Not Least…Yeast!

pretty little ball of dough

Dear Reader:

Some time ago, I wrote a post about yeast and making homemade bread. See Outside the Breadbox, 2009. Today, I was amused (and more than a little intrigued) to find the following recipe on the Agrarian Nation blog.

1852-
Good Yeast
Boil a handful of hops in 3 pints of water; add 3 mashed boiled potatoes; strain, and mix with a cupful of flour; set aside to cool, and then add a tea-spoonful of sugar, and bottle up for use. A more permanent ferment is made by boiling a quantity of wheat-bran and hops in water; the decoction is not long in fermenting, and when this has taken place, throw in a sufficient portion of bran to form the whole into a thick paste, which work into balls, and afterward dry by a slow heat. When wanted for use, they are broken, and boiling water is poured upon them; having stood a proper time, the fluid is decanted, and in a fit state for leavening bread.
[Maine Farmer’s Almanac]

As you can see, Herrick Kimbal, Agrarian Nations’s writer/founder, discovered this recipe in a Maine Farmer’s Almanac. I wonder if it really works? Dare I try it? I think I can get hops at a beer-making supply store. Maybe a good project for a rainy day along with some homemade soup.

3 responses to “Not Least…Yeast!

  1. You might need fresh hops, rather than dry. Maybe you can grow it in your garden? Or I’ve seen recipes that call for grape skins to start your yeast!

  2. I bet this would smell great on its own, and create a sour-dough-ish bread. Sounds wonderful to me…I’ll look forward to hearing more. Thanks!

  3. A very interesting post!

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