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Yeast is yeast?
Posted: 18 February 2013 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Here’s what Dr. Yeast said about the ascorbic acid:

Ascorbic acid is not a yeast growth enhancer at all. It is a dough conditioner, but at much higher concentrations. There is only 0.3 % ascorbic acid in the yeast and please keep in mind that you are only using 1 % yeast in the dough. Therefore that amount is very low as a dough conditioner. The main reason for ascorbic acid is to prevent the oxidation of the yeast in the package. In other words: ascorbic acid extent the shelf life of the instant yeast.

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Posted: 19 February 2013 09:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Good to know, thanks for reporting back!

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Brød & Taylor Test Kitchen:  How to Make Sourdough More (or Less) Sour

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Posted: 22 February 2013 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I am fortunate to have a source for cake yeast, which I prefer the taste of, but do usually have instant on hand. As for the number of rises you can coax from the dough- the way I have always understood this(Cookwise & Bakewise from S. Corriher) is that the dough and yeast are feeding off the flour. If you need more rising action, knead in flour as you turn and deflate the dough. You can always spritz with water if you want more holes in the bread, like a ciabatta or foccacia or you simply think the dough is becoming too stiff/dry. Also, covering loosely with a towel rather than plastic will allow the dough to grab more yeast from the air around it which will give it more raise. If you’ve never tried it, make your own starter from Julia Child’s with Master Chef, episode with Nancy Silverton where Nancy makes a starter over 4 days using organic grapes, flour and water. It’s a process, but ultimately satisfying, if you have the time and wherewithal.

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kyle

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Posted: 23 February 2013 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I haven’t heard of anybody using cake yeast since I was a kid, but I have always suspected that it might be better than the dried kind that everybody uses for convenience’s sake.  Would you be willing to share your source?  I’d like to give it a try.  Many thanks!

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Posted: 23 February 2013 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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I have access to Restaurant Depot here in Atlanta and they carry it. It’s actually made in Canada. I would be willing to put a block in the mail to you(priority mail would be 2-3 day, about $5.50) and it may travel well if you are in a cool area of the country. I have frozen it with success as long as you let it defrost slowly in the fridge. The yeast only costs about $1.25 for a block the size of a pound of buttter(it may be a pound, but honestly, I’ve never paid attention). You might try some searching on the internet as it is a Fleischamnn’s product.

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Posted: 23 February 2013 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Mack - 23 February 2013 03:48 PM

I haven’t heard of anybody using cake yeast since I was a kid, but I have always suspected that it might be better than the dried kind that everybody uses for convenience’s sake.  Would you be willing to share your source?  I’d like to give it a try.  Many thanks!

Cake yeast isn’t that hard to find; Whole Foods carries it and there are lots of internet sources.  But it doesn’t keep well and most people can’t taste the difference. I bet no one could if conducting a blindfolded test, and I’ve never seen any bread baking book suggest that cake yeast was worth seeking out. I think we’re mentally programmed to think that something “fresh” is always better than “dried”. I suspect that as bakers, our technique is responsible for the vast majority of the quality of our products, rather than any magic ingredient.

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Posted: 23 February 2013 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Well, I know that what WF carries region-region and store-store varies greatly as I have access to about 6 of them here in Atlanta and suburbs. I respectfully disagree that there is no difference in flavor and my husband would certainly concur that there IS a difference. Perhaps it’s a matter of personal preference, but in my household we prefer the cake yeast when it’s availalble. I made pizza dough and James Beard’s oatmeal loaf for onion sandwiches just today using cake yeast.

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Posted: 24 February 2013 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Now you have me curious to do a side-by-side comparison smile  Many of my breads with commercial yeast have less than 1% of the flour weight in yeast, it may be more difficult to detect differences at lower levels of usage.  I like brioche-style breads with osmotolerant yeast, which I have always thought was because so much less is needed.

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Brød & Taylor Test Kitchen:  How to Make Sourdough More (or Less) Sour

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