Author Topic: Before Instant Dry Yeast....a starter from wine or beer??  (Read 3392 times)

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Offline MTPIZZA

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Before Instant Dry Yeast....a starter from wine or beer??
« on: May 09, 2005, 03:21:23 PM »
Back in the early 60's ...a pizza parlor we always went to made a coal oven tomato pie as they were called in the Italian section of the city... The crust had a very very tasty light crispy flavor. The fragrance of the crust if peeled open was not of yeast smell at all ---but a pleasant sweet soft, hint of wheat, vanilla like aroma..(like fine wine has different types of flavors come through when sipping)... I often wondered back when the first pizza parlors were opening, there was'nt any IDY... I have heard of getting the leavening from beer...or even wine grapes... perhaps this is what they used to get that fantastic flavor out of the flour they were using...so Jeff, pft, Peter, anybody...what were they doing or using and what were the techniques...
I have seen photos of pizzeria's in Naples that have the dough all lined up in wooden trays that are coated in flour as if they were being used for centuries. Perhaps its the storage again that has to be mastered along with autolyse etc....
Any ideas out there..please share...


Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Before Instant Dry Yeast....a starter from wine or beer??
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2005, 03:44:06 PM »
There was fresh commercial yeast...

For the home bakers in Italy was common since around 1870 using the fermenting cream resulting from beer production. That is why fresh commercial yeast is still called "Lievito di Birra" in Italy. Pizzamakers and professional bakers in Naples have however continued to use a starter until the end of Second World War. This was unclear to me until not to long ago (when Ive found some documented evidence) and has resulted in a misinformation published on an instructions booklet some time ago.

Unfortunately the wood boxes (you do not flour the ball in these) are disappearing even in Naples. The advantage of the wood boxes is that retain some of the moisture from the outer dough ball, without drying it out. This then allows you to use less bench flour even though the dough is still very moist. The wood helps as well to keep a constant temperature.

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Before Instant Dry Yeast....a starter from wine or beer??
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2005, 06:39:28 PM »
ahhh..ok..so this beer cream/foam, can one get a starter going by using it? or does the alcohol kill any living organisms in the beer?? I would think that a starter made from this would impart added flavor to your fermenting dough...please explain..
and thanks again for your kind explanation Pizzanapoletana!!

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Before Instant Dry Yeast....a starter from wine or beer??
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2005, 08:06:34 PM »
The foam cream gives you a very similar aroma to commercial yeast.

My dough, made with a small quantity of starter or even a tiny amount of fresh yeast, doesn't smell or taste like yeast at all. It smell fruity, fresh even sweet. Il Pizzaiolo can cofirm this. The dough doesn't even look like has fermented/leavened much. You can only see the superiority of my dough once baked... Soft, fluffy, light, easy to digest...etc.

Offline varasano

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Re: Before Instant Dry Yeast....a starter from wine or beer??
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2005, 10:40:09 PM »
The strain of yeast in IDY is  Saccaromyces cervisiae.  Recall that in spanish beer is  cerveza. It comes from beer. Beer is very, very old, going back to Egyptian times. Most western and middle eastern cultures drank beer because the fermentation killed the other contaminants. Drinking water in many parts of the world was considered dangerous. In eastern cultures they drank tea and other boiled drinks to make them safe.

Anyway, before IDY most bread used natural starters and since many don't rise that much, bread tended to be denser.  Also, the milling didn't allow for very fine grinds. So breads tended to be made of whole grains, incompletely milled, using weak yeast. Welcome to the fun middle ages....

My guess is that modern beers would have no live cultures, but you might be able to get a culture going from beer that came from a brewhouse and not a major factory.

Jeff

Offline MTPIZZA

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Re: Before Instant Dry Yeast....a starter from wine or beer??
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2005, 07:04:15 AM »
thanks for the insight Jeff, you make a good point about "todays" beer manufactured in modern factories... this now has steered me to the local micro breweries. I have a micro brew place right near me that makes a beer called RiverHorse Beer--(another name for Hippopotamas)...they make dark, amber, and light lager beers --the smell when you walk into the place is amazing with the barley and hops all cooking away.. I bet I could get them to give or sell me some of the "beer cream" or sediment from the brewing process.

Offline youonlylivetwice

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Re: Before Instant Dry Yeast....a starter from wine or beer??
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2005, 04:07:22 PM »
Hey MT,
Easiest thing would be to make your own yeast starter, it'd cost very little, and be much easier than trying to culture one out of a brewed beer.  Though that could be done IF you find a good nonfiltered beer, but it'd be a lot more work.  Hit your local homebrew shop, and for about 3 bucks you can get one started.  Heck, add a little hops and have a beer too!


 

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