I am a new baker, do I need to mix my active yeast with warm water and sugar before I mix in my other ingred's?
=== do I need to mix my active yeast with warm water and sugar before I mix in my other ingred's? ===
It depends on the type of bread. If you are making a straight (all yeast, no sourdough) dough that has a short rising schedule (say a 1-hour rise and a 1-hour proof) then you would want dissolve the yeast or pre-activate it with a mixture of water and sugar or water and a bit of flour. But if you are making a dough with a longer fermentation schedule (2-3 hours fermentation, mabye a period in the refrigerator), or using it for a poolish, then you don't really need to predissolve. Modern yeasts are very robust.
If you are talking about a basic bread recipe, I'd suggest that sticking to one recipe and working with it a few times to get 'the feel'. If that recipe says to mix with warm water first, then do that. If it doesn't, mix in the yeast the way it says.
In either case, the temp of the liquid would be something to measure with a therm. At least the first few times.
I think historically, the idea of mixing and proofing yeast was more to make sure the yeast was really active, then secondly to increase the activity of the little beasties before adding to the mix so that rise times are shorter. However, many recipes now are trying to slow down the process to get better flavor or richer grain flavors.
I guess I should have said I was making whole wheat breads. I have a bread machine and have found I do not like how the outside crust gets hard. So, I had decided to use the machine to mix , knead and first rise. And then, put dough in a bread pan , let it rise for 1 1/2 hrs.. It would rise but then, during the baking time it would deflate some. It tastes fine. I have read that wheat bread does not rise as much and is dense. I re-read the directions again on the bread machine, it reads to put the yeast in last. I do have a kitchen aid with dough paddle, I should probably just try that.
your letting the bread rise to much
you should be able to lighty touch the bread and the fingerprint comes back slowly thats 3/4 rise if the indent stays thats full rise and time to bake.
forget about set times too many factors affect the rise time
a warm kitchen will cause the bread to rise faster as will the humidity cold and dry conditions will cause the bread to rise very slowly.
if your kitchen is like mine you have very little control of the enviorment. have the oven ready to bake when the loaf is put into the loaf pan
if you touch the bread and it falls back it has risen to much
when that happens the bread will rise more in the oven but fall back because there is not enough what we call structur to support its self like a house on a bad foundation and your foaf will be small and dence
give it less rise before baking and you will be fine. and use the touch test
Pro Baker for over 25 years-----Ret