Raisin Yeast Water

Once you bake breads with instant / active dry yeast for a reasonable amount of time, it is a natural progression to baking with sourdough. When I read about sourdough, I was fascinated to know that you actually can bake with just flour and water as a starter. I started my usual fanatical search for ‚Äčinformation on sourdough and one thing led to another and I chanced upon baking with yeast water. It absolutely blew me away. I discovered that baking with yeast water is not as popular as baking bread with sourdough or yeast but it is as fascinating and has myriad possibilities as you can imagine.

What is yeast water? Yeast water is water fermented by using fruits / flowers / dry fruits / leaves which can then be used to bake bread. This yeast water lends a fantastic flavour to the bread. It can be used as is i.e. replacing the water quantity in a recipe with yeast water or it can be used along with a sourdough starter. You can make yeast water with a variety of items. Raisins is the easiest since it contains a significant amount of natural sugar. You can also make yeast water with apples, orange, plums, apricot, mint, strawberries, etc.

Strangely there is not enough information online about yeast waters or there is a secret cove that I am yet to discover. Here is whatever I have managed to find out. I will try and keep updating this page with new information based on what I read and also what I observe with my experiments.

I tried to make yeast water with raisins but I was unsuccessful the first time. Next I tried with apples but that was not successful either. Then I tried with raisins again and this time I finally struck gold. I have very few pictures because I took step by step pictures the first couple of time but was disappointed with the results. So I did not click much during this attempt which was finally successful.

HOW TO MAKE YEAST WATER

WHAT YOU NEED

Container

Raisins

Water

Container

  • It can be a plastic or glass jar. Ensure it is transparent so that you can observe the activity within.
  • The size of the jar needs to be such that there are few inches space above the raisins and water for the gas to build up

Raisins

  • The raisins should be preferably organic because other raisins may have sulfur coating which prevents fermentation
  • Ensure organic raisins do not have oil coated on them. That is again detrimental to making yeast water

Water

  • It is ideal to use filtered water
  • Tap water can contain chlorine and will block fermentation and so should not be used
  • To use tap water or chlorinated water, leave it open in a vessel for 24 hours and the chlorine will dissipate and it can be used after that

 

WHAT TO DO

  • There is no specific quantity to make yeast water. It is better to start small. We need the water quantity to be twice that of the raisin quantity. If you are using 1/3 cup of raisins, you will need 2/3 cup of water
  • Choose your container after determining the quantity of raisins and water so that there is some head space in the container for gas build up
  • Wash the container well / sterilize it
  • Place the raisins and water in the container and shut it tightly
  • Set aside for 24 hours
  • After that, shake it 2-3 times everyday and degass it twice a day.
  • Degass means to open the jar for a few seconds and shut it again tightly. Preferably degass at the same time everyday
  • Initially the raisins will be at the bottom of the jar
  • After 3-4 days, all the raisins will rise to the top of the water in the jar and the water will change colour to brown
  • There are three indicators to know that the yeast water is ready – all the raisins have risen to the top of the water, when you shake the jar there is a visible fizz and the strong smell
  • This can take anywhere between 4-6 days depending on the quality of the raisins, water and weather.
  • It can then be used for baking bread
  • It can also be stored in a refrigerator after straining the raisins out for around a month
  • Feed it a spoon of sugar / honey once in 10 days to keep it going
  • While baking, you can also use the raisins in the bread or it can be discarded

Check out a couple of pictures I managed to get of my raisin yeast water

 

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I will be posting my bread with yeast water recipe soon. Hope you like it and give it a shot.

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Banana Flittas

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One advice I would like to give people who are yet to be married is that to look for someone with similar taste in food. A surprisingly lot of time and effort in your life is with regard to food – buying, making, eating. If you don’t agree on that, it is not going to be easy. Trust me. You’ll thank me later. It has taken us nearly a decade to find a middle path and now we have the daughter’s taste to consider which is very likely to disrupt the equation we have painstakingly worked on to cause equal grief to both of us. 

Usually I am of the opinion that fruits should not be cooked but should be had raw and with its skin whenever possible. I do enjoy my orange cake and banana bread (but the bananas are overripe and so shouldn’t count. Right?) but little else. So I was kind of skeptical to make these banana fritters or flitaas as they are called in Jamaica. But once I did, the husband and daughter loved it so much that they are trying to make me promise to repeat this as often as I can. I am so torn between my principles and the demands of the family. Sigh! Well, I did like it too!

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes around 10

WHAT WE NEED

Bananas, ripe, medium                    2

All purpose flour                                1/2 cup

Sugar                                                     2-3 tbsp

Baking soda                                          A pinch

Ground cinnamon                              1/4 tsp

Salt                                                         A pinch

Oil                                                           2 tsp

Milk                                                        1 tbsp

Oil for deep frying
WHAT TO DO           

  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying
  • Mash the bananas well in a bowl and set aside
  • Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt
  • Add 2 tsp oil and the milk to the mashed bananas
  • Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture and combine to form a smooth, wet dough
  • Drop spoonfuls of the dough in the hot oil and fry till golden brown
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. The amount of sugar depends on the sweetness of the bananas. You need to taste and adjust to your preference
  2. An option is to roll the deep fried flittas in some cinnamon sugar to give it an additional level of flavour and sweetness 

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Dishes from the Carribean’.

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Coconut Rock Buns

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During the past week in Mumbai, I accompanied my mother and daughter to many friends’ homes for the ubiquitous Navrathri vethalapakku. The norm is to invite ladies of family and friends and present to them some beetle leaves, beetle nut, turmeric, coconut and fruit. Some people go the extra mile and give additional gifts as well and I got some amazing stuff this time. B what ended up happening was that, at the end of five days, we were buried under a coconut hill. We got so many coconuts from all the houses we visited which was compounded by the fact that the daughter asked for them when she didn’t get one leading to total coconut chaos. 

