The Fresh Loaf

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Yeast as a thickener?

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jvlin's picture
jvlin

Yeast as a thickener?

So I made two batches of cake donuts the other day which contained significant amounts of starch. They were identical in every aspect, except I used 1/2tsp yeast for one and 1/2tsp baking powder for the other. For whatever reason, the baking powder batch was significantly thinner.

My question is, why would such a tiny ingredient make such a world of difference in viscosity? I don't think the yeast provided much leavening (since it was a batter), but it made the dough much thicker. Is there anything I can use in place of yeast to make batter thicker? I've tried xanthan gum, potato starch, and tofu, but they drastically change the texture of the finished product. Is there a difference between active dry and instant yeast in terms of thickening power?

Thanks, you guys are the best.

Doc.Dough's picture
Doc.Dough

I suspect a difference in mixing rather than a difference in ingredients.

How closely did the assembly processes match? Time, temperature, mixer, speed, paddle, autolyse?

jvlin's picture
jvlin

I made them side by side so I would say they were 99% the same. That's why I just assumed it was the yeast.

MangoChutney's picture
MangoChutney

I don't know why yeast would do that, but I use egg white powder in our breakfast cake.  It thickens the batter and provides rise to the cake without using any baking powder.

1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp Siagon cinnamon
2 tbsp egg white powder (equivalent to 3 egg whites)
1/2 cup oat fiber (about 2 oz)
1/3 cup whole oats milled to flour (about 2 oz)
1 tbsp whole brown flax seed, milled with the oats above
2 cups water
2 tsp vanilla extract
20 drops stevia in glycerol
8 prunes, cut into pieces

jvlin's picture
jvlin

Thank you! I'll keep this in mind.

rayel's picture
rayel

Than the baking powder mixture? As in waiting longer for a leaveining effect to occur. If so, would the wait have resulted in a thicker batter? Thanks,

Ray

jvlin's picture
jvlin

Nope, they were both given the same amount of time. I made them side by side to make sure that no factors were off, including temperature, time, etc. I added the eggs and the liquids at the same time. I compared the thickness of the batter at 5 minutes, 15 minutes, and 30 minutes, and the yeast mixture was much thicker all three times.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Baking powder is salty.  Yeast is not.  

Try an experiment:  Take a table spoon of flour place in a small dish, Take a tablespoon of starch and place into another dish.  Give each equal amount of baking powder say 1/4 tsp and add a teaspoon of water.  stir.  What happens?  Now measure another tablespoon of starch for a third bowl, add 1/4 tsp baking powder use milk instead of water.  Any difference?

jvlin's picture
jvlin

That could very well be it! I'll definitely try this when I get home and post the results. Thank you mini.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

.)  When done stirring, you could put all samples into the microwave and watch them for the next 20 to 30 seconds to cook them.