Leftovers have played a large role in my life.  Perhaps because my parents had the war fresh in their minds they ensured that no food ever went to waste.  There were times when I would open the fridge door and stare at rows of little bowls of tiny amounts of food and despair, but on the leftover front I turned into my mother at a very early age.  I am particularly proud that I can feed a family of five on a decent lamb roast for three days and still have leftover cold meat for lunch/sandwiches (plus the bone for the dogs).  Roast on Sunday, shepherd’s pie on Monday and Stovies on Tuesday.

However, this post is about a different kind of leftover altogether.  The Boss makes his own beer.  It is lovely, although the smell can be a bit overpowering at times if you don’t like that kind of thing.  It also produces copious amounts of this as a side product.


Brewer’s yeast.  This time, before pouring it away it occurred to us that I could use it for breadmaking.  It was still rather runny so I ran it through a muslin.


Next time I wouldn’t bother.  First almost all of the yeast goes through in the liquid, you do get a tiny brick of yeast at the end but it seemed an awful waste of the rest.  I did try an put it through a second time but the same thing happened.  Secondly, if you have teenagers in the house they will make endless comments about the unspeakable things taking place in the kitchen and compare you unfavourably with parents who are normal.

So I just put it all in a small container, left it to settle and whoppee, a couple of hours later there was a lovely thick sludge at the bottom and I could pour off the excess liquid from the top.

The best recipes suggested using the yeast to make a sour dough starter.  I used this one from Ko-bo.   Here is the starter on day one.


Gorgeous isn’t it?

The addition of honey is inspired because it adds some richness and takes away any potential bitterness from the brewers yeast (a common complaint from many of the bakers I researched).  I didn’t have any malt barley and added some rye flour and crushed mixed seeds. Here is the finished result.


It rose a vast amount on the first rise, but less so on the second.  I am tempted to cook it without beating it down next time, just to compare the difference.  It is a very tasty loaf with a dense but crumbly crumb.  Also Ko-bo makes a small starter and uses all of it.  In more traditional soughdough style I have made double the amount and am going to keep it going.  Which does of course mean I have rather a lot of brewers yeast going if anyone is interested.


  Breakfast this morning.  One slice with just butter and one with marmite.  The latter may seem a bit of overkill if I am taste testing, but I love it so much and anyway, it’s practically a first cousin to the bread!

13 thoughts on “leftovers

  1. Gillian, you are a clever wife! This makes me want to make some beer, just so I’ll have that wonderful by-product of brewer’s yeast! The bread looks fantastic. My sourdough starter never made a loaf that rose that much, much to my disappointment.

  2. Great that nothing goes to waste. The use of the word starter got me thinking about something that has been popular here often called Amish Bread (not really sure why). You give a friend a bag of the liquid starter, follow directions for days, keep a cup to make your next batch of starter then follow the recipe for some delicious bread. You can share the starter or keep making bread (or both). You end up with no more friends that want starter and eating too many carbs, but it’s fun while it lasts.

  3. Kids, especially teenagers, never think parents are normal! But we loved having teens and miss the eye-rolling and endless comments that come with that teenage stage! If only your girls could realize that one day they’ll probably grow up to do even even ‘weirder’ things! lol!

    1. I have pointed to myself on more than one occasion and told them to take note. This is what they will become one day….. cue more eyerolling!!

  4. Gillie, that looks truly amazing! And as for the teenagers, the question is when not whether they will be doing the same sort of things themselves! I remember a moment in my mid twenties when I was visiting my mum and realised that the contents of her cupboards were exactly the same as mine – or should I say, mine were the same as hers?? Eye rolling is practically a sport in our house with our 14 and 13 year olds…

  5. Brewer’s yeast has a lot of health benefits too. My grandfather takes some every morning and he must be doing something right because he is 90 and in good health. Just saying.

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