The Fresh Loaf

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Active dry yeast beginner - what am I doing wrong??

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Betty Garb's picture
Betty Garb

Active dry yeast beginner - what am I doing wrong??

Hi! I hope someone can help. I've been baking with quick yeast for a good few months now and have fully embraced it and am loving it. It's been mostly fantastic and I decided to move on to active dry yeast to try to achieve a better flavour.

I've followed a basic recipe on the back of the yeast tin, which means putting 15g of yeast into 150g of water after disolving a teaspoon of sugar in it, letting it bubble up (never need to wait the 10-15 mins stated, it grows a foam over 2cm within 5 mins) adding it to 650g of flour, with a teaspoon of salt and a couple tablespoons of olive oil (which is what I used to add for the quick yeast...not sure I should still be doing it?) and as much extra luke-warm water that is needed to turn it into a kneedable dough.......I kneed for well over 10 minutes, stretching and folding and rolling etc until it feels springy and lively.

Both attempts so far have risen quickly on the first prove to beyond double the size within a fairly short time. Then I punch the dough down and shape into a tin and let it  prove again, but not as much the second time... it seems to be rising quicker during the prove than the quick yeast.

 I cook on gas mark 7 for probably only 20 minutes. when the top gets dark (and it's cooked and hollow sounding on top) I take it out of the tin and flip it upside down onto the oven shelf to get a crust all around the loaf (which I used to do with the quick yeast successfuly). B

Well my problem is the texture of these two active yeast loaves I've cooked in this way.... it's very 'spongy' - like a bath sponge I mean... almost plasticy... it has a good springy feel but almost more like a crumpet.... Not unlike a ciabatta in some ways....lots of bubbles inside almost...The crust is better than any I got with the quick yeast, without a doubt.... But the inside is just not working.

This would be a quandry enough for me.... but the MOST frustrating part is this.... Every time when I make a loaf I cut of a small handful (that I've started kneeding for 5 mins or so) for my 2 year old daughter to 'kneed' with me... she plays with it, stretches it, folds it, rolls it, adds way too much extra flour just because it's fun... Today we gave her little 'play bun' two rises also. Punched it down a little later than the main loaf, so didn't have as long to prove the second time...... Then I put it on the second shelf of the oven, under the loaf... When the main loaf was ready to come out I took her bun out too and flipped it in its ramekin.... I noticed it was cooked way less than the loaf - seemed damp underneath at that stage but had 'cooked' (which makes sense as it was lower down).  In 5 mins or so I  took it out and LOW AND BEHOLD, when we cut it open it was the perfect springy pillowy soft close texture that I would have loved to see in the loaf.

I'm going to try to attach a pic of the loaf so you can try to see what I mean... but I have no picture of her perfect little bun as she devoured it within 5 minutes of it being cool enough.

ANY ideas what exactly I could do with the loaf next time? Lower heat? Less proving?! Agh! Any suggestions greatly appreciated :)

 

 

Betty Garb's picture
Betty Garb