whole wheat bread

As talked about in the previous post, bread baking is the new hobby of many people during the pandemic that we are going through because of COVID-19. It was also mentioned in the previous post that the trickiest part of bread baking is that of the yeast. So, let us discuss the yeast here in this post in detail.

What is Yeast?

Yeast is a microorganism. It is a living thing that needs moisture and food to live. Yeast is generally fed with sugar and on fermentation it releases carbon dioxide. This carbon dioxide is actually the reason why we see a risen dough after fermentation. It’s because of yeast that the dough stretches and expands.

Bakers use yeast as a leavening agent to lighten and soften baked goods. In a process called fermentation, these fungi convert the sugars present in dough into carbon dioxide gas, which forms pockets in the dough, causing it to expand.

Types of Yeast

There are mainly two types of yeast using in baking. These are:

1. Dry yeast- This is sold as instant yeast and active dry yeast.

2. Wet yeast or Fresh Yeast – This is also known as fresh yeast or cake yeast.  This can be added directly to the flour. It works with all kinds of flours like whole wheat flour or maida.

Now what is the difference between the wet yeast and the dry yeast?

Wet yeast is in an active state and so it is highly perishable. It is sold in the brick form.

Dry yeast is in a dormant state and has a longer shelf life as it is sold in the form of dry granules. 

This is dough done using Yeast

Tips for Using Yeast

Like already said, it’s a little tricky to work with yeast so here are some tips you should remember when using it.

1. Once you open the dry yeast, store it in an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge. This would make it last longer.

2. To check whether your yeast is alive or not, mix the required amount of yeast in warm water. Wait for 5-10 minutes. If it starts forming the bubbles, that means it is alive and active. If this doesn’t happen, it might be possible that your yeast is already dead or you have used hot water because of which it died.

3. To check if the water is warm enough for the yeast to get active, just try dipping a finger in it for a few seconds and if the temperature is tolerable for you, then it is good to go. It should be generally between 105-115°F.

4. It is suggested to dissolve some sugar or honey in warm water before adding yeast in it as it needs something to feed on.

5. Never add salt directly with yeast as it counteracts yeast. Salts hinders the growth of yeast and may even kill it.

6. The dough is not kneaded enough if it gets easily torn when pulled apart. It is kneaded enough if it appears soft and has elasticity. It should not tear when pulled.

After few hours

7. If you are using a mixer, the dough generally needs to be kneaded for 5 to 10 minutes and with hands, it usually takes 8 to 12 minutes.

8. Cover the dough properly after kneading else it may get dry. Cover it with a cling film or keep it in an airtight container.

The container in which you are keeping the dough should be properly greased and flip the dough in it so that it gets covered with the oil.

9. The dough has risen enough it has at least doubled in its size. 

These were some important things one must know about the yeast and these tips would surely help you in using the yeast in a better way to get better results.

Follow our baking journey on instagram @ritualskitchen.

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