A Wife Loved Like The Church

How in the world do you use yeast?

Posted on: February 25, 2010

How in the world do you use yeast?

If there is one thing in the cooking world that mystifies me, it is using yeast for baking. I have only used it in my bread machine and have never ventured beyond that. I’m even apprehensive about the terms; testing the yeast, “it’s live” or “it’s active”, then there’s fresh yeast, dry active, or instant. Your water has to be just right, the room temperature just so… one wrong move makes everything go sour.ย It’s like everything has to be aligned perfectly for these little microorganisms to work.

What are some tricks, tips, help “bewares” that you can pass along?

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6 Responses to "How in the world do you use yeast?"

You have only a few days left to use a great resource very close to you… Shirley! She makes the best yeast rolls. Cindy gave me a “recipe” for proofing yeast. Here it is and what I have learned trying it:

I buy the jars of dry active yeast.
Start with 1/3 c cold water.
Microwave for ~21 sec (depends on your microwave tho). Some people say bath water for a baby temp, but I think a little warmer.
Mix in 1 tsp sugar and 1 Tbsp yeast.
Wait 5 min. If it doesn’t get all bubbly, you’ve done something wrong or your yeast is maybe old.
When using in a recipe, subtract 1/3 c from any water or other liquid it calls for, but no need to subtract for the sugar.
When adding any other liquids from recipe, make sure they are warm.

Don’t give up! I only recently figured out these secrets and it has become less scary. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes! I learned this same “recipe” for fool proof yeast from Cindy. I think though the temp the water should be is about 115-118 degrees if you have a thermometer to check it. I believe the “baby’s bath water” temp is actually supposed to refer to the “rest” of the water you add to the bread/roll recipe. Generally, if you follow the formula above you should be fine using either active dry or instant dry yeast. I have never used fresh so I can’t comment on that.

But read on if you want to learn some things I have figured out since my days learning to bake with Cindy. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have learned that you only REALLY need to activate your yeast (aka follow the recipe above) if you are using active dry yeast. If you use Instant Dry yeast (which is also sometimes called bread machine yeast) you DON’T need to activate it. In fact, you can actually mix the yeast in with the dry ingredients.

But, it is really hard for me to get myself to do that, even though I now buy Instant yeast. ๐Ÿ™‚ I always find myself activating it in some way. It’s just too hard to go against what Cindy ingrained in me.

I’ve also learned that, contrary to what some people will tell you CAN halve or double yeast bread recipes. Just try keeping the yeast at the same qty. It hasn’t failed for me yet. I have done halves of both of Cindy’s “classic” recipes (the dinner rolls and the cinnamon rolls) and it worked fine.

Also, I highly recommend buying yeast at Sam’s club. I don’t have a membership but I always sweet talk a friend into taking me or picking some up for me when I need it. ๐Ÿ™‚ A HUGE pkg with two bags of yeast is under five bucks. I bake with yeast a ton and even one bag lasts me for months. I could only find Instant Dry yeast the last couple of times I went, which is why I started using it instead of the active dry I have used previously.

Also, if you haven’t seen the book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day” it is well worth a check out from the library. Tons of fun recipes in there that take little effort. I was doing that for a while and I need to get back into it again.

Cindy is the yeast queen! What Wendy said is what Cindy taught me ages ago, too! And I stink at yeast baking but if I do it Cindy’s way it always works!

Cindy also made sure to point out:

1.) Use a glass cup in the microwave (And yes all microwaves are different, mine takes 28 sec.)

2.) Test your microwave to know how long it takes to get it to 116 exactly. Always start with a room temp glass cup and cool/cold water.

3.) Use a wooden spoon to stir yeast/sugar (And here, I was told to use 2 1/4 tsp active yeast/ 1 pkg.)

4.) If after 5 minutes it does not bubble and double, the yeast is killed either from too high a heat or old yeast (which old yeast can happen, especially if you buy a big container and don’t use it fast enough like I do ALL. THE. TIME!).

What fun for you, Sarah!!

I think these ladies have covered it. If you don’t get a demo from Shirley, I’ll give you one in a week! Glutenous breads used to be a specialty… and yeast is my friend! ๐Ÿ™‚

I just have to say I am cracking up. I hate almost everything about cooking and have nothing to answer your question. I just wanted you to know my Bible study for Beth Moore this week was on yeast and we had to look it up in Exodus, Leviticus, Matthew, and Luke to name a few and talked a lot about how the Israelites had to rid their houses, and whole territories of yeast for a week from Passover until the Feast of Firstfruits ๐Ÿ™‚ If you want to talk about yeast from a Biblical point I can contribute, but not if it has to do with the kitchen!!

I have found that the recipe I am using usually tells me exactly what to do. Otherwise, I am clueless. ๐Ÿ™‚

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