The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yeast has no taste

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box255's picture
box255

Yeast has no taste

Not getting a good yeast taste in my breads.  Called the yeast maker and they tell me that the old time yeast is not being produced anymore.  What they have now is for ease of use and shelf life.  Even tried some yeast cake type and still no good taste in the bread.  Help Please!!!  How do I get that old time yeast taste in my breads???

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I think that saccharomyces cerevisiae has been unchanged as far as humans are concerned for 10,000 years. Unless you are theorizing some mutation or genetic engineering of the yeast itself I don't think it is any different now than it was 50 years ago, nor is it any different dry or in moist chunks.

The improvements in the granulation of dry yeast, plus the dough enhancers that some yeast mfgs add to the coating, may be producing a rising cycle that doesn't develop the flavors you prefer. Have you tried creating a long liquid poolish, say with 150 g flour, 345 g water, and a pinch (1/16 or 1/32 tsp) of active dry yeast left covered for 18 hours? Or a poolish with a bit more yeast (1/8 or 14 tsp active dry) left out for 4 hours at 72-82 deg.F then in the refrigerator overnight (or a 63 deg.F space if you have one)? You will get plenty of "yeasty" aroma from such poolishes.

sPh

Avid Baker's picture
Avid Baker

I totally agree the the flavor of the bread has changed due to something done to the yeast.  I use the same brand of yeast, ingredients, oven, and method, but the bread and rolls I bake now do not have the old fashioned taste.  It is so frustrating to me.  While looking for an answer, I found this website and just had to comment.  I just finished baking dinner rolls and I'm disappointed with the flavor again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

proth5's picture
proth5

a big fan of the "yeasty" taste - but I do recall from my old Betty Crocker cookbook that "she" claimed that a yeasty taste came not from using large quantities of yeast, but from the bread being "too warm" during rising.

Certainly recipes in older cookbooks have higher baker's percents of yeast than what I would use today and recommend higher temperatures for rising and proofing than I would use today.

Something to consider.

I will say that during the mix, it is much easier to taste and smell the yeast when fresh yeast is used - but all things being equal this levels out as the dough is fermented.  I just had an opportunity to spend a week baking with nothing but fresh yeast.  I can't say that the final result was all that different, but I liked the process better with fresh yeast.

Not a definitve answer - just something to think about.

cranbo's picture
cranbo

I agree completely with Pat, yeast quantity and rising temp are important if you're trying to get your bread tasting yeasty. 

Want really yeasty flavor? As others have mentioned, double the yeast. Your bread will rise really fast (probably 1/2 the specified time, or less)  and maintain that "yeasty" character. 

Personally I don't like that flavor at all, and I consider it a baking defect...but whatever floats your boat. 

box255's picture
box255

Thanks for your information.  I know that the breads I am producing do not have the aroma or flavor of the breads my mother made years ago.  Will try the poolish and feed back the results.  A call to Fleischmann's helpline offered up they do not make yeast like they did years ago.  Adviser there says she gets a number of calls per day with the same complaint, no taste in the yeast.  Off to make the poolish.  Thanks again.

holds99's picture
holds99

Let me first say that I'm no expert on baking and it's a continual learning process.  Having said that, it sounds as though you need to understand the fermentation process, which produces aroma and flavor.  Using yeast (direct method) is only one method of leavening bread.  My advice would be to get yourself a good artisan bread book and read it carefully so that you can begin to understand the leavening process and how it works, along with the 11 steps to baking (Step 1: scaling/measuring through Step 11: Baking.)  I know that I didn't really enjoy and begin to have succees with baking until I understood the process.  Good luck.

Howard - St. Augustine, FL

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

Maybe you could try some distiller's yeast.  I have some that I used to use for making plum mead.  It has a rather strong yeast smell.  If it doesn't make good bread, you can always make some hooch with it and drink away your tasteless-bread woes.  *wink*

fthec's picture
fthec

If you're expecting yeast to give your bread flavour then you are not making it properly (unless of course you like the flavor of yeast).  The flavor is developed from the starches in the wheat (or other flour) that are broken down into simple sugars after long periods of fermentation.

Breads made with minimal bulk fermentation, high quantities of yeast, and short proofing times will tend to derive most of its flavor from the yeast itself--  hence the 'yeasty' flavor.  But if that's what you prefer, go crazy.  Have you tried different brands as well as instant, fast rise, and active?

Cheers

box255's picture
box255

Thanks for the input.  Guess what I am trying to produce is from long ago.  When I would be out in the field on the tractor, I could smell that great aroma of fresh bread baking in the oven at the house.  This bread was very "yeasty" tasting and that is what I am trying to make.  Unfortunately, the ones that did that baking are all gone.  Yes, I have tried several different yeasts but none yield the taste I am looking for.  Even hunted down some yeast cake type and it too failed the taste test.  None of the old bakers I knew used any Poolish, long fermetation times, etc.  Was the basic flour, water, yeast, salt, sugar.  Will get there in time but it will take more work on my part.  Everyone wants to bake the bread they remember they had in the past someone made for them.  When the rep at Flieschmann's admits freely that their yeast is made differently than long ago, that is probably where the taste I am looking for went.  Thanks again for your suggestions and input. 

