Hop Yeast Bread

I’ve had the request for the recipe for the hop yeast bread, so here we go – the recipe was given to me by Mavis Beattie of the Derwent Valley. She has also generously shared the recipe with the local garden club, who printed it their newsletter some time ago.

I do still have three lovely sourdough plants resting in the fridge that a friend gave me a little while ago. They are amazing too, each with their own inherent flavours. I am careful not to neglect them as I have been known to do with my own in the past – these three are really special. It would be a tragedy not to look after them.

Bread is such a wonderful, homey thing to make and bake, the varieties almost endless. When it’s in the oven baking it has to be one of the most cheering aromas in the world.
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Mavis Beattie’s Bread Recipe with Homemade Hop Yeast

Hop Yeast starter

1 organic potato – unpeeled (scrubbed), 1 tablespoon hops and water to cover well. Boil until cooked. Cool.

Mix 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon sugar to a smooth paste using a little of the cooled liquid. Tip this mixture into a saucepan containing the cooled hop/potato mixture. Mash everything and pour into the bottle in which you have put 4 organic sultanas. Set in a warm place to work.

I use a 1.25 litre plastic lemonade or tonic water screw top bottle. It takes the pressure better than a glass bottle.

Hop and potato yeast – to feed plant (after about 4 days)

Boil a medium potato in about 3 cups water until tender. Place a small handful of hops in a mixing bowl. Pour over the boiling potato water. Allow to cool. Hops should have sunk to the bottom.

When cool, add liquid only to 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon sugar. Mix together and top up the starter. Fill the bottle to no more than ¾. Screw the lid down firmly.

Mixture is ready to bake when you undo the bottle and the ‘starter’ rushes out.

To make Hop-Potato Yeast Bread (basic recipe)

Put 1 cup flour in a mixing bowl. Pour in about 1 – 1 ½ cups of bubbling starter. Mix, then leave overnight in a warm place (I sit mine in a cupboard on top of the hot water cylinder).

Next morning – add about 1 pint water (warm) alternately with extra 4 to 5 cups flour to make a soft dough.

If not using bread-mix flour, add a small handful of salt. Mix to a soft-firm dough, leave to rise.

Knock back and put in bread tins. When risen, cook 30 to 40 minutes (20 minutes on High 200 degrees C, and 10 to 20 minutes on 180 degrees C.

Oil can be added, any kind of flour can be used.

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