Give Us This Day…

Stephan asks:

I was baking with my significant other last weekend with some fresh yeast we’d brought over from Scandinavia. Does anyone know of anywhere in Greenwich where you might get fresh yeast over the counter? A bakery, a supermarket, somewhere where it doesn’t cost ridiculous money?

The Phantom replies:

Last time I made bread you were able to just go into a baker’s, ask nicely and they’d let you have some yeast for free. Of course, that was before the Ark, and your problem these days is actually finding a bakery where they make bread on the premises. Greggs obviously don’t, I don’t think Hursts do and Rhodes don’t. BUT they do bake all their bread (including for the branch in Notting Hill Gate I saw the other day…) in their factory in Lassell St – you might give them a call – I can’t see they would be so insecure in their empire that the odd Phantophile wanting to make the odd loaf of bread is going to topple them. They might sell it to you – on the other hand they might just let you have a bit…

17 Comments to “Give Us This Day…”

  1. JohnJames says:

    If you can make it over to Blackheath, I’ve bought fresh yeast from Boulangerie Jade before. I think they charged me a pound for a cup of it.

  2. Tony says:

    Ocado sell Kronjast fresh yeast. £1.80 for 200g(4x 50g blocks)

    As ever the problem with fresh yeast is that unless you are doing a lot of baking you will not go through it especially quickly and will probably end up discarding most of it and then not having it to hand the next time you want to bake.

    Instant yeast is just as effective and far more convientnt for the average home baker. If will keep in the fridge for months and months and in the freezer for an age. If you are careful about your brand there should be nothing unpleasnt in there.

    Of course if you really want to go “natural” then sourdough is the way forward. Assuming you are local to greenwich you would be very welcome to have some of my starter to get you going. I bake with it twice a week and once you find timings that work for you it is barely any more effort than baking with commercial yeast.

  3. Kelly says:

    Just to but in and ask a question of Tony, hope no-one minds! I have been trying to make sourdough for years with intermittant success (perhaps I should have given up by now, I’m sure my husband would say so!) and have now resorted to using my starter along with instant yeast in order to make bread according to a River Cottage recipe. Any tips on how to make a successful loaf? Anyone fancy a baking club?!

  4. emily says:

    Hursts at the standard supply fresh yeast

  5. Maeve OKane says:

    Brockley Brewing Company, Howson Rd, SE4

  6. Maureen says:

    We get all of our fresh yeast from Steve at Greenwich Organic in market.

    Triple Win: Fresh yeast from a local shop with a truly lovely owner.

  7. Andrew says:

    Thanks all – good to know where to get fresh yeast. Good luck with the sour dough – great fun as long as you care for it!

  8. Tony says:

    Hey Kelly,
    It sounds like you have a sourdough starter up and running and if you are adding yeast then I suppose you are not happy with the rise you are getting out of it.

    If you tell me where it is going wrong then I would be happy to help but I have a few general tips.

    First, if you want a nice active starter I think you really need to feel it every 12 hours. But that is only when you actually want to bake with it. The rest of the time it can just live in the fridge.

    The other point is that sourdough does need longer to raise a loaf than commercial yeast. Here is the schedule I use for a Saturday morning bake:

    19:00 – Take starter out of fridge and discard/feed.

    7:00 – Mix sourdough for dough, leave on counter to mature. Feed remaining starter and back into fridge till I next need it.

    Go to work

    18:30 – Mix and autolyse dough
    19:00 – Add salt and knead for a bit. Leave to rise for 2.5 hours with two folds during the rise.
    21:30 – Divide and pre-shape the dough.
    21:45 – Shape; into bannetons; under plastic and into the fridge for the night.

    6:30(or whenever you get up) – Oven on and dough out of the fridge.
    7:15 – In for the bake.

    I hope the above is of help.

  9. Kelly says:

    Hi Tony
    Many thanks for the advice, really appreciate it! Will be brave and have another go! Kelly

  10. Paul C says:

    Sainsbury’s! Ask at the cakes counter – it’s very cheap.

  11. Lysanne says:

    We got some at the bakers at the corner of shooters hill and Greenwich South Street, for free some time ago

  12. John says:

    Blimey – that sourdough timetable is a touch extended. I’m too lazy to do anything other than stick to soda bread, which I can have in the oven ten minutes after starting.

  13. Patrick says:

    Try this New York Times fast bread recipe instead. It might take a few bakes to get right, main problem tends to be how much liquid to add ( usually add a little less than what the recipe calls for)

  14. Tony says:

    Yeah… the elapsed time is large but the effort is relatively small.

  15. Jacky says:

    Last time was 15p from Sainsbury’s bakery counter …

  16. Stephan says:

    Thanks for all the replies.

    Tony: We are local to Greenwich and had a sourdough going, however the favoured recipe of my GF requires both sourdough and some yeast. Apparently, over where she comes from, they have sourdoughs that have gone on from brad to bread and survived for hundreds of years!

    Phantom: I’ll ask Rhodes, I’m just by Lassell Street anyway, actually one of their closeest neighbours — but I don’t have a friendly contact with them. If you do, please let me know, as that would be perfect! :)

  17. Stephan says:

    Maureen: Just saw your reply, seems like a great solution, will try that out — thanks!