Growing a Pancake: How Environmental Factors Impact Fungi Growth in a Sourdough Starterby: Sarah Reeves Young

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Many people spend time cultivating and tending gardens that grow items such as tomatoes, herbs, strawberries, and other produce. But how many people do you know who can grow pancakes? This experiment is all about growing pancakes, or at least an ingredient—yeast— that is found in. Students are asked to grow a yeast fungi culture that is called a “starter” in the world of cooking. By creating an ideal environment, students are able to cultivate wild yeast over a period of five days. The wild yeast can then be used to create a basic sourdough pancake. This lab is designed to provide a hands-on experience that highlights how fungi grow and reproduce in ideal environments, while making a connection with the culinary world in a way that is inexpensive and edible.

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