The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

a question about yeast

pattyfermenty's picture

a question about yeast

i have been under the impression that the less yeast, the better. i have read it many times and thought that using the least yeast was a virtue.

but i have also read about yeast creating flavor (not the yeasty flavor of course) -- good flavor. when i read this i was confused. then yesterday, i read that yeast feeding create esters which contribute to flavor! and now i am really confused. can someone here sort it out? thanks..

halfrice's picture

As I understand, the amount of yeast in a recipe is directly proportional (inversely) to the time it takes for your dough to rise. If you are in a rush, you could put in a double measure and it will rise quicker. However, quick breads are usually less flavoursome than bread that has been allowed to rise for a longer period. The amount of yeast you use is really a tradeoff between time and flavour.

The Roadside Pie King's picture
The Roadside Pi...

is that once the dry yeast is reactivated they are a living organism that begin to feed on the sugars in the flour and multiply. So In my humble opinion starting with to much yeast would result in to large a colony of yeasty beasties that devour the nutrients in the flour much to quickly. This would result in

1. Not enough time for the esters/ flavor to develop

2. The yeasty beasties begin to die off before you put your bread in the oven

3. a yeasty flavor

On the other hand if you were to use say a 1/2 of a tea spoon less yeast. You could adjust the fermentation time / temperature and still get a good or even better result than if you used to much yeast. It would also hold true that if you for whatever reason put to much yeast to start you could lower the temp ( refrigerate) to slow down or completely arrest the yeasty beasties for a longer ferment time and a more flavorful loaf.