The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Odd Question?

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Odd Question?

This may be an odd question but I am wondering if you use a recipe that calls for yeast that is not instant yeast, I know there is always sugar or honey involved to activate the yeast.  I also know that if you use instant yeast, which is what I use it doesn't need to be activated or mixed with water and sugar, so my question is:  If the recipe calls for the sugar, can you omit it?  If so, then you would just add the water to the liquid ingredients right?  Or, do you still need the sugar in the recipe.  Will omiting the sugar change the taste that much?  Thanks!

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

It isn't necessary at all, really.  If you mean the bit of sugar in the proofing water, just leave it out.  If you want a slightly sweeter bread, go for the sweetener in the rest of the recipe, but you can also go sugar-free in bread recipes.

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

for your response.  On regular non-sweet bread recipes that I find that does call for the sugar, then I definitely willl omit it. 

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

Hi, the sugar isn't there to activate the yeast (it's water that activates it), but to feed it. By adding a teaspoon of sugar (or whatever your recipe calls for), you're giving the yeast cells a quick snack allowing them to multiply rapidly and thus kick-starting theleavening process. Sugar can be easily broken down by yeast, unlike say starches in flour which will need to be converted to sugars first and that takes time. Therefore yes, you absolutely can avoid sugar/honey/molasses but bear in mind your dough may take somewhat longer to rise.

Hope this helps,

Faith

jcking's picture
jcking

Flour being a complex carbohydrate is full of sugars. With skill, and time, the baker can release these sugars from the flour to create a tasty loaf without adding any sugar. Recipes that call for added sugar usually are ones designed to produce a loaf as quickly as possible.

Jim

FoodFascist's picture
FoodFascist

or to make it sweet :) although IMO, if a touch of sweetness is what you're aiming for, I'd add sugar/honey/molasses as late as possible. For example, if the method includes a sponge stage, I wouldn't add any sweeteners to the sponge (which is what quick recipes call for) but chuck them in at the final dough mixing stage.

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

yes, just add the water that the proofing step called for when you add the rest of the water/liquid.

Paul

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Appreciate the replies on this subject.  Thank you.