 3 take ? About 6 hours, and I recommend that the final yeast mixture be left overnight at room temperature before using.

Part 1 : Flour, sugar and instant yeast.
Add some warm water and make into a paste.
Cover and set aside.
About 25 minutes later the mixture is all puffed up.
The Part 2 mixture.
It took about 2 hours for the Part 2 mixture to double in volume.


The Part 3 mixture is left overnight, covered at room temperature and this is how it looks like the following day.














26 comments:

  1. Hello Phong Hong
    Good day to you!
    This is an interesting post from you educating us about yeast. I can understand using fresh yeast forming would definitely have more or less better in taste and aroma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a very old fashioned method but gives good results. But, aiyo...have to wait so long for dough to rise!

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  2. Hi Phong Hong, thanks for sharing the fresh yeast method. With fresh yeast, the roti will be more soft and fluffy too. Your roti paung very well baked, nice to go with coffee.

    Have a nice weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amelia, I just had to experiment. It is quite interesting, can write a thesis liao :)

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  3. Hi Phong Hong, you're very diligent in this yeast cultivation. Thanks for sharing the info but I'll have to settle for instant yeast eventhough I bake breads/buns very often. But I'll wait for your roti paung posting. Looks soft and yummy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kimmy, better use instant yeast or else have to wait forever to bake the bread :) There is a difference in the aroma, but using instant is just as good.

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  4. very easy to follow directions but certainly not for the impatient ppl like me! otherwise, I would love to try this too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Jeannie, I have nothing better to do hah! hah!

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  5. I always like to visit your blog becoz I've always learn something here, this proves that I don't know much about Malaysian food, hahaha! Anyway, this roti paung takes so long to proof leh, it's like neck also grows few inches longer, huh? But they look very pretty. Next post must show us the bread texture! Your grandaunts are masterchefs, learn as much as you can!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessie, thanks so much for your compliments! Paiseh, leh....You can do it faster by using instant yeast. I will include the instant yeast method tomorrow. My grandaunts were very good cooks, sadly they have passed on. My aunt has some of their recipes and I will feature them from time to time. Too bad when I was younger, I was not interested in baking or learning old recipes. Now only regret :(

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  6. I'm very enjoy reading your older way of. Culturing yeast. Very interesting! But I don't think I have the patient like you. Waiting for your bread post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vivian, nobody want to use this method anymore, too slow hor?

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  7. very interesting and informative post dear..

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  8. From what I see, the main ingredient of your fresh yeast is still using instant yeast. I think I will rather use instant yeast straight away, hehehe ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya lor, faster hor? Sonia, I did this to experiment on the old method and I do see a difference in the taste and aroma. So sekali-sekala play-play like that quiet fun also :)

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  9. So interesting....and takes so long! Reminds me of making my homemade yogurt. Very good of you to revive these tried and tested methods.

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    Replies
    1. Esther, I think that it is good to learn some of these old methods and understand how things were done in the old days.

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  10. Looks so tasty and filling

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there! Yes, the buns are tasty :)

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  11. This is indeed a very useful post. thanks for sharing it dear. good presentation

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  12. What a project! But I bet the depth of flavor from your yeasted baked good is terrific! Your buns at the top look wonderful~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Lizzy! Good things come to those who wait...and wait...and wait :)

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  13. hi phong hong, i'm here to read this post first to understand more of your cultivated yeast. Sounds like making a sourdough starter. i've never tried making sourdough bread but i remember taking some of the starter everyday to make a new starter. Thanks so much, this is great information and what an experience!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lena, I read about sourdough starter somewhere and it is similar. That was my mini project :)

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