In keeping with 1st century themes during this Lenten season, I decided to capture some wild yeast and make bread the old fashioned way, no tricks, no fast acting instant yeast. Real men hunt their yeast from the air. haha.
The last time I did this, we lived in Oakland and the San Francisco sour dough wild yeasties were awesome, and much weight was gained. This time, I set out a mixture of water and flour the consistency of pancake batter and just left it out, uncovered, nestled in a corner of my open, unairconditioned constant eighty degree kitchen. In accord with ancient Belgian beer brewers, I left my container uncovered to the flies and little critters that fluttered and scurried about. It sounds terrible, but those little critters bring the yeast, baby, dropping it from their legs into my little culture. At day four I filtered out their corpses, and sealed my container up. In no less then six days, the frothy mixture smelled of beer.
Did you hear that?
Beer! That’s the lovely smell of yeast in action.
Ever impatient, I pressed my yeast troops into action, ready or not! And I was not disappointed. The pita bread came out beautifully, an air pocket opening up the middle for stuffing, and the flavor had a subtle sourness to it, just enough to give it some character.
Give it a try. It’s so easy, and every yeast/bacteria culture will have a different flavor depending on your region. At first evaluation, the Puerto Rican yeast/bacteria from our little valley is top notch for vigorousness and flavor.