The Fresh Loaf

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Using Yeast and Baking Powder together?

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jvlin's picture
jvlin

Using Yeast and Baking Powder together?

First off, I would like to thank everyone for all the responses and help I've received. I am so grateful to have such a dedicated and knowledgeable community that is willing to help me with all my problems.

My question is in regards to using yeast and baking powder together while making donuts. Although I'm making donuts, I find that there is a lot of overlap with breadmaking and will appreciate feedback from everyone.

I know using yeast and baking powder together is somewhat taboo (or mayhap just redundant), but I am trying to do something rather specific. My goal is to use them together in hopes of getting great gluten development while getting sufficient leavening when heating. From what I understand, the yeast helps "stretch" the gluten, which is what I do when I proof it for ~30 minutes. Then, I "knead" with a bread hook, which results in all the yeast's gas being released. At this point, I fry the donuts directly, and the baking powder helps expand here.

Is there something with baking powder and yeast that makes using both ingredients redundant? Is it possible that I don't need the yeast at all? Please chime in! Thank you.

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

"From what I understand, the yeast helps "stretch" the gluten, which is what I do when I proof it for ~30 minutes. Then, I "knead" with a bread hook, which results in all the yeast's gas being released."

I don't recognize that description of breadmaking. What are you proofing for 30 minutes before kneading? Is this an autolyze or is it a sponge you're talking about? Neither is really about stretching the gluten, but rather for flavor development or to allow the flour to become fully hydrated before mixing.

Kneading doesn't result in all the yeast's gas being released, but if you allowed it to sit 30 minutes prior to kneading, then some will be released when kneaded. A lot more gas is generated while it ferments after the kneading, and then during the final proof after shaping. When the dough hits the fat, the yeast activity increases and produces more gas, until the yeast dies. Plus, the gas bubbles already in existence will get bigger. I don't know why baking powder would be necessary and I've never seen a donut recipe that contained both, although I wouldn't object to it in principle.

jvlin's picture
jvlin

So technically, I am making cake donuts with a batter. It's too wet to be kneaded by hand, which is why I use a dough hook on my mixer. I'm proofing the entire bowl of batter for 30 minutes before I knead it. I don't think it's an autolyse or a sponge: I'm just mixing all the ingredients and letting it sit for 30 minutes. I'm very new to the entire process, so I wouldn't know if I was doing something wrong. I just saw in some online tutorials that they mix the premix with water and mix it for 3 minutes.

My specific process is to mix all the ingredients (dry first, then wet), then let it sit for 30 minutes, then stick it in a mixer with a dough hook for 12 minutes.

The reason I use baking powder is because I'm going to run it through a cake donut depositor, which I assume will cause all the gas from the batter to be released, or won't provide enough leavening. Since it is a batter, it's too wet to lay out and shape like a yeast donut.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

The only recipe I know of that uses yeast and baking powder in the same recipe is Angel Biscuits. I've made them several times. The recipe makes a really light biscuit that also has a delicious yeasty flavor.


Link to Google listing of Angel Biscuits recipes:
https://www.google.com/search?espv=210&es_sm=122&q=angel+biscuits&oq=angel+biscuits&gs_l=serp.12...0.0.0.1843.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0....0...1c..37.serp....

Xenophon's picture
Xenophon

but not with bread, with pancake batter.  I'm aware that in the US as far as I know pancakes are usually leavened with baking powder.  In Europe that's also becoming more common as it's more convenient, but some people prefer a yeasted batter.  I know I do.  Once I added about 3% baking powder to the fermenting mix.  Can't say the difference was huge but I did find them to be more 'fluffy' or loose in texture, it's hard to describe.  Even when using all purpose or even pastry flour, the dough still has a certain 'chewiness' -for lack of a better expression- to it.  The presence of baking powder made them more fluffy but at the expense (imo) of texture.  Didn't see any added value so used it only once.

Of course this was for pancake batter.  No idea what it would do to bagels but I can't imagine the effect being very positive.  You might gain extra volume but possibly at the expense of chewiness and texture, which are important in a bagel afaik (very rarely eat them, certainly not deep fried).

 

I'd say:  give it a spin and report back!  Good luck!

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Like tgrayson, I don't get what you're doing or trying to do with your donuts. Why do you fry them immediately after kneading them? Why not shape them and let them rise sufficiently, then fry them? The yeast isn't for gluten development, it is for leavening, and it will raise the dough even after being deflated a few times. I don't think of adding baking soda as being taboo. And, if it helps you get the rise you want, or the texture you're looking for, then it isn't really redundant, I guess. But, you may be able to get what you're looking for without it, in which case it would be redundant!

How about giving us some more details about what you're trying to do, your recipe, time constraints, etc. Then maybe someone can give the right advice that helps you get what you're looking for with the least amount of effort, and the fewest ingredients.

