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How do I get rid of the yeast flavor?????

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JonathanEngr's picture
JonathanEngr

How do I get rid of the yeast flavor?????

Hi, all.  I'm a novice baker (at least with products that contain active yeast), and I'm not sure that I'll ever become a veteran baker if I can't get past this one annoying problem...!!

I have made pizza crust, bread and most recently doughnuts that all contain active yeast in the ingredients. I follow the recipe *meticulously*, but despite this fact my resulting product always ends up tasting like yeast.  The items always look great and look as succulent as you'd expect, but they always, always, always have a very "yeasty" taste to them.

I have googled and read on this topic, and I just can't seem to find an answer on how to eliminate this.  Should I use less yeast and allow more time for the product to rise?  Should I use more yeast and do things more quickly?  Should I use the same amount with a different time frame?  For goodness' sake... Less salt?  Less sugar?  Don't heat the water for the yeast?  Make it hotter?  Don't pre-prepare the yeast and just add it to the flour mixture?  There are endless "ideas" for how to solve this issue, but which one really works?

I live in a very small town, but despite this fact we have a "mom & pop" doughnut house AND pizza parlor, They make everything from scratch and suffice to say, neither the pizza crust nor donuts taste like yeast.  HOW do they do that?  How do they make doughnuts that seem lighter than air, obviously use yeast, but have no "yeasty" taste at all?  Is there a special kind of yeast?  A special way of working with it?

Any input and/or advice would be greatly appreciated!!! 

cerevisiae's picture
cerevisiae

Well, taking a shot in the dark, since I don't really know your recipes or process, the two things I would focus on are proofing times and amount of yeast. They could both be the culprit, though maybe it's all or mostly one of those.

In a recipe that calls for a lot of yeast, keeping a close eye on the dough during it's various risings and making sure it's not overfermenting should help, as might reducing the amount of yeast initially. If I recall correctly, the "yeasty" flavor tends to come from an excess of dead yeast or yeast byproduct remaining in the final product. Controlling the population and its growth will probably help.

cerevisiae's picture
cerevisiae
andychrist's picture
andychrist

Another possible factor besides your having used too much yeast might be that you are under baking your goods. Have you tried putting any of them back in the oven for a short while or toasting to see if the yeast flavor dissipates? 

JonathanEngr's picture
JonathanEngr

Here is the recipe I used for doughnuts this past weekend.  They actually tasted very good, but they had a VERY "yeasty" taste that is definitely uncharacteristic of doughnuts.  As for cooking, the doughnuts were actually a bit overcooked as I didn't want them to taste doughy.  Instead of a light golden brown they had a darker-brown hue.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/My-Moms-Raised-Doughnuts/Detail.aspx?evt19=1

 

cerevisiae's picture
cerevisiae

That seems like a perfectly reasonable amount of yeast to me, for all the enrichments in the dough and no preferments. Did you happen to take the temperature of your dough after it was mixed? Did it feel warm?

When proofing the dough, did you go by the times stated in the recipe, or did you regularly check on the dough and assess the smell and feel of it?

JonathanEngr's picture
JonathanEngr

I didn't check the temperature if the dough at all... I just started pulling together the recipe and didn't look back.  The first thing called for was the yeast mixture, and that is exactly what I did.  I put the yeast, water and sugar into a small bowl, but halfway into the next step the yeast was overflowing the bowl.  I got another bowl and placed everything into it.  I probably let the yeast work for 30 minutes before adding it to the flour and egg mixture. 

 

Can someone explain the term "proofing" the dough?  I see it in several comments but have no idea what it means!   :-)

cerevisiae's picture
cerevisiae

I ask about the temperature because yeast is more active at warmer temperatures, and therefore cause the dough to rise more quickly. 

Proofing, in general, refers to the action of yeast, which can be manifested in the process in a few different ways. I hear the term comes from the verb "to prove" - it is a time when the yeast is proving it's vitality and ability to leaven. It is often also called the rising or the fermentation. Here's a basic breakdown of proofing in the dough making process:

- Add commercial yeast to water, and wait for it to foam and show signs of activity - an optional step.

- Mix all the dough ingredients together and then set aside. This stage is called the "bulk fermentation" or the first/initial proof or rise. This stage may consist of one or more times where the dough is degassed, possibly folded, and then let to rise again. Generally, anything that happens after the fabrication of the final dough and before the dividing and shaping of the dough is considered part of the bulk fermentation.

- Dividing and shaping: this is when the dough gets divided and shaped into rolls, loaves, or, in some cases, doughnuts. It marks the end of the first period of proofing/fermentation, and the beginning of the next.

- Final/secondary fermentation: the dough is now in its final form and receives a final rest before baking. This period could be as short as a minute, in the case of a pizza, or as long as 18 hours, in the case of some breads.

- Oven spring/oven proof: The yeast's last huzzah. Exposed to the extreme temperatures of the oven (or skillet or oil pot), the yeast experiences a strong burst of activity as the dough temperature shoots up, and then passes the thermal death point of the yeast, which is between 120F - 140F.

