I love making bread. In a perfect world homemade fresh bread and chocolate cheesecake would have 0 calories, 0 fats and 0 carbs.
I made my very first bread a little over a year and half ago. If you were thinking by the amount of baking I’ve been doing on this blog that I learned how to turn the oven on before I start walking you were wrong.
I didn’t get along with yeast for the very first time either.
I remember my first attempt in making dinner rolls. The recipe was calling for 25 gr of yeast. At that time I did not know that the recipe was actually calling for fresh yeast so I used dry yeast instead.
If only that would be the only mistake I made. I boiled yeast, I microwaved it – little did I know.
But I didn’t give up, I kept trying and trying and after countless mistakes I start reading more about it.
I wanted to write a post about some butter buns but after reading your yeast-phobia comments I thought sharing my knowledge might help you a little.
What I’m about to write in this post is from my own experience. I have never attended a cooking/baking class.
In US are are several types of yeast : active dry yeast, rapid rise yeast, instant yeast, bread machine dry yeast and fresh yeast.
I’ve never used fresh yeast. It’s not as widely available as dry yeast and the shell life is way shorter. A cake/package of fresh yeast is usually used to 4 cups of flour.
Active dry yeast, Rapid rise dry yeast and Instant dry yeast.
When working with yeast it is important to proof it first. And by that I mean to make sure it’s still good.
In a bowl pour 1/4 cup lukewarm water and sprinkle the yeast on top. Stir.
The water used to proof the yeast should be around 100 – 110F. Above 120F the yeast dies.
To be on the safe side you can use water that is a little colder (80-90F). It will take a little longer to dissolve.
For the rapid and instant yeast you can mix it with the flour, but I prefer to mix it with water first.
Instant dry yeast does not make any bubbles, it just dissolves when combined with warm water
The rapid rise yeast will foam a little
Active dry yeast takes longer to proof, somewhere around 5-10 minutes.
It starts with little bubbles, then it foams and almost doubles in volume.
Most of the recipe when calling for dry yeast refer to active dry one but you can easily use rapid rise or instant yeast, the only thing different will be the time for rising.
Artisan breads or some other dough that need longer or overnight rise periods have to be made with active dry yeast, otherwise the flavors will not develop properly.
This time I used 4 cups all purpose flour mixed with 4 tbsp melted butter, 2 egg yolks and a pinch of salt (always mix salt with flour!!). Pour the yeast and add enough water (about 3/4 to 1 cup) and mix until the dough comes clean from the sides of the bowl. (each dough will weight around 14 oz after the first rise)
Instant dry yeast
Rapid rise yeast
It took 55 minutes for the dough using instant yeast to rise and only 42 minutes for the dough using rapid rise yeast.
Usually after shaping the bread/rolls/buns you have to leave the dough to rise again until double, which might take again about 1 hour. When using instant or rapid rise, the second rising time is reduced to 15-20 minutes.
Active dry yeast
Although it took 55 minutes for the first rise, just like the dough using instant yeast, the second rise took around 45 minutes.
Always grease the bowls you let the dough rise and cover with clear plastic.
I find it creates a better environment for the yeast then when covering with a tea towel, plus the top doesn’t dry out.
If you have more questions about yeast please leave them in your comments or email me. I’d be more than happy to help you.