The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Sourdough afficionados. Do you only bake with sourdough?

Miller's picture
Miller

Sourdough afficionados. Do you only bake with sourdough?

As I have only recently started baking regularly with sourdough, I was wondering if those persons here who have been baking for a longer time also bake regularly with instant or fresh yeast as an alternative to sourdough.

Maverick's picture
Maverick

While I mostly bake with sourdough, I still do some bakes with instant yeast. My favorite non-sourdough bread recipe is ciabatta. I also make a non-sourdough pan de mie (still trying to perfect it) once in a while. Sometimes I will just make a basic loaf too. The one thing I need to do more often is a hybrid dough. I like to use a poolish, but could easily use sourdough as the preferment instead and just add the instant yeast as usual. I do like that the poolish is "nuttier" in flavor, but since I am keeping a starter anyway I usually have that on hand.

BaniJP's picture
BaniJP

Yes.

Instant/fresh yeast is not your enemy, it's just a little more "commercialized" and less personal than you own starter. If I use yeast, I use it in small quantities and give it a long rise, because time = flavor + digestibility (something to do with fermentable carbs called FODMAPS).

For pizza, ciabatta, baguettes, croissants etc. I use yeast, plus sometimes a little starter for flavor.

But I try using my starter as often as possible because I put effort into it and the results are simply superior and more artisan.

Thumbpicker's picture
Thumbpicker

I like the idea of your Pizza dough using a bit of both... I had just converted my dough recipe to use my starter but I maybe a little instant yeast as well might be good - best of both worlds.

BrianShaw's picture
BrianShaw

Each type of bread leavening serves a distinct purpose. I probably bake yeast bread and quick bread in equal proportions and twice as much as wild yeast bread. 

Miller's picture
Miller

My question is partly related to the fact that as I don't yet produce generally acceptable sourdough for home consumption, I'm getting gently worded hints from my family to bake something simple, possibly with instant yeast.

BrianShaw's picture
BrianShaw

My family does he same. Partly because I bake sourdough infrequently and find that it’s easy to “lose the edge”. I sometimes feel like I’m re-learning every time rather than expanding my knowledge

And I insist on eating the errors one way or the other, and they just can’t relate to that level of frugality. 

Plus they are more of the “white bread” types. So mixing it up is a good thing and everyone gets what they like eventually. 

There are a lot of good books to consider if you don’t have some already. Bernard Clayton or Rose Levy Berenbaum both published “Bread Bibles” with reliable recipes for any kind of bread you might imagine... and then some. 

Miller's picture
Miller

I'm the same about eating my not so good bakes!

Thanks. I'll look up the books by the authors that you mention.

albacore's picture
albacore

I do mainly SD, but like to use IDY now and again; I especially like to do a bake with a yeasted Biga. Abel's 90% Biga loaf is a favourite of mine. I've always had better results with the yeasted version rather than the SD one.

Pizza dough I always make with IDY, too.

Some bakers on TFL seem to prefer to live exclusively in the SD world - not sure why, but to each their own!

Lance

Miller's picture
Miller

I'll probably try it in one of my next non-sourdough bakes.