The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


socurly's picture

Growing yeast

August 19, 2010 - 9:07pm -- socurly

My mother said in the old days they would make a yeast starter by simply leaving equal amounts of flour and water in a bowl and cover with a clean cloth.  So I tried this and it has  bubbled after a few days but it smells like vomit.  The whole kitchen smells bad.  Does anyone have any input. I am not sure it should smell like this.  

dmsnyder's picture

Osmotolerant yeast question

June 25, 2010 - 9:55pm -- dmsnyder

I made a highly enriched dough today, and I thought about opening my new package of osmotolerant yeast (SAF Gold) but used regular instant yeast, as prescribed in the recipe. Even though the kitchen was quite warm, the dough rose very slowly. I know osmotolerant yeast is supposed to speed up fermentation in doughs with high sugar content and low water (hydration from eggs, milk, butter, etc.) 

My question is: Do you adjust the yeast quantity in a recipe that calls for instant yeast when you use osmotolerant yeast?


Brot Backer's picture

Yeasted cake recipes or ideas?

June 22, 2010 - 1:55am -- Brot Backer

I've always been a yeast man at heart. During baking school I despised cake making and always wished I could just proof the fussy french thing and be done with it. I have since begun to miss making real cakes but I still have the urge to make a yeasted cake. I've only found one recipe for any such thing online, if anyone can show me the way to recipes or has tips I would be sehr grateful! I may try to modify an english muffin recipe from alton brown but would prefer to start with a proper formula.


runningknows's picture

commercial yeast vs. starter

June 20, 2010 - 6:58pm -- runningknows

Lurked for a while, but now I have a question.... My starter's going quite well, making decent bread with it, nothing fancy but much better tasting than the local stuff for sale. My question: I've been using my starter as leavening for all of my baking right now (which I'm thrilled about) with much thanks to Andrew Whitley.  When should I use commercial yeast rather than the starter?  How do I know the difference?



Teegstar's picture

This is my first blog post on TFL, although I've been lurking around for nearly a year now. I started getting in to sourdough baking in Spring (southern hemisphere) last year but my poor little starter went on hiatus when we took a couple of months overseas holiday at the beginning of this year. Now it's June and I'm only just reawakening Owen, my starter. Luckily, our housesitter indulged my detailed instructions on feeding Owen while we were away. (Although she said something along the lines of "if I had a baby whose nappy smelled as bad as that bread thingy, I wouldn't change it"...)

I decided I wanted to make some bread with a cold retardation -- this tends to fit with my schedule a bit better than trying to go through the whole process in one day. Because my baking results have been inconsistent, I am also hedging my bets by making a yeasted bread that fits almost the same schedule as the sourdough.

For my yeasted bread, I'm using the Baguettes a l'Ancienne posted by DonD a few weeks ago:

For my sourdough, I'm using the Pierre Nury Rustic Light Rye posted by zolablue:’s-rustic-light-rye-leader 

So I mixed up my flour mixture and levain last night. Hiccup one: when I got up this morning, my sourdough levain looked virtually unchanged. I'm not used to using a stiff starter, so maybe it's meant to look like a floury lump, but I wasn't convinced there was enough life in the levain to rise the bread. So I have divided that recipe in half, using half the stiff levain and half my usual wet starter, which I fed last night. 

Here's hoping that I get some success out of one of the three doughs currently fermenting on my counter!



EDIT: the next day

Gahhh! My sourdough has COMPLETELY flopped -- didn't rise at all except for a little half-hearted attempt during baking. I should have known the starter and levain weren't going to do the job, but gosh I wanted them to! Plus I think I got the gluten development thing right this time. 

I haven't baked the yeasted bread yet but I'm reallyreallyreally hoping I get at least one good loaf out of this three-day effort!

FinancingBread's picture

Bread won't rise with alcohol soaked fruit

May 28, 2010 - 6:41am -- FinancingBread

I was feeling creative and wanted to add some bourbon-soaked cherries to my usual brioche dough. I had been soaking the fruit for three days and drained off all the alcohol before adding the cherries to the dough.

I just took the dough out of the refrigerator after 8 hours of bulk fermentation and it hasn't risen at all. 

jc's picture

Starter = Sourdough?

May 11, 2010 - 8:03pm -- jc

Hi Everyone,

I have some questions for starter for so long. First, I would like to know if starter refers to sourdough. If I see 'starter' on a recipe, should I just use sourdough? I usually make breads with instant yeast or dry active yeast, and I don't really know much about starter. I tasted some breads that are made from starter and found them are special. I live around UC Berkeley. I would like to know where to buy 'starter' and how to keep it. I heard that starter can keep long long time if it's being take care well. How to take care of it? Thanks a lot!


kolobezka's picture

Minimum amount of yeast

April 28, 2010 - 9:08pm -- kolobezka


I would like to ask what is the minimum amount of yeast (commercial) to use in a recipe that would not negatively affect the results.

I have read that yeast can reproduce but in fact it has not enough time to do so during dough fermentation. It just eats (and therefore produces gaz and increase volume, I guess).

jcorlando's picture

Newbie Questions

April 24, 2010 - 10:26pm -- jcorlando


I'm a total newbie. I've made 6 loaves that I had to throw away,
Yet, I learn someithing new each time.
And Now I've got some random questions.

1) What does yeast do???
    Does it just aerate the dough?
    Or does it do more like change the dough's structure.

2) Does dough keep rising? or does it stop.
    E.g.: does the yeast reproduce or does it just eat?


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