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Dax Tran-Caffee
Level 4: 608 points
Alltime Score: 4123 points
Last Logged In: July 7th, 2014
BADGE: Journey To The End Of The Night Organizer TEAM: Team Shplank TEAM: CGØ TEAM: Real Name TEAM: Public Library Zero TEAM: League of Human Hybrids TEAM: Bike Society For Nihilistic Intent And Disruptive Efforts Rank 1: Anti


55 + 245 points

Wild Yeast by Dax Tran-Caffee, Terpsichore

April 1st, 2008 8:55 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Capture Wild Yeast.

Extra points for capturing the elusive "original" San Francisco Sourdough yeast (Candida Humilis with Lactobacillus Sanfrancisco).


+ larger

 Chapter 2:  RED HEN BREAD
1623 N Milwaukee Ave
500 W Division Pkwy
Chapter 4: TAKE IT TO TASK
 Chapter 5:  BREAD

49 vote(s)

Favorite of:


cooking, bread

22 comment(s)

posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 1st, 2008 9:16 PM

While writing up the task, I baked two loaves. Much better results.


(no subject)
posted by JTony Loves Brains on April 1st, 2008 9:20 PM

You're making me hungry, Dax and Terpsichore! And I live in sourdoughtown!

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posted by Loki on April 1st, 2008 9:23 PM

Very nice!

And, it leads me to wonder if such espionage exists in the world of professional baking.

punch that shit down!
posted by Julian Muffinbot on April 1st, 2008 9:34 PM

Not only is this completion awesome, but it is so very true about Red Hen bread being the best bread in chicag0land! I am sad that your attempts to capture the elusive Red Hen yeast were defeated by the legions of inferior microbes, but it is pretty awesome that you captured the yeast that was trying to hide in your very home, under your very nose.

Yeast is the best microbe ever (well, after slime molds).
posted by susy derkins on April 1st, 2008 9:49 PM

Exciting and inspiring and pleasing for all senses (I am thinking about the sound of the last loaves vs the first glorious brick). And a gift for friends. And detective work.
Fantastic. As always. Thanks.

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posted by teucer on April 1st, 2008 10:45 PM

Damn, I started a starter a while ago that I find produces lovely results, and then forgot that was a task.

Props for doing it, and now I'm going to absolutely have to turn my favorite wild brewing yeast into a reproduceable and distributable strain - something I've been meaning to do anyway and this task has reminded me of.

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posted by susy derkins on April 1st, 2008 11:26 PM

Yes, freeze dry it and send it all over the globe, so that 100+ SF0 players bake and distribute the same awesome bread at the same time! Saccharomyces sp. (DokHarmonii strain), for SFØ Bread day!

Dumpsters and baking.
posted by Herbie Hatman on April 1st, 2008 11:32 PM

As a culinary enthusiast who is intimidated by baking... this was a delight.

As a regular to the local bread dumpster... this was a delight.

(no subject)
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 2nd, 2008 9:02 AM

Kombucha you say...

(no subject)
posted by teucer on April 2nd, 2008 12:51 PM

Dax and Terpsichore - I'd be interested in comparing flavors of starters from different places. If you'd be interested as well, I'll bring a bit of mine and we can trade starter samples at Journey.

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posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 2nd, 2008 2:06 PM

I'd just like to warn everyone that the flavor of the starter I caught here in my kitchen is... well, it's not premium. It tastes quite a bit like my downstairs neighbor smells.

But it does make bread!

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posted by teucer on April 2nd, 2008 2:16 PM


In that case I'm definitely bringing you a sample of mine.

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posted by Ink Tea on April 2nd, 2008 2:38 PM

Oh man, I've been wanting to do this since reading The Omnivore's Dilemma (My mother is a fanTAStic breadmaker, and I've been known to make a great oliveoil rosemary bread), AND I love Bread and Puppet Theatre (Politics + Puppets = awesome, emphasis on the awe). You kids rock. This captures my happy little heart.

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posted by zer0gee on April 2nd, 2008 4:36 PM

Yay! You survived! :D

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posted by Zhee Meatss Needz Cheffing on April 2nd, 2008 4:47 PM

cheeffffff iets meets boot he-a leekes yuoor breed tuu.

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posted by Secret Agent on April 2nd, 2008 6:01 PM

This is beautiful and I'm so jealous. I've been wanting to build a starter for years, but my complete inability to be in the same place at the same time on a regular basis makes it sort of futile. One day I'll settle enough to do it though, and make Apple Sourdough Muffins like my mum did once (if you want the recipe for them I'll see if I can prod her for it).

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posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 3rd, 2008 6:03 PM

Apple Sourdough Muffins sounds wonderful! Recipe Please.

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posted by Secret Agent on April 4th, 2008 2:10 AM

Mum's on the case. Delving into her thorough but inscrutable (to me) recipe filing system. Will post the result up here.

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posted by meredithian on April 7th, 2008 11:33 AM

impressive! my few attempts at breadmaking have yielded bricks, too. but capturing yeast and using it to produce something edible! wow. the time/effort/knowledge of yeast exemplified in this task indicates that your progress with bread is sure to skyrocket.

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posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 7th, 2008 4:40 PM

I baked my first white-flour sourdough last night, and it came out splendid. Turns out that most of the bitter flavor I was tasting earlier was due to the whole wheat flour.

The Wild Yeast I have, by today's appraisal, is in reality quite mild in flavor. Oh well.

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posted by teucer on April 7th, 2008 5:31 PM

Mine's pretty bland too. It yields something that tastes like fine bread, but doesn't taste much like a classic "sourdough". Perhaps the midwestern lactobacilli just suck?

If you want something with a more classic taste, you should probably either ask one of our resident San Franciscans, or try getting some of these guys' starter.

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posted by steve rules on July 5th, 2008 7:39 AM

who knew yeast could be so elusive. nice work catching it though!