My mother made me take 6 coconuts (grated, thankfully) back to Bangalore and now I am using it across dishes even in those we don’t usually add them. The only good thing is that the husband loves coconut and is a very happy soul these past few days. So when I read about coconut’s popularity in th Caribbean cuisine, I was thrilled. But I found most recipes using coconut milk and not simply coconut as is. Then I found this coconut rock and I figured I had to make it. I added more coconut than the dish needed but that only ended up making it more flavorful. I also increased the proportion of sugar which worked out well. I also added the sweet cherries on top to give the Iyengar Bakery feels to the husband who was thrilled. So, I managed to hit many birds with one stone, or should I say rock. Yay!

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Recipe adapted from here

Makes 8 rock buns

WHAT WE NEED

All purpose flour                1 cup

Butter, unsalted                  1/4 cup

Sugar                                     1/2 cup

Raisins                                   3 tbsp

Baking powder                    1/2 tsp

Ground nutmeg                   1/2 tsp

Ground cinnamon               1/2 tsp

Egg                                           1

Vanilla                                     1 tsp

Milk                                          4 tsp

Coconut, grated                      1/4 cup + 2 tbsp

Water            

WHAT TO DO

  • Heat 1/2 cup water, add the raisins to it and cover. Once it plumps up, drain the water and set aside. It should take around 10-15 minutes
  • Preheat the oven to 190C and grease a baking tray and line it with parchment paper
  • Using fingertips, rub the butter with the flour till the mixture gets a sand like texture
  • Add the sugar, raisins, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and coconut and mix well to combine
  • Mix the egg and vanilla in anothe bowl and then add to the flour mix
  • Add milk and mix well to form a dough
  • Use a spoon to drop the dough on to the baking tray. Since it is to be rocks, the shape need not be well defined 
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes till done. Broil for 2 minutes to get the golden brown colour on top, if needed
  • Serve warm
  • Enjoy!

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Dishes from the Caribbean’.

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Peanut Porridge

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I just finished a mega marathon of Protein Rich Dishes but I am clearly not over it. My theme for today is ‘Dishes from the Caribbean’ and what do I pick? Another protein packed dish. This one is so simple and delicious, not to mention easy to make with most ingredients readily available in your kitchen. It is a breakfast dish but I had it for lunch and felt content for the next 4-5 hours. This is surely getting into my breakfast roster.

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This peanut porridge is popular across all of the Caribbean. It started out as street food and is very popular with vegetarians. It has now gained popularity at restaurants with locals and tourists alike. There are different versions to make it – with condensed milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk.

Recipe adapted from here

Serves 1-2

WHAT WE NEED

Quick cooking Oats                            1/2 cup

Raw peanuts                                        1/2 cup

Wheat flour                                           2 tsp

Cornmeal                                               1 tbsp

Condensed milk                                    2-3 tbsp

Ground cinnamon                                1/2 tsp

Ground nutmeg                                     1/2 tsp

Water                                                       1 1/2 – 2 cups

A pinch of Salt 
WHAT TO DO

  • Heat 1 cup of water with a pinch of salt 
  • Grind the peanuts in to a fine powder and set aside
  • Grind the oats into a fine powder
  • Mix the ground oats and peanuts in a bowl
  • Add the cornmeal and wheat flour and mix well
  • Add 1 cup of water and stir to form a smooth paste
  • Pour this paste into the boiling water and mix well to ensure there are no lumps
  • Simmer and let it cook covered for 6-7 minutes
  • Stir frequently to avoid the porridge sticking to the base of the vessel
  • Add the condensed milk, nutmeg and cinnamon 
  • Mix and simmer for 2 minutes
  • Serve warm with some fruits for a wholesome tasty breakfast
  • Enjoy!

NOTES

  1. If you only want a mild sweetness to your porridge, add 2 tbsp of condensed milk else add 3 tbsp
  2. The porridge will be slightly runny immediately after cooking but will thicken when let to cool
  3. You can replace the water with part milk 

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This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Dishes from the Carribean’.

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Protein Rich Dishes Recap – Mega Marathon BM#80

Sept roundup

We come to the end of another Mega Marathon when we blog for all days of the month except Sundays. The theme, as we know, is Protein Rich Dishes and I have showcased 26 different proteins of which 25 are vegetarian. This is my third Mega Marathon after –

September Cooking Carnival 2016 where I posted 26 different soups; &

A to Z Baking around the World where I blogged about 26 different breads, one for each letter of the alphabet.

The research for this topic taught me a lot about the nutrition in various ingredients that I was not previously aware of. I discovered new tasty dishes to get my daughter her daily protein fix and I enjoyed making and devouring some fabulous dishes. Here is a recap of all the recipes this month –

Sprouted Mung Soup

Karamani Kuzhi Paniyaram
Beans Parupu Usili

Hummus

Dal Khichdi

Rajma Masala

Black gram dosa with black gram chutney powder

Roasted Chana Dal


Amaranth flour Pizza topped with Broccoli 


Mushroom Egg Rice

Peas Paneer Paratha

Corn & Tomato Crostini with Cashew Cheese

Thai scented Asparagus Soup

Spinach Dosa

Cashew Cheese

Honey Roasted Almonds

Dry fruit Milk / Masala Doodh

Chia Seed Cookies

Flaxseed Malaga Podi

Poppy seed Waffles

Mor Kozhambu

Goan Egg  Curry

Spelt flour & Spinach Loaf

Chocolate Chia Overnight Oats

Quinoa Chocolate Mug Brownie

Ras Malai


This is my recap of the Mega Marathon with the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.

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