5 Important things to know about yeast

We’ve decided to start sharing bread product tips and recipes. Hope this is helpful to you in your bread making projects.

Bread (Courtesy: trialx.org)

Yeast is the raising agent used in the bread making process. Here are some interesting things to know about yeast while planning your next bread making project.

1.    Yeast is Alive

Yeast is a single-celled micro-organism that can multiply at extremely rapid rates; it can double in as few as 2 hours depending on how it is activated (see below).  When you mix the yeast into your bread dough after activation, it feeds on sugar and creates gas hence the “rising” of the dough.

2.     Yeast needs to be activated before use
Yeast is a single-celled micro-organism that can multiply at extremely rapid rates. This all depends on how you activate your yeast before use. While baking bread, to get the most out of your yeast, activation is required before mixing it into the flour or dough.

To activate the yeast; put the yeast in lukewarm water and let it sit for at least 5 – 10 minutes; you will notice the yeast will bubble, sludge and start doubling. You can also add a bit of sugar into the yeast water, it activates the yeast faster. This is because the yeast feeds on the sugar and multiplies at a faster rate.

Activated Yeast (Courtesy: llemonade.com)
3.     There are different kinds of yeast
There are different kinds of yeast for baking and they are prepared and activated in different ways. There is (a) Fresh Yeast (b) Active Dry Yeast (c) Instant or ‘Easy Bake’ Yeast. Visit this post on the descriptions and how to activate the different kinds of yeast.
4.    Yeast is good for your health

There are certain kinds of yeast that are nutritional. There is one known as Brewer’s Yeast that’s grown on hops and is good for nutritional use. Another kind of nutritional yeast known as Torula Yeast grown on blackstrap molasses or wood pulp, is also good for your health. These yeasts may be consumed in water or juice. Nutritional yeast is a good energy booster. It also helps in sugar metabolism and is good for eczema, heart disease, gout and fatigue. Do not use the baker’s yeast for nutritional purposes.

Brewers Yeast (Courtesy: iherb.com)
5.    Store yeast properly
Yeast should be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place. Yeast loses its strength when exposed to a warm or hot temperature. It also loses its strength if left uncovered and therefore exposed. When you purchase yeast, it should come vacuum packed in its package. Once you open and use it, find a clean, dry container to put the yeast in for future use. Make sure once the container is closed, it’s air-tight. Then always make sure you store it in a cool, dry area. If yeast loses its strength, when mixed in with dough, it does not activate properly and therefore your dough will not rise properly. If you’re not sure of the quality or strength of yeast; just put the yeast in lukewarm water. If it does not bubble and sludge, it is inactive and should be discarded.
Hopefully you have now gained some new insights on yeast ^_^. 
If you have any other suggestions or tips on yeast, feel free to comment below. Thanks!

Published by Amari

Baking with Amari offers learning experiences to those who want to experience & know what Bakers & Cake Decorators do in a practical, hands-on settting. We train our students using Cookswell original charcoal ovens. We also offer basic business start-up training for those who want to start small baking businesses. We do groups vocational training anywhere in East Africa as well. We hold classes in our home-based bakery workshop located on Ndwaru road in Riruta, Nairobi; off Naivasha road, next to Pelida School.

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