The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question about SAF GOLD Instant Yeast

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Question about SAF GOLD Instant Yeast

I was looking at the latest King Arthur catalog and I noticed they sell a version of SAF Instant yeast called GOLD. It's supposedly better for sweet breads and acidic sourdough breads. I read in the BBA where Peter observed french bakers adding commercial yeast to the dough depending on activity on the morning of the bake I believe. I don't recall him mentioning what type of yeast they added. I do from time to time add a little instant yeast to my SD dough's if I'm behind schedule and need to shorten the primary ferment or boost the rise but it always feels like cheating.

Does anyone have experience using this Gold Instant Yeast?

Eric

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Hi Eric,

I haven't used the gold yeast, but I can tell you that when I took the sourdough course at SFBI, most of the sourdough breads we made had a small amount of added yeast and it was regular SAF red, not the gold. The red worked fine. FWIW, I don't think it's cheating if adding yeast lets you make sourdough bread in the time you have :-)

Susanfnp

http://www.wildyeastblog.com

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Here is my summarized comment on types of yeast: Types of Yeast.

Much as I like King Arthur I think they are indulging in a bit of catalog engineering here (not that the consumer products companies where I have worked ever did that; no sir). IMHO it isn't going to matter what type of yeast you use (as long as it isn't rapid rise). And I see no harm in putting a bit of commercial yeast into the last stage of your sourdough; either the sourdough is active and will kill the commerical yeast, or it isn't in which case the yeast was needed to salvage the loaf. I do that for my Sunday rye bread bake because I need the loaf to make and freeze my sandwiches for the week and I need to reduce the chance of complete loaf failure (not that that ever happens to me!).

sPh

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I tend to agree with you but this is a SAF product and it does seem interesting that they would bother to market a specific product for sweet and acidic doughs. Judging from the lack of interest in this thread here, I would say they need to work on spreading the word about why it's any better than Red.

Eric

mariana's picture
mariana

Eric, SAF Gold is osmotolerant type of yeast. It is very tolerant to sugar and performs well in doughs with very low amounts of water (i.e. doughs made with milk and eggs) and high sugar content.

Normally, when working with very sweet yeasted doughs, one would have to increase yeast to extraordinary amounts, way above 2 baker's percent, to maintain normal fermentation rate. SAF Gold yeast will ferment happily in very sweet doughs and small amounts of SAF Gold lift them in a normal amount of time, i.e. sweet dough doubling in volume in one hour at room temperature.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Mariana,

It sounds like you have an interest in the chemistry/biology at work here. Do you have anything on using Gold with sourdough and what happens to the community of bacteria when my San Franciscan SD meets the boys from SAF? Do they live in harmony or is there a battle for food?

Eric

mariana's picture
mariana

Eric, you can use Gold with very sour sourdoughs, so sour that wild yeast cannot survive there. However, doughs with such ph will also be detrimental for lactobacteria which dies at low ph.  For spiking moderately sour or mild sourdoughs SAF Gold will be just right.

Young SanFrancisco sourdough is ok for spiking it with baker's yeast of any kind. Young dough means recently mixed: starter + yeast + flour + water + salt. There is plenty of food in there. Remember that bacterial and yeast fermentation will stop before food is exhausted simply due to the accumulation of alcohol and acid in the dough. I.e. bacteria and yeast will die before they starve due to the accumulation of products of their own metabolism which poisons them.

 In liquid starters addition of baker's yeast is futile. If you add SAF yeast to your SanFran sourdough starter and continue with regular schedule of starter refreshments (feedings and dilution), wild yeast and lactobacilli will outcompete baker's yeast and in 2 days there will be none present.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

So you are saying that a lower hydration starter is a better prospect for spiking with Gold. I usually keep and feed my sfo starter to about 90% hydration. In a typical 1200 gram total weight batch I shoot for 70-75% hydration. Using strictly instant yeast 2% would be the norm. If this would be a SFO SD batch and I wanted to speed up the primary ferment activity how much Gold should I add? Would it matter that much if I used Red?

 I might still slow the development down by cooling the dough but upon returning to the bench the activity should be more robust as it warms. Yes?

Might I ask what your source of knowledge is in this subject? I know there are many other members who have wrestled with this issue with no way to resolve it for sure. I'm sure we all would like to pick your brains since you seem to have a scientific basis from which to draw.

 Thank you,

Eric

mariana's picture
mariana

Eric, you asked me if bacteria and baker's yeast will fight for food in a bread dough. No, they will die before that battle is won by any of them. Then I added that they will compete for nutrients in liquid environment, where they have better mobility, and sourdough microflora will outcompete baker's yeast.

 Starters are never spiked with yeast, Eric. Only final dough. Starter is best kept at 65% hydration. Only then you will have verifiable means of knowing its strength and be able to defelop its flavor (i.e. microflora) fully. My SF starter (from sourdough international), for example, quintuples in less than 3 hours, it is that vigorous. I don't have a need to spike final dough at all.  And flavor is out of this world good.

 The final hydration of your dough depends on the kind of bread you are making (very sour or mild, freeform or in a bread pan, etc.), but mostly on the origin of your bread flour. Normally, breads baked with American bread flours do require high hydration (75%) due to high percent of broken starch granules in them. European floors require 61-65% hydration, Latin-American flours - even lower, 58-60%.

