The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Does anybody knows????

Norman's picture

Does anybody knows????

I've been baking bread for a while, I'm not a professional by any means, still learning and still have a lot to see and learn  I have question for you guys and girls, maybe was already posted and I did not bother to check.  

I see many times when the yeast is dissolve in warm liquid, water, milk, what ever, then sugar is added and then flour (with a little salt) is added to the liquid.  Some other times, I see where they add all the dry ingredients together, flour, yeast, sugar, salt and mix all that well and then add the liquid.  I have done it both ways, I can't seen to either taste or see the difference.  Does anybody knows when should you do one way or the other? is there any particular way when one method should be use instead of the other?  

I don't know, like I said, I have a lot to learn, I just love to bake, in fact, I'm baking a Pan de leche, (Milk bread) as I'm writing this.  I'll post the pics later.

Anyway, if anybody have the knowledge about this, I would love to hear the comments.  Also, I apologize, if this particular subject was discuss previously.  Thanks in advance!




Norman's picture

Like I said before, here are the pics of the final product of Pan de leche (Milk bread)  




flournwater's picture

From my own experience, the only reason to dissolve the yeast and (when called for ) add a bit of sugar is to validate that the yeast is viable and hasn't died in the package.  I've read that it also helps the yeast distribute more evenly through the dough when it's in a liquid form but, IMO, that's an insignificant issue if it's an issue at all.

Like you, I've done it both ways.  I routinely blend dry ingredients (without proofing the yeast in a liquid) and then add the water or other liquid called for in the recipe.

ananda's picture

Hi Norman,

Before bread came to be manufactured on a large scale, it would be most commonly made in the home.   It would probably be made for quite large households, so the quantity of flour used too large to fit into a bowl of any workable size.   Hence why the flour was dumped on the bench and the liquid added by making a well in the middle.

Commercially I prefer to mix by adding flour to liquid, as I find that is the quickest and most effective way to combine the 2 without having any lumps of flour lost in the bottom of the bowl remaining unmixed.   To do this successfully, the proviso is that the recipe is correctly balanced to produce dough that is correctly hydrated, or in need of only very small additions [flour/water]

Your bread looks lovely.

Best wishes


lumos's picture

In theory   it depends on what sort of dry yeast you use.

If it's active dry yeast (traditional type), you're supposed to 'activate' it by adding it to liquid and small amount of flour/sugar (= nutrition for yeast) before mixing it to the rest of ingredients. Older recipes usually tell you to do this, because this was the only dry yeast available before. (like when I started baking 40 years ago or so) 

If it's instant dry yeast (sometimes sold as 'rapid-rise yeast' or 'easy-bake yeast'.  Usually with 'Ideal for bread machine' or like on the packet), which is a new invention and became widely available in early '80s (?),  can be added directly to other ingredients without rehydreate it to activate, hence it's suitable for bread machine. I think most of newer recipes recommend to use this type of yeast than active dry yeast because it's so much easier to use than active yeast.

But I must say there're some recipes (especially the ones written by not-so-experienced amateur bakers) which is a bit confused about the differences of these two yeasts.  Also, you need slightly less amount of instant dry yeast than active dry yeast because instant yeast is more concentrated.  

The reason you haven't noticed any difference between the both methods is maybe because you've been using the latter type.  Or if you use relatively large amount of yeast to the flour, the difference in result could be not so noticeable.  

You'll see the difference immediately if you try to bake bread in a bread machine using active dry yeast. It just doesn't work....;)  

The crumb of your bread has lovely yellow colour. Does it have egg in it?

Norman's picture

For all the comments and the inputs.  Ananda, I thought it should be Amanda, but anyway, thank you for info about using the liquid first and then adding the dry ingredients to better mix it on the mixer.  I used to do that and then I tried first the flour and then the liquid.  Lumos, the bread doesn't have any egg, I think the picture by my camera, makes it look yellowish.  It has a very light golden, but very minimum.  I just had a toasted Ham/cheese sandwich with the bread and it was very good.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to do this bread again.

Thank you again for all the info and the coments about my bread.  One you bake bread, the whole house smells so good!!