Lievito Madre - Natural Yeast
10 m every week
A popular method to make bread in Italy is using natural yeast: as yeast is a single celled fungus that consumes carbohydrate as it multiplies thus creating carbon dioxide which causes bread to rise, some people prefer to harvest their own, which is called a starter or lievito madre (mother).
Combine 200g of flour with 150 ml of tepid water and something sweet like a teaspoon of fruit sugar or honey. Mix the ingredients together and store in a warm place inside a plastic or glass container with the lid slightly open to allow air in. After two or three days, the mixture will begin to ferment giving off a beery smell. After another two or three days discard half of the mix, retaining any crust that has started to form and add another 150 ml of water and 200g of flour, then mix well until it has a smooth consistency; use a food processor if necessary, and store again this time with lid fastened, for a further two days. Again discard half and feed as before, leave the mix for one more day and your lievito madre will be ready to use. From now on, it can be stored in the fridge with the lid on as long as you remember to keep discarding and feeding it at least once a week.