Tag: Yeast

The yeast library really exists and is located in Belgium – Italian Cuisine


Over 125 specimens from all over the world are kept in the spaces of the Center for Bread Flavor in Puratos. Here's how to visit them also in a virtual way

Not only cinema, science and contemporary art: also his majesty the sourdough – for someone challenging, for others faithful companion of this long quarantine – it can boast its very own museum. Or rather, a kind of library, at times similar to a bank, created and managed by Puratos, an international company active in the bakery, pastry and chocolate sector: the space in question is located inside the Center for Bread Flavor of Sankt Vith, a Belgian town of 9 thousand inhabitants on the border with Germany, and collects over 125 types of mother yeasts from 25 countries of the world.

Photo: Puratos.

The mother yeast library

It all began in 2013, when Puratos was contacted by a Syrian baker who asked for a sort of "political asylum" for his beloved mother yeast: his children, heirs of the family business specializing in chickpea flour biscuits, decided to replace it with a less demanding industrial yeast, but he still wants to leave a tangible trace of his precious baking ally to the world. This is where it enters the scene Karl De Smedt, a real guru of the topic, who decides to start the project of the Library of the Mother Yeast. «Traveling around the world, Karl De Smedt had already been able to discover how different the mother yeasts of the different geographical areas were, says Laura Cafasso, digital marketing & communication specialist of Puratos Italia. "Hence the decision to launch the initiative on the web Quest for Sourdough: through this portal, each baker would have had the opportunity to apply for his own mother yeast for a permanent place in the archive that Puratos was building in Belgium. Something very similar to the Seed Bank of Svalbard, in Norway, where the most precious specimens of seeds are kept to be protected and passed on to future generations .
The applications made through the web platform were thus examined by De Smedt and the company's experts: each selected mother yeast, because judged as badge of a production worthy of recognition, was thus taken through a special kit, properly analyzed and therefore inserted within the library, complete with an identification number and entrance ceremony. To date, all the natural yeasts present in the Sankt Vith complex are kept in optimal conditions in refrigerators at 4 ° C, and are regularly refreshed with the original flour with which they were produced, to recreate the original conditions of the bakery. Without any alteration from their original version.

Photo: Puratos.

The stories inside the yeast

The very first mother yeast to enter the Belgian library was an Italian specimen. Pugliese, to be precise, used for the preparation of the famous Altamura bread and fed with durum wheat flour. But the stories enclosed in the Sankt Vith refrigerators are really the most disparate, as also tells the New York Times: there is the number 100, Japanese, produced from rice sake; or the number 72, Mexican, constantly fed with an egg, lime and beer mix. But we also find a very original Canadian mother yeast, 106, coming directly from the end of the nineteenth century and from the stories of those gold miners who traveled around the North American continent armed only with hope and some supplies of subsistence. In short, the specimens preserved in the Biblioteca del Lievito Madre in Puratos are presented to all intents and purposes as an album in jars straddling history and traditions. "Our space can obviously be visited in person, by contacting the company and agreeing on an appointment, but at the moment, due to the health emergency, everything is postponed", continues Laura Cafasso. «For all fans who in recent weeks would like to deepen their knowledge, however, one is available virtual tour very detailed, with numerous testimonials and various video contributions . A precious way, in short, to expand the skills learned during this quarantine spent between ovens and stoves, which has seen us all – at least once – proudly wearing the baker's apron.

Photo: Puratos.

Coronavirus: fresh yeast is almost impossible to find – Italian Cuisine

Coronavirus: fresh yeast is almost impossible to find


The yeast is not "made": it is cultivated. It is not the product of an industrial process that can intensify with increasing demand. Here's how it was born

In time of lockdown, the Italians have rediscovered the pleasure of kneading and baking. So that purchases of flour and yeast have rocketedin recent weeks, by + 205% and + 203%, as noted by the Coop Research Office. So it can happen that on the shelves of the supermarket it can really become a business to find these ingredients.

