The Beer Yeast Poolish

If you recall, the wedding beer was quite lively and gaseous.

wpid-20140324_081203.jpgGURGLE GURGLE GURGLE *RASPBERRY*

Loud enough that it startled me several times. In the picture above, you can see a measuring cup with some blow off yeast in it. Well, waste not want not!

I decided to try and make bread out of it.

wpid-20140326_205624.jpgrather unpleasant looking, i’d say

I hunted around the internet for any advice and mostly saw “don’t” and “it makes dense bread”. Well, screw you, INTERNET, you can’t tell me what to do!

I decided to start off with a poolish. If the yeast was lively, it would grow.

wpid-20140326_205921.jpgagain, unpleasant looking

Sure enough, within a few hours we had:

wpid-20140327_101445.jpgIT’S ALIIIIIIVVVVVVVVEEEEE!!

Perplexed with what step to take next, I put the poolish in the fridge for two days while I thought about it.

wpid-20140327_135145.jpgPoolish Day Two: imma gonna eat ur refrigerator…

A dense loaf, like sourdough, was what what the INTERNETZ told me to expect. So I decided to do an italian bread with sugar and to use milk instead of water. Unfortunately, I had to go to work so my lovely fiance was charged with shaping, final proof and baking. I left him with sage tips, such as, “if it turns into a taquilla, call a priest.”

wpid-20140329_093606.jpgi swear, i am not a taquilla! what is wrong with you?

I came home to…


No, seriously, drumroll…

wpid-20140329_174849.jpgpretty sure that’s bread…

Not too bad for a first time shaping!  I’ve done worse! Seriously. Well done! Now what about the taste? If you recall, the wedding beer has raspberries in it and the yeast did have a slight raspberry smell. So we cut that bad boy open:

wpid-20140331_181809.jpgnot dense. ok, well i (bmary) am dense, but the bread isn’t

The flavor was slightly sweet and very good. It was not dense at all. I think the reason for this was that the yeast used was very fresh and the INTERNETZ was mostly discussing spent yeast, like from the bottom of the a beer after it brews. That I could see being considerably less lively. Regardless, this made very good bread! If you wanted to use spent yeast from a home brew, I would suggest feeding it much like a mother starter until it was fully awake and bubbly.

Screw saving a piece of wedding cake, we’ll save a beer thank you.

Italian Baguette with Mother Starter

Ok, last post, I PROMISE.

Sorry, when I have time off, I get to work. So I did a bunch of stuff today. Last, but not least was an italian baguette in which I used the mother starter.

wpid-20140204_112110.jpgjust being stuff

I was planning on an italian baguette for my neighbor who has been plowing our driveway. Or, maybe he’s just playing with his bobcat. Either way, my fiance nor myself have had to shovel our very long driveway. Can’t complain at all.

However, I discovered, to my dismay, I was very low on commercial yeast. I guess making a mother starter means you completely forget that you might need commercial yeast eventually and just pretend you never need to buy any more. Also, I was in pajamas and I do not go out in pajamas and I am really, really lazy. I couldn’t make it to the store, obviously.

Ugh. Apparently you can roll your eyes at yourself.

So I thought, since I was technically going to make a biga and I didn’t have time to let it chill in the fridge over night, why not use the mother starter, which has been in the fridge eating and farting whatever yeast eats and farts?

So I did. Ok, more accurately, I took a stab at it. Totally just went by the seat of my pants. What, would I put it in the oven and it would turn into a stapler? Worst case scenario, my fiance and I could eat bread stored in the freezer and I could make the neighbor’s baguette some other time. Most likely scenario, bread. Taste, a mystery. But I was fairly confident it would be bread.

So I mixed up the biga as I would normally and added several heaping spoonfuls of mother starter.

wpid-20140204_112258.jpguh, hi. no, we don’t know what she’s doing either.

A very, very wet, sticky biga was suddenly on my hands. Literally.


i know this is a spatula. spatulas for every occasion!

Adding flour until, gee, I don’t know, it became somewhat solid…

wpid-20140204_113139.jpgif i threw it at the ceiling, it would’ve stuck. like a turtle?

And then I left it to rise. Or, make itself into a pancake…

wpid-20140204_142906.jpgnot unlike my chest…

Eh, the dough was still awful wet, but again, seat of my pants. Keep on trucking

wpid-20140204_144903.jpgthat is unlike my chest.

wpid-20140204_144956.jpgback to the bowl with ye!

And then I looked at the clock, did some math and went, wow, Brittany, you’re an idiot. There was no way in ever loving Heaven that this was going to be on time. Corner cutting time! I left it to rise again until mostly doubled.

wpid-20140204_170436.jpgi do not lie when I say my fiance said, while I was taking this picture: “it looks like a butt.”

wpid-20140204_170602.jpgthere’s something wrong with that butt.

wpid-20140204_170624.jpgpinch, roll, pinch, roll


At this exact moment I had, ohhhh, an hour to finish up. And I needed about an hour and a half. Eh, whatever, this is the “screw the rules” bread. Again, I don’t think it’s going to be a file cabinet when I take it out.

wpid-20140204_175254.jpgit’s a lamp!

The oven spring was insane. It easily doubled or tripled in the oven. And, last bonehead move, promise:

wpid-20140204_175904.jpgcut it too early, but we were hungry!

It turned out really, really tasty. Just a little sour from the mother starter, but it was spot on delicious!

Tomorrow I am going to bring the neighbor his loaf, it’s late and cold and terrible out there. Also I wanted to give him instructions on storage and I wanted to make sure it didn’t taste like a desk chair.



My fiance is in the process of moving out of his music studio and moving it into the basement until he finds another place due to flooding.

In January.

In the midwest.

Go figure.

It’s Illinois, what do you expect? We still hold onto Pluto being a planet.

wpid-20140105_104724.jpgone of two flamingos for the ark

Anyway, his band friends are coming over for dinner after moving. We decided that feeding them might be nice. I suggested lasagna, which my fiance makes from scratch and is excellent. He agreed. We then decided a salad and why the heck not, garlic bread! So, it’s a bread sweatshop up in here. I swear, I normally don’t bake this much. Usually it’s about once a week. So, here is the Italian Bread, from biga to end.

wpid-20140118_084420.jpgwpid-20140118_085558.jpgwpid-20140118_085756.jpgwpid-20140118_085837.jpgwpid-20140118_090002.jpgwpid-20140118_091220.jpgwpid-20140118_092040.jpgwpid-20140118_114436.jpgwpid-20140118_115514.jpgwpid-20140118_130254.jpgwpid-20140118_134117.jpgsorry i’ve run dry of stupid jokes, wait, there’s two loaves, is one male and one female? call noah. this is the worst joke ever. #yolo #punchesself

Hope you guys all enjoy and have a productive and wonderful day!!! 😀