Walter The Farting Yeast

by sjbgilmour

Cooking in House Gilmour can be rewarding.  It can also be messy, smelly, and occasionally very, very funny.  The eight or so readers of this blog might know I’ve been experimenting with sourdough bread. My latest effort, proofed twice over a 24 hour period, then baked, turned out like this.


This loaf came out of the oven on Saturday evening, and we’re still eating it today (Monday morning,).  In fact, Miss8, who when asked if she’d like a store-bought roll, store-bought sandwich loaf, or House Gilmour loaf in her lunch, chose the HG loaf.  It’s a heavy, moist, wholemeal rye, with a chewy crust and a distinctively sourdough, yeasty flavour.  But that’s not the funny part,

Miss8’s younger sister, Miss4, asked how I made it, and I explained about the sourdough starter I’ve had bubbling away in the kitchen.  It’s a simple mix of flour, water, and yeast.  It smells like week-old stale beer, and looks kinda gross, but it works a treat.  My explanation went something like this.

Miss4, scrunching up her nose:  ‘Ew!’

Me:  ‘No, not “ew!”.  It’s great.  This stuff is alive.  Don’t hurt it’s feelings.’  Me, after thinking a bit.  ‘Should we give it a name?’

Miss4:  ‘It’s alive???’

Me:  ‘Yep.  It’s yeast.  A living organism.  It lives in the water, eats the flour, and farts out the gas that gives you the bubbles in the container and also the bubbles in the bread.’

Miss4:  ‘Like Walter The Farting Dog!’

Much hilarity ensued.  I’d have picked a different name, but now it’s too late.  Friends, let me introduce to you, the latest addition to House Gilmour, Walter, The Farting Yeast.



I’ve pretty much settled on the bread recipe, but I have played about with the flours I feed WTFY.  I’ve given him plain.  I’ve spooned in a mix of rye, wholemeal and plain.  I’ve even dumped a cup of rye on its own into his container.  Each loaf that has come out has been different.  The best so far has been when WTFY has been fed on the mix of wholemeal, rye and plain flour, and also given plenty to drink so he’s quite runny.  I’ll post another update about WTFY and his output in a week or so.   Till then, toodle pip!




PS:  I’m well aware of the copyright laws, and that I could get in a lot of trouble if I plagiarise any part of the books written by William Kotzwinkle, and Glenn Murray, and illustrated by Audrey Colman.  The chances of me ever making any money out of my yeast starter have to be a million to one at least, and then even if I do, I sure as hell won’t be calling it Walter, The Farting Yeast, so please don’t sue me!