photo by Achilleas Ambatzidis 


Growing up my mom would make bagels from a fermented vegetable yeast she received from my Japanese preschool teacher. She eventually passed it onto me.

The vegetable yeast was originally from a Japanese Buddhist monk, created in 1974. My Japanese preschool teacher had met him in Japan and has continued to  follow his practices in bread making. She brought back the yeast and has shared it with my mom and me.

I moved to NY years later, bringing with me my new “baby”. I carried it with me in my suitcase and started experimenting making breads and bagels for my friends. Almost any bread can be made but I have always been most drawn to  bagels and donuts.  The demand for bagels continued to grow, while I never expected to be a baker of any sort it has worked out in this way.  It is such rewarding work to be able to take care of something and make a product that makes people happy.

The yeast feeds on rice, apples, carrots, and Yamaimo (Japanese Mountain Yam).

While it does contain wheat, the monk believed that this bread promotes purification in the stomach. A thought that it is Ayurvedic and balances the body through removing toxins as it is fermented with good ingredients.

The process:

After I feed my baby yeast, I mix and knead the dough… I like to do it at 11pm :)

I let it rise overnight, + roll it in the morning,


Then bake

And enjoy

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