DobieOne's picture
DobieOne

Greetings, did you ever succeed in making bread that tastes like your mother's?  For me it was my grandmother.  I have tried to reproduce that wonderful flavor and aroma for years.  If you have learned how to do it, perhaps you would share the secret with me.  Thanks

1Luvfostermom's picture
1Luvfostermom

I totally agree with the other posts. No aroma! I can make great Wheat bread it looks perfect but it does not have the "aroma" it use to have. I am going to try next time a different wheat grain perhaps Golden 86? I am using spring wheat now I have used winter wheat too. Grinding it the same as before. You can not smell it when outside (I don't have a tractor in the fields) but just 20 feet away or even in the house.

I have tried, dry and cake. The rise is good. No yummy aroma though. It is very disappointing. Now on another observation. In Italy while walking through the streets the bread smells like grandma use to make, they are using white flour & also wheat.. I am not sure of the yeast brand. But the aroma travels outside and brings you to the window wishing for a nice hot loaf. That is what I want...

 

cranbo's picture
cranbo

This whole thread is kinda funny. 

How can anyone compare the aroma generated by baking 1 or 2 loaves at home to the smell of breads while walking through the streets which are coming from a bakery that is possibly producing hundreds of breads per day? It's just not the same scale. If you want the same aroma, try loading 6-8 loaves of bread in your oven, you will likely get a stronger aroma in your house. Keeping your windows shut, or having poor ventilation will help this too. 

I really don't think bread smells significantly different today than yesteryear. For example, my grandma's bread recipe, which I still make, smells exactly the way it did when she baked it for me when I was a child. I remember the aroma, it's what got me into baking, and it's the same today. Maybe it smelled stronger when I was a child; I would more likely attribute this to my  senses dulling somewhat with age, rather than changes in the ingredients. When I bake this recipe in the evening (as I did this last weekend), I woke up the next morning, the house still smelled of fresh-baked bread. 

I'm not debating that different recipes produce different aromas. A buttermilk rye will certainly smell different while baking than a white baguette, which will differ from a whole-wheat sandwich loaf. 

I guess what I'm saying is that if there is a certain aroma you are aiming for, it's likely coming a combination of ingredients and technique, so try varying your technique  before you blame lack of aroma on changes to "the way things used to be" in your ingredients. You may want to locate and try out some really old recipes (think 1950 Betty Crocker cookbook, search Amazon for examples) to re-create those old techniques.  

 

 

 

1Luvfostermom's picture
1Luvfostermom

Thank you for your reply. Your remarks makes me chuckle. It is nice to giggle in the morning.

I have baked 5 loaves at a time but perhaps one more will make a difference? I am not so sure about that. 

I am using a flour from King Arthur, dough enhancer from King Arthur to get a lighter loaf & a bit of Lecithin, also flax seed, honey, wheat. I did add buttermilk in yesterdays batch. I give my bread out to friends & family. The texture is amazing. As for the aroma, there just does not seem to be much if any at all.

I don't believe it is my age, ( some say you loose the ability to smell when you get older) although that has crossed my mind.  I still smell roses, fresh laundry & dirty diapers just fine. So perhaps the additives change the aroma?

I only made the remark about the fresh smell of bread outside of a bakery as many people have walked past a bakery whether they have baked a loaf or not. It is the "aroma" of fresh baked bread. I am not talking about the smell outside of Cinnabun just the smell of yummy bread coming out of the oven.

Maybe this question is for Frank Fornaca Jr. I haven't seen him in years. But I am sure he is around somewhere. He is the one who got me on the right track of which wheat to use after he found out I was using hard winter wheat. He got a chuckle out of that.


longhorn's picture
longhorn

In my experience yeast flavor is maximized by using lots of yeast - so try doubling your yeast. It will rise a lot faster and you will get a less complex bread flavor but you will get more yeast. To counter it, mix the flour and water (loosely) the night before and let it soak overnight. Then add the yeast and salt the next morning. The soak will allow the enzymes to do some flavor enhancement before you quick proof it.


 

DobieOne's picture
DobieOne

Thanks for your suggestion longhorn. I will try using two packs of yeast the next time I make bread, probably in a day or two.  BTW,  your username makes me think you may be located in Texas?  I am. ;D

longhorn's picture
longhorn

I am in the San Antonio area. 


You will probably find that your dough with extra yeast will rise a bit further than "slower" doughs with less yeast so you may want to let it rise a bit more (say 2.5X instead of doubling. I would suggest you follow your normal procedure first try but to expect it to behave a bit underproofed and potentially to "burst" on you a bit which would tell you to extend the proof. If the bread is fine then...no problem!


Good luck!
Jay

DobieOne's picture
DobieOne

Knew it!  No one but a Texan would call his self "longhorn."  ;D  I'm a 4th generation Texan and my granddaughter makes six straight generations born in Tarrant County.


I REALLY appreciate all your suggestions - I'm baking again tomorrow.  I've noticed that with each loaf, my quality is getting better.  My son gave me the bug again.  Years ago, I tried a few times, but could never come close to my grandmother's bread so I gave up.  A few months ago, my son and daughter-in-law started making all their own bread.  Now I'm back at it with a vengeance.  No way can I let those young-uns make better bread than Grandma.  Hah !!


Thanks again Jay,


Annie

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

I've noticed since we got new windows in our house that I can no longer smell my cooking when I am outside, unless the windows are open.  Could this be part of your problem with not being able to smell the bread from the yard?

1Luvfostermom's picture
1Luvfostermom

Not for me, it has been warm here in Southern California so the windows are open. I guess I will just have to deal with it. thanks

electric80's picture
electric80

I have tried everything to get the 'fresh breadyeast smell' and it's the yeast that's the problem .....for sure. I too have talked to the yeast manufacturer's and they claim the process for making current yeasts is to blame...what a shame....no more great smell or taste!