Can we test cinnamon's effects on yeast together?
I just read some comments in a TFL forum thread on bagels that talked about cinnamon causing dough not to rise properly. This struck me as odd since I was, coincidentally, just eating the last slices of some whole wheat bread into which I had thrown 2 tsp or so of cinnamon. It had rise just like any other whole wheat I'd made with the same formula. Hmmph, methinks.
Cinnamon as we know it is not the same to each of us. There are several different species of plant and which one forms the common cinnamon varies by country. In the US, Cinnamomum aromaticum (AKA cassia) is the common source but in Mexico, the common source is C. zeylanicum. In Europe, various health agencies have come out against cassia because of the higher presence of coumarin, which is toxic. C. verum is the more common cinnamon in Europe. The cinnamon I used was Penzey's Vietnamese cinnamon so presumably C. loureiroi.
Since there are different cinnamons with different chemical makeups, could it be that cassia-based cinnamon (the common one in the US) is more likely to prevent bread from rising than some of the others? A quick search in PLOS pulls at least one article wherein coumarin is found to kill off viruses and yeasts. Other web wanderings indicate that US herbalists recommend cinnamon for yeast infections. Hmmph?
Time for an experiment. I'm going to start a small concoction of water, sugar, yeast and my presumed C. loureiroi and see if the yeast bubbles away merrily as it should. I'm thinking 1 cup water, 1 Tbs. sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and a tsp. of yeast. Might any of you try the same experiment with other cinnamons and see what happens and share here?
I'll report back shortly.