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Everything You Need to Know About Yeasts 06:02

Rose Lawrence

Understanding yeast will help you bake the perfect loaf of bread.

Everything You Need to Know About Yeasts 06:02

Rose Lawrence

Understanding yeast will help you bake the perfect loaf of bread.

Intermediate
Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Serving Size

The Steps

  1. 1. Unlike chemical leaveners like baking soda and baking powder, yeast is a living organism. As a result, any recipe where yeast is added will need to undergo a proofing period. The proofing period refers to the time required for the yeast to rise. 00:09

  2. 2. The benefits of using yeast rather than chemical leaveners are that they contribute to more complex and nuanced flavors, more complex structures, and longer shelf lives. 00:27

  3. 3. There are multiple different types of yeasts. The three varieties that are most common are fresh cake yeast, dry yeast, and wild yeast. Fresh cake yeast, though once popular, has fallen out of favor and is typically only used at older restaurants. Dry yeast has replaced fresh cake yeast in terms of popularity and is now used most commonly. Wild yeast is used to make sourdough. 00:46

  4. 4. Dry yeast: In order to use dry yeast, it must first be bloomed. To bloom the yeast, add a half teaspoon of yeast to a medium bowl. Add half of a cup of warm water to the bowl and mix to combine. Let the mixture sit for about five minutes. The yeast is fully bloomed when it dissolves in the water and a grey froth appears on the surface. 01:06

  5. 5. Wild yeast: Wild yeast, also known as ‘the sourdough starter’ is free of commercial yeast and is made up of a strain of wild yeasts specific to the locale. To make a sourdough starter, add flour and water in a one to one ratio to a bowl containing wild yeast. Stir to combine the mixture, making sure to add enough flour in order to yield a thick consistency. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for about a week, or until it starts to bubble. When the mixture bubbles, the yeast has fully bloomed. Wild yeasts contribute more nuanced flavors than dry yeasts, but are a bit unpredictable due to their wild nature. Dry yeasts, on the other hand, are somewhat more reliable because they are always the same regardless of location. 03:19

  6. 6. Fresh cake yeast: Fresh cake yeast can be added straight to batters and doughs and does not need time to rise or bloom. 05:08

  7. 7. When using dry yeast, make sure to subtract the half cup of water used to bloom the yeast from the recipe. Otherwise, the recipe will have more liquid than necessary and your product may not bake properly. 05:15

What You'll Need

Equipment

- Measuring spoons
- Small mixing bowl (2)
- Spoon

Ingredients 

- Fresh cake yeast
- Dry yeast
- Wild yeast
- Warm water (1/2 cup, divided) 
- Flour (1/2 cup)

Chef Notes

Yeast is not only used for baking. Certain types of yeasts are added to beers in order to aid in the fermenting process, while others are added to yogurts, cheeses, coffees, and chocolates.

When yeast is exposed to oxygen, it begins to multiply. Blooming allows for this process to occur. Once the yeast is added to a batter, however, the yeast is covered and deprived of the oxygen it needs to multiply. Without oxygen, the yeast begins to break down sugars and starches into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The release of carbon dioxide causes the baked good to rise.

Traditionally, in order to increase efficiency and to eliminate waste, breweries and bakeries were situated side by side. After grain was fermented to make beer at a brewery, the spent grain was taken to the neighboring bakery to be used to make bread.


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Taught by

Rose

Chef Rose Lawrence

Los Angeles

Rose Lawrence is a master of all things artisanal. Initially gaining recognition for her handmade, wild yeast bread, Ro... read more