Question about yeast and water temperature
Posted: 17 January 2008 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  62
Joined  2008-01-14

Hi everyone

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 smile

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.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 January 2008 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1074
Joined  2007-11-15

Hi Sarah,
    It sounds like you might be using the wrong kind of yeast.  Rose’s recipes are formulated for instant yeast (see back of Bread Bible for brands and distinction from regular yeast).  You can still use this type of yeast in her recipes, but you will have to use a larger quantity.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 January 2008 11:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  62
Joined  2008-01-14

Thanks so much for the quick reply, Matthew.

I just pulled out the BB and, according to what I’m reading, the Red Star Quick-Rise (which is what I use) is an instant yeast?  I also checked the Red Star site and I know for certain I am not using their active dry product. 

I was surprised (and relieved) that instead of killing the dough, the last 2 breads I made (Heart of Wheat and Prosciutto Ring) both turned out so well using the much warmer water temperature.  The Heart of Wheat is simply divine…we literally made a meal of it. smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 17 January 2008 11:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1074
Joined  2007-11-15

I didn’t notice you mentioned the type of yeast in your first post—yes, that is instant yeast.  I always use room temp. water with my instant yeast, and my breads rise in the times given, so I don’t think there is a problem with the recommendation.  Perhaps your room is just really on the cold side.  As long is your solution is working, I say stick with it until the weather gets warmer!

Profile
 
 
Posted: 18 January 2008 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1419
Joined  2007-11-15

I was puzzled about the type of yeast, too, you are using the correct one.

“Room Temperature” is a generalization that has TREMENDOUS effect on rising yeast dough.  Normally, my room temperature is 80 degrees year long:  yeast proofing takes a couple of minutes instead of a dozen of minutes, dough rises within the hour or so, etc.  When I was in Italy in November, room temperature was 60 degrees, things took days to rise!

 Signature 

http://myyellowkitchen.com/index-equipment-html/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 January 2008 01:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  62
Joined  2008-01-14

“Days to rise” is an apt description, and is especially frustrating when you are in the mood to bake.

I have found using the heating pad helps things along but must be used carefully and with quite a bit of “layering” to avoid overheating.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 19 January 2008 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  5
Joined  2007-12-04
SarahM - 19 January 2008 05:20 PM

“Days to rise” is an apt description, and is especially frustrating when you are in the mood to bake.

I have found using the heating pad helps things along but must be used carefully and with quite a bit of “layering” to avoid overheating.

My home is always on the coolish side…68F or so. I find that the ideal proofing spot for me is in my oven (electric) with the appliance light on, door closed. I get a consistent 80F and no drafts….hope this helps

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top