A new creature in the house – hop yeast for my bread

Last week I was extremely happy that an elderly friend gave me her generations-old family recipe for hop yeast for baking bread. I’ve followed the hand-written recipe painstakingly, watching and waiting and hoping for the requite bubbles to appear in the bottle. And this morning it’s happened, great cause for rejoicing!

On to the next step of pouring the water from a boiled potato onto a handful more of hops, then feed the yeast beast with this liquid that has been mixed with a little sugar and flour. It’s incredibly exciting, like stepping back into the past.

I’m especially pleased because the plant is really quite vigorous as I hope the photo will show – the bottle is bulging a little under the strain and when I removed the lid, it let out a most promising fizz. Small wonder that old recipes used to say to tie down the cork on the glass bottles that they used back then. (My friend said to use a recycled PET bottle as it would have more give)

I am sure that by this weekend I will be baking bread with it. One of the most satisfying recipes I’ve tried in a long time.

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