Saturday, April 16, 2005

Introducing 3 Yeast Beasties 

In the picture below, I've managed to capture Heike, Tri-Pliny, and Onuri Ufa all at once.

Usually, when I take care of the Yeast Beasties, I forget to take their pictures. What with dividing them, watering and feeding them and sterilizing their jars anew, getting out the camera is far from my mind.

It's not as clearly visible in the photo as it is in person, but Tri-Pliny (in the middle), the youngest of the trio, is also the palest. He has a crisp slightly sour beer smell, and a very creamy color and texture. I haven't baked anything with him yet, so I can't tell you what flavor he has. I'm thinking I make make a Ciabatta or a Focaccio with him later today.

Heike (in the front), is a more tan color, thicker, denser, and with a fruitier smell than beery. She doesn't smell sour at all. Her performance is best with ryes and whole grains, and her breads tend to be dense and firm, slicing thinly and keeping their shape even with multiple fillings. Her bread makes excellent open-faced sandwiches and is a star on the smorgasbord.

Onuri Ufa (in the back) is the darkest of our Yeast Beasties. He's also the oldest by far, tracing his roots to ancient Egypt and the days of the pyramids. He is cantankerous and crotchety, but this latest course of washing seems to have re-invigorated him. I mixed a little Pedialyte in with the feeding water, something I did 20 years ago accidentally. I thought he'd died, and bought water for him and Pedialyte for the children, and grabbed the wrong bottle when I went to feed him. Next thing I knew, he was bubbling away happily.

I haven't given him any more Pedialyte since, but I guess it was just time to give him some more. He seems to need more than just flour and water to keep him satisfied. And he is very slow most of the time to activate for use. He likes barley flours and the older strains of wheat flours the best. He makes great cakes, pancakes, muffins, and little flat loaves of bread. He also makes some of the best crackers ever.

Hmmmm, now I'm curious, I wonder how sourdough Biscotti would taste? I need to try out Tri-Pliny. Maybe I'll make a lovely Biscotti loaf and see what happens.

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