By the way, yeasted donuts are bread. They are really very similar to yeast rolls. Are you talking about those, or are you making cake donuts?

jvlin's picture
jvlin

So technically, I am making cake donuts with a batter, not yeast donuts. It's too wet to be kneaded by hand, which is why I use a dough hook on my mixer. I'm proofing the entire bowl of batter for 30 minutes before I knead it. I don't think it's an autolyse or a sponge: I'm just mixing all the ingredients and letting it sit for 30 minutes. I'm very new to the entire process, so I wouldn't know if I was doing something wrong. I just saw in some online tutorials that they mix the premix with water and mix it for 3 minutes.

My specific process is to mix all the ingredients (dry first, then wet), then let it sit for 30 minutes, then stick it in a mixer with a dough hook for 12 minutes.

The reason I use baking powder is because I'm going to run it through a cake donut depositor, which I assume will cause all the gas from the batter to be released, or won't provide enough leavening. Since it is a batter, it's too wet to lay out and shape like a yeast donut.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Well, since you are making cake donuts, using the method you described, I can see no reason to continue adding yeast to the batter. The yeast isn't really going to provide a meaningful amount of gluten development, compared to the way you're working the batter with the dough hook. Yeast does provide a certain flavor, but I would think we wouldn't want that flavor in cake donuts. The fermentation caused by the yeast most likely wouldn't have sufficient time to change the properties of the flour or sugar. I can't think of a single thing yeast would be good for in this recipe. However, I may be very wrong. I'm not experienced enough to know for sure.

gerhard's picture
gerhard

I have made donuts for a long time and this confuses me.  If you are talking about a Belshaw cake donut depositor it is meant to deposit the donuts directly into the deep fryer.  You have an arm that is attached to the side of the fryer and allows you to swing the depositor across the surface of oil, generally you want to be about 3/4 of an inch above the oil so that it doesn't splash 375 F oil.  We always let the cake donut batter sit 15 to 30 minutes before extruding, this seems to reduce oil absorption.  Our mixing time was 30 seconds at 1st speed and then 1 minute in third gear using the flat beater. I think using a dough hook on a batter would be an ineffective mixing method.

Gerhard

P.S. In a cake donut you try to avoid development of gluten because the goal is a tender crumb.

jvlin's picture
jvlin

Thanks! This is helpful. I am actually trying to make a different type of cake donut with a dense crumb, which is why I want to develop the gluten. I'm not using a premix and I actually tried to do something like a baguette, so the batter is actually much thicker, and very similar to bread.

lazybaker's picture
lazybaker

Is there something with baking powder and yeast that makes using both ingredients redundant? Is it possible that I don't need the yeast at all? Please chime in! Thank you.

I made Chinese crullers and apple fritter doughnuts that use baking powder but not yeast.  The texture of these is different from regular yeast doughnuts. The Chinese crullers are made of all-purpose flour, salt, water, baking powder, and baking soda. The texture of the crullers are thin and crispy with large caverns. The apple fritter doughnuts are made of all-purpose flour, cinnamon, apples, baking powder, egg, and milk. The texture of the apple fritter doughnuts is sort of cake-y with a crispy crust.

Regular yeast doughnuts made of all-purpose flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and milk have a texture of, well, like yeast doughnuts. The texture is soft.  

Jolly's picture
Jolly

Using Yeast and Baking Powder together?Upon watching the Food Network (The Pioneer Woman) happened to be baking her mothers cinnamon rolls, which consisted of yeast and baking powder. Ree said she had no idea what the baking powder did but she did say the dough would be ready within 1-hour and the rolls would be delicious. When she made mention of the baking powder I said why would she need baking powder?Then I found an old cookbook on baking (Home Made Breads). Complete and up- to-date: all the short-cut ways to make yeast breads. Plus! Great recipes for quick breads. By the Food Editors of Farm Journal it was (published in 1969)The book contained 5 recipes using yeast and baking powder. It said time is the problem with many women because it takes a lot of planning to get breads in the oven. Recognizing this situation, home economist of flour milling and yeast companies work constantly to develop methods that will shorten the time needed and lesson the work in bread making.These breads are called Can-Do-Quick Bread – This method is faster than the conventional yeast bread because you’re adding yeast plus baking powder.You knead the dough 5 minutes in a dough hook machine, and then shape, and place it in a pan for its one rising until doubled with the center about 2-inches above the bread pan.The high-rise loaves that results from this method are beautiful. They brown well and the bread has an even, fine texture. The flavor is some-what different from that of many yeast breads.Some of the rolls and biscuits of the early West had this same type of leavening. A Colorado rancher said the breads reminded him of the rolls and biscuits served at the Cattlemen’s Dinners and Cow Camps.So the yeast and baking powder saves baking time. And at the same time baking power does add a unique flavor to the dough. I can remember eating breads like this when I was little girl and I’ve never been able to duplicate the flavor. Now I know it’s the baking powder. The Pioneer Woman said she has baked scads of recipe for cinnamon rolls and always comes back to her mother’s old recipe, for the best flavor and the most delicious rolls and breads.By all means use the yeast and baking powder in making donuts for the most unique flavor.