Wednesday, August 2, 2017

New Yeast Cakes

My first batch of yeast cakes is running out, and I think they had some process issues, so I wanted to make a new batch.

I decided to try the second yeast cake recipe:

YE2 又造神麴法:Another method for making exceptional yeast cakes


其麥蒸、炒、生三種齊等,與前同;但無復阡陌、酒脯、湯餅、祭麴王及童子手團之事矣。
Take equal quantities of steamed, stir-fried and fresh wheat, and join them as in the previous recipe, but without the north-south cross, the offering of alcohol and dried fruit/meat, the cooked noodles, offering to the “yeast cake king” or having children shape the cakes.
預前事麥三種,合和細磨之。七月上寅日作麴。溲欲剛,擣欲精細,作熟。餅用圓鐵範,令徑五寸,厚一寸五分,於平板上,令壯士熟踏之。以杙刺作孔。
Prepare the three kinds of wheat as before, join them and finely grind them.  On the third day of the seventh month, make the yeast cakes.  Wet them so they are “firm [more water than “just add a little”].”  Pound the mixture until it is evenly mixed and fine.  Make it into cakes using a round iron mold, 5 thumb-joints across, and one and half thumb-joints thick.  On top of a level board, have a strong person really stomp on it.  Use a peg to pierce a hole in the middle of the cake.
淨掃東向開戶屋,布麴餅於地,閉塞窗戶,密泥縫隙,勿令通風。滿七日翻之,二七日聚之,皆還密泥。三七日出外,日中曝令燥,麴成矣。
Clean and sweep a room with an east-facing door, and spread the cakes over the floor.  Block the windows and doors, using mud to seal any cracks, so as to not allow wind to enter.  Flip the cakes after seven full days.  After a second seven days, gather them, and both times re-seal the room.  After a third seven days, take them out, and air them in the sun until dry.  The cakes are finished.
任意舉、閣,亦不用甕盛。甕盛者則麴烏腸,烏腸者,繞孔黑爛。若欲多作者任人耳,但須三麥齊等,不以三石為限。
Whenever you please, hang the cakes for storage in a high, dry place.  These cakes do not keep if stored in a weng.  Cakes that are stored in a weng turn black and vile, and around the hole they will be black and rotten.  If you want to have people help you, you must at least make sure that the three types of grain are equal, and don’t let three dan of grain be a limit.
此麴一斗,殺米三石;笨麴一斗,殺米六斗:省費懸絕如此。用七月七日焦麥麴及春酒麴,皆笨麴法。
One dou of these yeast cakes can ferment three dan [thirty dou] of grain, while one dou of common yeast cakes can ferment six dou of grain: whether use a little or a lot decidedly depends on this.  Use Qixi burnt wheat yeast cakes or spring wine yeast cakes like common yeast cakes.

This is nearly identical to the first one, but presses the molds into cakes.  I used a cheese press I had lying around.
Mixing the three kinds of grain in a food processor.

Blorp.

I'm using this metal tray, and using sushi rolling mats to keep the bottoms from getting too damp.

Flipped after a week.

Gathered after another week

Done!

These are a little grosser than the first ones.  I scrub them before using, since the recipes say to, and it seems to make sense.

Grating it on a box grater reveals the inside.

Powdered.
Brushing these gave me a mild allergy attack, so I'm going to do it outside from now on.

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