JonathanEngr's picture
JonathanEngr

It sounds like mixing the dough with less yeast and letting it rise in a refrigerator overnight might be worth a try.  Am I correct?  I need to get my timing better, too.  MY doughnuts were a bit too dense, as opposed to the almost "lighter than air" consistency of something like Krispy Kreme doughnuts (which is what I was going for).  Should I let the original dough rise a bit less (smaller amount of time), knead it, and then make my doughnut shapes much earlier to let the doughnut shapes have more time to rise?  I had no idea baking was such an art!!  ;-)  

cerevisiae's picture
cerevisiae

These are all good ideas. It would be interesting to do a (half?) batch with less yeast and a batch with a retardard (cool) fermentation and see if they still taste yeasty, and if so, if one tastes that way more than the other.

For less yeast, I'd try decreasing it by about 1/3 - 1/2. Keep the dough at room temp, but give it more time. Check on it regularly to make sure you're not overproofing.

For a slower fermentation, try using the usual amount of yeast, but put the dough in the fridge to rise.

What both of these should do is not just decrease the yeasty flavor (hopefully), but increase the other flavor components in the dough, which may overpower any lingering yeasty flavor.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I make yeast-risen doughnuts with 6 eggs and I never use that much yeast.  Could you possibly get your hands on some instant yeast?  That way you would use much less.  And 'proofing' the dough simply means letting it rise.

adri's picture
adri

What I can think of:

  • Undercooking, like Andy said, might be an issue. But not with donuts?
  • 2 packages of yeast for the doughnuts is a lot. My calculator sais: 4 cups is 550g, sifted maybe even less. 1 package usually is for 500g greasy dough and 1000g bread dough. (4.2% / 2.1% fresh yeast is 1.4% / 0.7% instant). (Assuming 1 package has 7g yeast).
  • Sometimes it is the "soapy" taste, that is annoying. Yeast doesn't lower the ph like sordough does. The doughnuts have no lemon(peel), just milk, no buttermilk, ... Maybe it is just the missing sour.

 

Adrian

JonathanEngr's picture
JonathanEngr

Of course, I have no idea what a "lot" of yeast would be in any recipe, but do you think it's necessary to use that much yeast to make the doughnuts have that light "melt in your mouth" consistency?  Or can you get there regardless with a longer rise time?

As for getting my hands on instant yeast, is that different than what I used?  The yeast I used is called "Instant Dry Yeast".  The exact brand is Red Star Quick Rise Yeast, it states "gluten-free" on the package and also claims to rise 50% faster.  

cerevisiae--you mentioned letting it rise longer but don't "overproof" the mixture.  How can you tell if you've overproofed?  

Thank you for all of the responses thus-far.  It's very helpful! 

andychrist's picture
andychrist

Okay, think I see where the problem is. You said you followed the recipes "meticulously" but at least the one for doughnuts called for Active Dry Yeast, whereas you used Instant/Quick Rise. Next time you might try using either ADY or IDY in your doughnuts. AFAIK, "Quick" or "Rapid" Rise Yeast is to be used only in certain recipes calling for a single proof.

 

cerevisiae's picture
cerevisiae

@JonathanEngr - Knowing about the yeast substitution is good. Instant/quick/rapid rise/bread machine yeast is more potent than active dry. When using it instead of active dry, decrease the amount by 1/3. Look over the recipes you've been using - if they all call for active dry and you've been using instant all along, then I think we have a really easy answer to your problem. Try a recipe again with this adjustment and let us know how it goes.

@andy - I hadn't heard about rapid rise being used only when calling for a single proof - I should look into that. Good to know, even if I'm not using commercial yeast much.

embth's picture
embth

The texture of your doughnuts will be more influenced by the type of flour perhaps than the amount of yeast.  I am not that familiar with "krispy kremes"…but I wonder if they use cake flour.  Commercial products contain many additives to expand the crumb to a light, fluffy texture.

clazar123's picture
clazar123

Many recipes these days are designed to be FAST. The more yeast you add, the faster it will go but the trade-off is the yeasty taste.  You want enough yeast to raise the dough (this is called the bulk ferment) in a reasonable time frame (2-4 hours) but not taste yeasty because there is so much yeast present.

For 4 cups flour add anywhere from 1 tsp-2 1/4 tsp (one packet) of the Instant Yeast. All that happens is that the dough raises slower (with the 1 tsp) and faster (with the 2 1/4 tsp). The slower raised dough should have more flavor (NOT yeasty flavor but that delicious fermented flavor) than the dough with the larger amount of yeast.  If I am in a hurry, I might add a little more yeast.

Take a look around about definitions-there is a HANDBOOK section on the top bar of the page and it has an ApendixA-Glossary.

Enjoy.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

or updating the yeast, perhaps there is some additive in the yeast or some of the additives have expired or gone rancid and you are sensitive to notice them.  Switch out for fresh yeast or try making "wild yeast water."  

Another thing, you could be comparing to pizzas and donuts made more with baking powder.  

Yeast doesn't really have a taste but it's fermenting byproducts do.  Perhaps you are fermenting too long and this is what you're tasting?

Taste through your ingredients to make sure non have gone bad.  Taste the flour, and mull it around in your mouth for a while, any aftertastes?  

JonathanEngr's picture
JonathanEngr

Thanks so much!!  I'll try this again with the *right* kind of yeast  ;o).  Are the yeasts mentioned above also in packet form?  When I was Googling my problem I saw where you could buy some types of specialty yeasts that don't come in packets.  I'm not sure where to buy something like that.  If it's not easy to come by I'll try reducing the amount of yeast and see if I have better luck.