In particular, fresh yeast is almost untraceable, despite the fact that the companies that produce it are at work non-stop, as confirmed by Piero Pasturenzi, president of the Assitol Sugar Yeast Group, the Italian Association of the oil industry representing the sector. "Our goal is to respond to consumer demand, ensuring the high quality of our products and, at the same time, the health of our workers." But the yeast does not does: Yes cultivates. It is not the product of an industrial process which can intensify as demand increases, but a microorganism that comes to life from a by-product of agricultural origin. «Companies create the most favorable conditions for them to reproduce in the presence of oxygen; basically everything is based on the fermentation of sugar, a process that has nothing artificial and which obviously has its time. " That cannot be contracted.

How yeast is grown

Welovelievito.it, the Assitol website created to dispel false myths and promote correct information on yeast, explains it well. Brewer's yeast is a living organism, belonging to the mushroom kingdom, fed and reproduced in a completely sustainable way using products of natural origin, such as sugar molasses.

If we looked at the yeast under a microscope, we could find that it is made up of single-cell microorganisms of spherical shape: a 1 gram cube contains over 10 billion yeast cells. Each of these small cells, like all living organisms, must feed, reproduce and, above all, breathe, and need air for its development. The name "brewer's yeast" refers to the production methods of the past centuries (when it was obtained from beer), but today it is cultivated starting from the sugar component of molasses, a product obtained from the processing of beet and sugar cane: the yeast, in fact, is greedy for sugar. Before coming into contact with the yeast, molasses is sterilized.

At this point the yeast cells they can begin aerobic "breathing": are exposed to the action of oxygen. In addition to oxygen, molasses and nutrients (vitamins and trace elements) are added, which are used for good cell growth. These, starting to feed on molasses and other nutrients, begin the breathing process with which the demolition of glucose takes place.

At the end of the fermentation process, the yeast is washed with cold water to eliminate any residue from the molasses-based culture medium. The compound obtained is subjected to centrifugation in order to obtain the yeast cream which is then stored at a temperature of around 4 degrees.

At this point, the processing of the yeast cream depends on the type of final product to be obtained. In the case of liquid yeast, the process ends here. To obtain fresh or dry yeast, the cream is subjected to further processing, such as filtering, in the case of fresh yeast, and also dehydration, in the case of dry yeast.

As the Welovelievito.it team explains to "La Cucina Italiana", the timing depends a lot on the companies but, in general, from when you start the process at the end it takes at least a week. So let's put some patience.

Mother yeast: who makes home delivery – Italian Cuisine

Mother yeast: who makes home delivery


Buy a pizza and receive the mother yeast as a gift with Berberè pizza, or there is the Calabrian start-up Mulinum and the Rome Levain bakery. They'll send the mother yeast straight home

Finding the yeast is difficult, the sourdough is impossible, and here the solution arrives at home.

From Berberè, pizza and mother yeast

After these weeks of quarantine, in which Berberè, the brand of pizzerias created by the Aloe brothers, all the premises of the brand have resumed the delivery of pizzas and bread. Thanks to the collaboration with the delivery partners, home delivery has been reactivated every day from 18.30 to 22.30. TO Milan, but also a Turin, Florence Santa Croce, Bologna and and Rome. Furthermore, given the difficulty for consumers to find the yeast these days, together with the order of the pizzas and the bread, some of the live sourdough used by Berberè, perfect for preparing bread, will be delivered as long as stocks last. and pizza at home. Information on their website www.berberepizza.it

The Calabrese start-up

It is called Mulinum, born thanks to crowdfunding in 2016, and is an agricultural strat-up in Calabria that produces wholemeal, stone-ground flour, bread – according to ancient recipes and with the use of mother yeast – and sweet baked products and salty. To make up for the lack of yeast, they decided to pay homage to it in the packaging of their kits, on sale on their website, www.mulinum.it

In Rome, Levain's kit

Le Levain is a French boulangerie in the Trastevere area and invented the kit for making homemade bread. The package contains a sack of type 1 flour, Camargue salt, sourdough and the recipe for making bread, as well as instructions for refreshing the sourdough. You can buy it on Cosaporto.it

For the recipe of the pizza with sourdough and the instructions to refresh and keep the sourdough alive, here are some ideas:

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