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Proofing yeast longer to increase yield

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Russ's picture
Russ

Proofing yeast longer to increase yield

Hi,

I recently read somewhere (maybe in a post here?) somebody claiming they get better results adding their yeast to water rather than to the flour, using instant yeast. Up until now, I've always done it the other way, adding my yeast to the flour, but since reading that post I've been experimenting with the yeast in the water method. To be honest, I haven't noticed any real difference. But along the way a thought occurred to me. When you do this, You're effectively growing more yeast, and as I understand it, the yeast grows very quickly in a wet environment like that, provided enough food (I've been also putting some flour and sugar or honey in the proofing mix). So I thought I could probably use much less yeast that way, if I had some way of approximating the rate of growth.

I've been trying it out the last couple batches with decent results. Today's batch was 1800 grams of flour and I used only a teaspoonful of yeast, but let it proof for about 15 minutes, I also autolysed with all of the liquid and about half of the flour for another 10 minutes before adding the salt. It rose a little more slowly than I wanted, but I think that can be adjusted.

Has anyone experimented with this? Any thoughts or input?

Thanks,

Russ

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

If you're using instant dry yeast, there's no harm in proofing it but there's no need to. Active dry yeast is often proofed and only needs water at or about body temperature. I use water at 85-90F for ten minutes and that works fine for me. YMMV.

Your idea of autolysing with all the liquid, I presume you have included the proofed teast, and half the flour for 10 minutes is essentially a technique known as a sponge. Sponges can be done in a short time of less than hour, sometimes called a "flying sponge", or for much longer periods when using small amounts of ADY or IDY. There are threads in the archives concerning sponges and more than a few bread cook books discuss them as well.

The next time you bake, let that sponge sit at room temperature for an hour or two, not just ten minutes. It will grow and when you use it, you'll be rewarded with a better bread

 

Russ's picture
Russ

Hi PG,

Thanks for the reply.

I do usually make a preferment the night before a bake. Usually I go for 100% hydration, around 200-300g flour with an equal amount of water and a pinch (less than 1/8 tsp) yeast. I think of this as poolish style. Occasionally I also make what I think of as a biga, closer to 60% hydration. I didn't do either this time as I didn't think of it last night and I didn't have time to deal with baking today until around 2:30 and I needed my bread ready before 7pm. This didn't matter too much as I was making cheese bread today and I think it got most of its flavor from the cheese rather than the flour.

Russ

suave's picture
suave

No,  that's not how it works with the yeast, to multiply them you would need a drastically different set of conditions - such as special growth medium and aeration.

Russ's picture
Russ

It just seems to make sense. Yeast grows in bread, when yeast eats, it grows, which is multiplying. So when you proof yeast, how is it not multiplying?

I'm not trying to be annoying here, I've reworded this post a couple times already but it seems like I can't make it sound less argumentative. That's really not my intention.

Russ

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

use active yeast, not often at all now that I have YW, I used to use 1/32 of a tsp and 1 T of flour and water to start a build like SD.  After 12 hours and 3 larger each time feedings it was a ripe sponge and ready to go.  The bread tasted much better this way.

Russ's picture
Russ

I might go that direction sometimes. Usually when I preferment, I've not built it up enough (or maybe I'm prefermenting too small a fraction of the final dough) to eliminate the need for additional yeast.

But I'm thinking about something that might be done in a half hour or so. I think I'm going to have to experiment further.

What's YW, by the way? If you'd typed WY, I'd guess you meant wild yeast, or sourdough, but YW is new to me.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

into the search - or go to my blog.  It is wild yeast captured and multiplied in a liquid solution.  I started mine from minneola juice (a tangelo) but now it is madarin, minneola and apply yeast water.  teketeke was a big help for me in getting YW  sorted out and has has great blog piece on exactly how to do it if you ae interested.  I don't use packaged yeast.  If you need leaven in half and hour - package yeast is the way to go - maybe the only way to go.

Russ's picture
Russ

OK, I have seen a few posts by folks using yeast water from fruit. Haven't tried it myself. Sounds like that's your preferred method. I'll check out your blog. How would you compare it to standard sourdough in terms of flavor and process?

If you need leaven in half and hour - package yeast is the way to go - maybe the only way to go.

I may have been unclear here, I meant half an hour added to my process, not the entire process in half an hour - though I do suspect that that still means using commercial yeast.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

But sometimes you don't want sour .  I have only made 2 breads with YW and they were both the great.  I plan to use it on french bread, pancakes, muffins, sandwich breads etc.  Beats paying for yeast.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think I know what you're getting at.

Taking a small amount of yeast and letting it grow to increase the population (thru feeding and fermentation) before using the yeast in dough.  

Yes, that is easily managed.  You could take a small amount of yeast and add water and flour and then watch it.  The life cycle of yeast does takes longer than a half hour.  You should research under yeast productive cycles.  You could build up the yeast population before adding to dough.  

But why bother?  Why ferment only a tiny portion of flour and water and build when you can easily drop the pinch or so of yeast into the whole or half batch of dough and wait for the dough to rise?  Then ferment all the flour for better flavour.  I think it would take just as long...  

The best example I know of this would be the poolish process:  letting a portion of the dough; equal portions of flour and water; ferment with a small portion of yeast increasing the volume 6 - 16 hrs later with additional flour and ingredients to make a dough.  It certainly speeds up the fermenting when additional yeast is added but if you're not in a hurry, let the yeast work on the flour.

There have been times when I didn't have enough instant yeast to follow a quick recipe and grew commercial yeast in this manner but it does take longer than 30 minutes.    So speed-proofing yeast is an oxymoron when it comes down to instant commercial yeast.

Mini 

 

Russ's picture
Russ

I see what you mean. I guess I just got a bit caught up in the idea of using my yeast more efficiently once I started playing around with proofing it. It's not even like it was ever an expensive ingredient.

I do think I'll play around a bit more with preferments. I think increassing the relative amount in my poolish or biga is called for.

Thanks to all for your input.

Russ