The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Do I soak yeast in water like the recipe says? Or not because the Panasonic manual says not to?

  • Pin It
rsilvers's picture
rsilvers

Do I soak yeast in water like the recipe says? Or not because the Panasonic manual says not to?


I don't know what to do. This recipe is the highest-rated bread machine white bread on another site:

 

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Best-Bread-Machine-Bread/Detail.aspx

 

 

It says to let the yeast soak in 110 degree water/sugar for 10 minutes. My Panasonic bread-machine instruction manual specifically says not to let the yeast soak in water first. I think it is because the machine already has an initial rest period with a heating-element going at the beginning. So perhaps Panasonic says not to do this because it knows the machine already does it. But for all I know, the recipe already factors that in, and still wants you to do it anyway. So do I follow the recipe or the Panasonic guidelines? My guess is to follow the recipe -- especially if all bread machines have an initial rest period.

 

 

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

Depends on the yeast.  If it's fresh or instant (aka "fast rising") yeast, then don't.  Just throw it in with the rest of the dry ingredients (though, if the recipe uses a significant amount of salt, you might want to throw it in after the dough has come together to form a ball, but before the kneeding process begins, to ensure the yeast doesn't come in contact with the salt).  If it's active dry yeast, then you should activate it first.

rsilvers's picture
rsilvers

I used Fleishmans rapid-rise in packets.

I see. I am just learning this. I assumed one was just more energetic than the other. I did not know ActiveDry needed to be activated.

I believe the bread-machine manual said not to soak first because it has built activation into the cycle. 

This recipe would be more clear if it listed the flour in weight rather than cups, and was more specific on the yeast issue.

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

"I assumed one was just more energetic than the other."

Actually, that's also true. :)  See, instant yeast also happens to have about 25% more yeast cells per unit weight as compared to active dry.  As such, if you have a recipe that calls for active dry yeast and you only have instant, you should scale down the amount of instant yeast you use.

As for active dry needing to be activated, this is mainly due to granule size.  If you look at instant yeast as compared to active dry, the granules are *much* smaller.  As such, the moisture in the dough is enough to get the yeast dissolved and activated.  By contrast, active dry has much larger granules, and so it's important to dissolve the yeast in water in order to get it going.

JIP's picture
JIP

"Bread machine" yeast is instant yeast and when using instant you do not have to pre proof your yeast.  All you need to remember is to make sure you do use "bread machine" yeast as I am sure the recipes are designed with it in mind I know the one you linked called for it. 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

If you search this site for "yeast types" you will find half-a-dozen threads on the subject. Bottom line: don't stress out over the yeast type. All types of modern yeast sold in North America and Europe will work fine. I use Fleischman's Bread Machine for all my straight doughs and have no problem; others use active dry (with and without proofing) for the same recipes and also have no problem. Manual, bread maker, mixer: doesn't matter. Those yeasts are hearty growing machines.

And thanks to the magic of exponents it doesn't matter how much you start out with either as long as it isn't too much. A recipe that calls for 2 tsp will work fine with 1 or even 1/2. I am down to 1/16th tsp for poolishes; works fine. Those cells love to eat flour and grow.

sPh

I think the whole "proofing" business was really a marketing device to prove to the home baker that the dry yeast was as "active" as fresh. Dry yeast came out during the era when such marketing tricks were common and it has that flavour to me.