So glad to find a place where I can find answers to my (many) bread baking questions. I’ll try not to overload the board all at once
My first question is about yeast and water temperature. The BB (and other cookbooks I’ve used) recommend using water anywhere from cool to room temperature to warm (70-110), depending on the particular recipe. What I’ve noticed with my bread is that it takes 2-3 times longer to double than what the recipe says it should. Since my home runs on the cool-ish side I’ve had to improvise and use a heavily padded heating pad to get my dough moving. It has helped, but not a whole lot, and I still end up with bread that seems dense.
Then I read the back of Red Star Quick-Rise yeast and I noticed that they recommend water temperatures that are quite a bit warmer than what any recipe I’ve read calls for. 110-115 F for yeast dissolved directly in liquid and 120-130 F for yeast mixed first with dry ingredients.
I wasn’t brave enough to add 130-degree water but I did add 115-degree water and voila! My bread doubled in a reasonable amount of time, I wasn’t baking bread in the middle of the night, and the finished product turned out perfectly.
So now I’m unsure if I should follow the author’s or the yeast manufacturer’s recommended water temperature? And what would be the reason for the difference?
Thanks in advance.