The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Recipe Help needed

titus's picture
titus

Recipe Help needed

I need some help with a recipe for pain de campagne that is printed on the bag of flour I am using (I'm trying a new tactic in my struggle to bake bread here in Europe; I'm going to try out a regular French recipe).

Here are the ingredients:

1 kg flour (the whole bag)
800 grams water
60 grams yeast (yes, that's 60 -- they don't say what kind -- I assume it's fresh)
15 grams salt
3 grams sugar

The amount of yeast is really freaking me out! It seems way, way out of line. The suggested rising time of the dough is only one hour! There's no way I'm going to make bread that way!

Any advice on how low I can cut the yeast down to? I'm also planning to do an overnight rise in the refrigerator.

Thanks in advance.
(pulling my hair out in Lux)

pmccool's picture
pmccool

Titus,

From looking at a few other recipes posted on the web, it appears that they call for 20-24g of "bakers yeast", or 1 packet of "dehydrated" yeast, for a formula using about 500g of flour. My guess would be that your recipe is calling for fresh yeast, rather than active dry or instant varieties.

I hope that helps.

PMcCool

titus's picture
titus

Yes, I think it's fresh yeast as well. Active dry yeast (baker's yeast) comes in packages of 8 grams here.

But my question remains -- how much can I cut down the amount of fresh yeast in this recipe and still get a good loaf? 60 grams really seems too outrageous.

pmccool's picture
pmccool

or a poolish, or some other form of a preferment. That is a very typical way to build a pain de campagne, with a slow bulk ferment that allows the flavors to develop. You could start with as little as 1 or 2 grams of active dry or instant yeast. You could even use a sourdough starter, if you have one.

Not having worked much with fresh yeast, I really don't remember how much would be typical. For some reason, I'm thinking that the stuff is packaged in 1 ounce blocks here in the U.S. If so, 60 grams is just a shade over 2 ounces, which doesn't sound out of scale for leavening 2.2 pounds (1 kg) of flour in a straight yeasted dough. It is definitely high for an artisanal style bread.

PMcCool

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

Well, the traditional formula for a French baguette is 60-2-2: 60% water, 2% salt and 2% fresh yeast. So if you're using 1 kilo of flour, that'd be 20 grams of fresh yeast.

Most folks these days, though, go much wetter than 60% and use less yeast. Anyway, it's a good starting point.

titus's picture
titus

Thanks, y'all!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...And if you squish the sugar (must be more than 3 gms) into the yeast lightly with a fork and give it a minute, the block will liquify making it easier to blend into liquids. Good luck  :) Mini Oven