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8 Tips For Better Bread Making

January 30, 2014 11 Comments

#2. 
Proof Your Yeast

r bread yeast

When you proof yeast, all you’re doing is proving that it is alive. That it is eating sugar and emitting bubbles of carbon dioxide, because that is what yeast does.

If you are starting with brand new yeast well within its use-by date, it is not strictly necessary to proof every time you bake, especially if you make bread frequently. But, if you found some yeast shoved into the back of your cabinet or you haven’t baked bread in months, it is best to err on the side of caution and prove to yourself that the yeast is alive.

If you are using a bread recipe that calls for putting all your ingredients, including the yeast, in the mixer together and turning it on, warm up a portion of the water called for in the recipe. Yeast will die in temperatures of over 140°F anyway, which defeats the purpose of proofing your yeast in the first place.

Don’t stress over the temperature too much. As long as it feels warm and comfortable to you, it will be warm and comfortable for the yeast. Add a tiny pinch of sugar, squirt of honey or splash of maple syrup, just enough to give the yeast a reason to wake up and eat.

Stir everything together and wait 10-15 minutes. If the mixture is nice and foamy with a dense head on top (kind of like the head on a freshly pulled pint of Guinness stout) you’re good to go. If you don’t see any bubbles, let alone foam, the yeast is dead and you’ll need to buy more.

 

Last modified on Wed 6 September 2017 7:34 am

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Filed in: Baking Techniques

Comments (11)

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  1. Pearl Fernandez says:

    thank you for the best recipe for home made bread I have
    come across! thanks for all the tips and explanations.

  2. C Campbell says:

    Thank you for all the tips! The only thing I do differently is slicing the bread partially frozen, so that I can get thinner, more even slices.

  3. Jake says:

    Hello,

    I’m looking for someone to advise on the best bread roll or bun that can be made. Many years ago, I used to buy a particular high quality bread roll with sesame seeds on it. The roll was firm to grip; the colour of the roll itself was brown/dark brown; the inside was fluffy white; the seeds never fell of the roll, somehow ‘glued’ on to the surface. The smell and taste of the roll was powerful, like roasted sesame seeds but much stronger; its shape was almost like a ball; the skin was thin and crusty, but not overly ‘crunchy’.

    The shop closed, and I haven’t been able to buy a similar product since. What is available is just a common bread roll, but the quality is just not the same. So, I’m looking to see if I can bake them myself as they may be a costly and perhaps difficult product to make.

    If I may please ask if anybody knows the right ingredients and equipment to use to achieve an identical quality? Are we dealing with Italian OO flour, or a particular special oven to bake at a certain temperature, or unique additives such as, perhaps, malt, unique oils, or whatever?

    Thanks. Jake.

  4. looli says:

    these ( and all the other baking questions ) are by far the MOST useful tips on baking i have ever read . i have had so many unanswered questions and u have explained them so clearly n simply. i cant thank u enuf. i will take a look at the rest of the site ….i am sure it is just as helpful.

  5. Rhett says:

    I always double bag my bread before freezing. Put the bread in one freezer bag, remove the air and then place in a second, remove the air. Works perfectly and I never get any ice crystals even if I leave it for a couple of month. Excellent tips – Thanks

  6. CoachTMBSC says:

    To vacuum seal the bread: Let it cool to room temp and then wrap well in freezer paper. Freeze for 2-4 hours in the freezer paper (until solid) and then vacuum seal wrapped in the freezer paper just as you do anything else. To thaw, just remove the freezer paper wrapped bread from the vacuum bag and let it come to room temp out of the vacuum bag. Vacuum sealing and freezing can extend the useful life up to six months and is an excellent way to conserve energy and effort by baking up batches at a time. The same method is effective with quick breads, muffins, and biscuits. Just be sure to remove from the vacuum bag while thawing.

  7. mike says:

    how do you keep the dough from falling when you try to put a slit on the top of the loaf?

  8. Balendra Singh says:

    Proofing the dough is another important factor while bread making and must be duly given time as well as temperature for complete aeration.

  9. John Cluff says:

    I have been baking multi-grain bread for over 10 years, and it has worked satisfactorily. I’m not aware that I have done anything differently; however recently the bread has been fully raised and ready to bake as always. But something happens after I place it in the oven. After the full backing time, when I remove the loaves from the oven, I discover that the bread has collapsed. I have tried several different things:1. making sure I have fresh yeast; 2. making sure that I don’t jar the raised bread pan as I place it in the oven; 3.checking to make sure the temperature of the gas oven is exact. Do you have any suggestions of things I can do to result in a satisfactory product?

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