 When you use strictly instant yeast in your dough (no starter), 2% will be an overkill. 2% is for fresh yeast that is sold in cakes. Please, use no more than 1g of instant for each cup of flour (150g of flour) in straight doughs made without preferments, which amounts to 0.7 baker's percent.

 To speed up the primary ferment activity, first of all, make sure that your starter is at the peak of its vigor and development. For that, figure out first the amount of starter you need for the final dough.

  Let's say it will be for 1200g of final dough. Assume that 30% of it would be firm starter, or 400 g. Take 10g of stiff SF starter from the fridge and let it ferment at room temp until it peaks (about 3-5hours). It will increase in volume 4-7 times. Now that starter is hungry and it has to be given 3 refreshments before adding to your final dough. Example. Add to it 25g water and 35g flour in the following manner. Whip starter and water with electic mixer into a stiff foam, add flour. Knead a little. Let ferment until peaks (3-8hours). Add to that 75g water and 105g flour. Let ferment until peaks. Finally, feed it the remainder of water and flour to obtain the desired 400g of firm starter. Let it ferment until peaks, another 3-5 hours. Now that is THE starter for your dough. You can keep it in the fridge for a few hours, or mix the dough immediately and do your fancy schedules of retardation and refrigeration for flavor and acidity development.

In absence of certifiably vigorous starter, or when pressured for time, you can spike your dough with about 0.2% of commercial yeast (i.e. cake yeast, compressed yeast, 0.2 baker's percent). If you want to spike it with SAF Gold, use 1 g of SAF Gold for each kilogram of flour in your bread recipe. REhydrate that 1 g of instant yeast in 105F water, no sugar, before mixing it with the remainder of the ingredients. OK?

Red and Gold brands can be used interchangeably in bread doughs which are not heavily sugared or excessively acidic.

Will fermentation be more active as dough warms up on the bench? You bet it will : )

If you are interested in the science of breadmaking, Eric, there are two books on the subject. They complete each other, in my opinion. Bread Science (2006) by Emily Buhler. and The Bread Builders (1999) by Daniel Wing (coauthored with Alan Scott). Emily is a chemist and Dan is a biologist. Both are excellent bakers.  The best books about techniques of working with sourdough are by Maggie Gleser: A Blessing of Bread (2004) and Artisan Baking (2000). They are so outstanding, they are in a class of their own.

 Sorry for the long post.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I don't have time at the moment to do justice to my appreciation for your in depth post. I know there are many folks here that will love reading and learning from your thoughtful advice.

Thanks,

Eric

browndog's picture
browndog

Mariana, a couple questions based on what you've said here. Do you take your 10 g starter from the refrigerator and let it ferment unfed initially? Then for the 3 subsequent feedings there is no discard, simply continue to refresh the entire batch? And you feed directly after peaking, not allowing time to ripen and collapse?

mariana's picture
mariana

Hi Eric. Yes. Yes. Yes. : ) How are you today? What's baking?

 I refrigerate my starter right after feeding, so it can be kept cold unattended for many months. I make a ball of storage starter weighing about 200g and daily take small pieces out to bake fresh loaves/rolls for dinner/breakfast. When I take 10 g out to start preparation for breadmaking, the little guy doesn't need to be fed, only awakened. Once it warms up, it rises like crazy.

Yes, when you start building your sourdough, you discard nothing, you build up your preferment, so to speak, until its mass reaches 20-40% of the final dough mass. I sometimes go as low as 5% and as high as 50% of leaven in final dough, but three refreshments are unavoidable for truly terrific leavening power and texture and flavor to die for.

Eric, starter is not dough, it doesn't need to 'ripen'. Starter is a community of yeast and bacteria at the height of their numbers. You don't want it to 'ripen' or, god forbid, 'collapse'. You want it to reach the maximum height and stay there until the first wrinkle, sag, or some other sign of the end of expansion and beginning of gluten weakness appears. When starter collapses, it might be caused by several factors. I only care about one of them - gluten deterioration due to fermentation processes. I would rather preserve quality of wheat protein in starter until the last minute in the oven. So I don't knead starter too much, nor do I let it to 'collapse' and become soupy and sticky, gooey unshapely mass.

 Another thing I wanted to underline is that it is important to whip starter in water before adding flour to feed it. Yeast goes through respiration phase in presence of oxygen, and only later through fermentation phase, in absence of oxygen. During respiration a massive amount of gas is released and some water. During fermentation - alcohol and and three times less gas are released which looks on the outside as a painfully slow starter rise to its mediocre maximum height. Alcohol also slows down yeast's own progress. So whip it up! Oxygenate : )

 

Now your turn, Eric. Share your secret tricks : )

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

Mariana, I for one appreciate your long post.  In my opinion, this is one forum where you can't give too much information. :)

mariana's picture
mariana

Thank you! Very kind of you. : )

suave's picture
suave

I don't have BBA nearby, but if I distinctly remember reading in it that unless you work with an excessively sweet dough there's no real need for osmotolerant yeast such as SAF gold.