Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cooking experiment part 2

On Sunday afternoon I made a batch of Lemon Yeast, supposedly Grandma Anderson's recipe. I have since found the exact same recipe, word for word in a 1930's edition WMU cookbook.

The photo below is after 36 hours, no action happening there. It just smelt like floury lemon water. I thought to myself, well the instructions said ready for use after 24 hours, so I gave it a whirl and made quarter of the original recipe. I had my suspicions that nothing would happen and I didn't want to waste so much flour.

After mixing allow to sit for 2 - 3 hours

Then knead for 20 minutes - looks nice and smooth, then allow to rest till well cracked.....?

After 2 hours resting, no cracking, just a well kneaded lump of play dough!

I let it sit overnight and the lump looked exactly the same this morning.

Of course I have to question why it didn't work
  1. Lack of warmth in my kitchen, I would imagine that most kitchens in the 30's and 40's would have had a wood stove thus keeping the kitchen warm.
  2. No wild yeast in the ferment, might be best to cover jar with an open weave cloth instead of a lid
  3. Not using a seasoned jar i.e one that has been used for yeast making before. (I read this in the WMU book)
I wonder if anyone still uses this type of yeast or a potato yeast? Perhaps a sourdough starter is similar to those homemade yeasts used in bygone days.

Oh well, it was a bit of fun, maybe I'll try again when the weather warms up.

Hope you have a lovely day


Wendy said...

Is there commercial yeast in it? If yout relying on wild yeasts, they can take up to 5 days to develop, a bit like sour dough? I am just guessing here as I have no idea what lemon yeast is..

Lisa said...

No commercial yeast in it Wendy. Lemon yeast consists of lemon juice, sugar, flour and water. I'll try again and leave if for a few more days and see what happens.