What causes bread, say a basic white baguette, [flour,water, yeast, salt, and a touch of sugar] to have a yeasty smell when cut soon after baking?
>What causes bread, say a basic white baguette,
> [flour,water, yeast, salt, and a touch of sugar]
> to have a yeasty smell when cut soon after baking?
At a guess, the yeast which is still present (and possibly still growing) in the bread? Temperatures of 200 deg.F are not sufficient to kill all the yeast; there are recipes out there which call for leavening new dough with chunks of old bread (not old dough - actual cooked bread).
The yeast smell comes from too much yeast. If you add too much to begin with or let the dough ferment for too long, the yeast smell will develop. If the dough is done rising (fermenting) before you are ready to bake, you can put the dough in the refrigerator to slow down the growth of yeast.
I don't think that is right. I am pretty sure yeast dies when baked. Here is a link that suggests yeast dies at 50C, or 122 F. http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/bio99/bio99693.htm
edit: I think some recipes use old baked bread as a flavoring agent (which probably started as a way to use up bread too old to sell).
I would guess the yeasty smell, if it is not a result of too much yeast, may be the result of volatile compounds that are still coming off while the bread is hot (e.g. organic acids and alcohols), but that are gone by the time the bread cools. If you aren't noticing a bitter flavor in the finished bread, you probably don't have too much yeast, IMO.
I don't know for certain, but I think Breadwhiner is right. I only really notice that smell when I use a fair amount of yeast or overferment the dough. When I go ultra-low yeast, like less than a teaspoon to a pound of flour, I don't get it.
I know it isn't a mark of "great bread", but sometimes I enjoy that flavor. Something like a white bread loaf that you're going to slice and eat warm slathered with butter and a bowl of soup... I enjoy it giving off a yeasty smell. Or maybe I'm just hungry right now. ;^)
..................I've cut back on the yeast and am trying to make sure I get an internal read of abt 200F. We'll see.........