There's a lot of people who claim they really put themselves into their baking, from loving grandmas to master pastry artisans. But that's nothing compared to blogger Zoe Stavri, who is quite literally putting herself into the starter for her sourdough. How, you ask? Yeast. The human body is home to many of the fungi, which can sometimes be the cause of certain internal and external infections, like thrush. Stavri, a self-proclaimed feminist who is active on both her blog and on Twitter, announced the idea on social media and received a variety of responses from support, to skepticism, to the typical "shut ups" from some male commenters.
Stavri's blog post shows photos of the sourdough starter she's attempting to ferment in order to bake her extremely personalized loaf, however as one chef pointed out on Twitter the results may not turn out as expected:
That's because "yeast" is an umbrella term we use to describe a number of organisms. Cooking yeast or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, commonly used in bread and alcohol production, is a sugar-eating, carbon dioxide-belching microorganism that's been cultivated for these purposes for thousands of years. The "yeast" in Stavri's starter slurry is likely Candida albicans, which is commonly found in the gastrointestinal tract and, when allowed to overproduce, causes infections like thrush.
While Stavri's efforts to turn an inconvenient malady into some oven-baked positivity are commendable, the experiment doesn't seem to be heading toward a positive outcome. But another self-identified chef doesn't seem to agree, posting this simple retort:
Another commenter chimed in to question whether the yeast that would ferment the starter would be from Stavri at all, and instead from the air. You can follow their discussion here. At least Stavri seems to know she's sparking debate about her bread making technique: