Sunday, August 24, 2008

My Wild Yeast Adventures! Part Two: What do I do now?

So, you have caught your yeast, what do you do with it? Well, the book I use tells me to make a new culture, this time a more permanent one. The author calls it a Barm, and I will too for simplicity's sake.
  • To make barm you take 1 cup from your seed culture (give away or discard the rest) and mix it with 3 1/2 cups high gluten/bread flour and 2 cups water.
  • Transfer the barm to a large clear container at least twice its volume.
  • Let it sit out on the counter until it bubbles and rises some, then put it in the refrigerator.
  • If you do not use it in the following three days (or if you use more than half) you will need to refresh it.
Refreshing is basically feeding the yeast. To refresh the barm first weigh it, the add equal amounts (by mass, not volume) of flour and water to double the weight of the barm. As long as you stay within the doubling and quadrupling zone, the refreshment with be effective. Let it sit out until it bubbles, then refrigerate it. Refreshing will give you another three days.

If don't plan on using the barm to make bread soon you can leave it in the refrigerator for up the 2 months and refresh it 1 or 2 days before using. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months and leave it to defrost overnight in the refrigerator three days before using it. Then refresh it

Sorry this post took so long. I completely forgot to publish it!

Update:
Leaving the barm in the refrigerator will not make it become sour. To do that, you must leave it out on the counter (or somewhere else will a relatively constant temperature) and refresh it every 3-4 days.

1 comment:

Matthieu Devin said...

Interesting. So roughly, you just leave the barm as-is until you plan to to bread with it. Where does the barm workd come from?