Don’t Kill The Yeast

Yeast baking tips!

These days most home bakers use instant yeast – it is a yeast that one can add directly to the dry ingredients.  You do not need to activate the yeast before using it!

I always compare yeast to a little baby!

  • It needs food (in the case of yeast a little sugar added to your flour will be an instant food for the yeast cells to start growing, it will also use the starch in the flour as food to keep on growing)
  • It will need water
  • Oxygen
  • And warmth! BUT – just like a baby – the cells are sensitive and you will kill them if you add too much heat.  The optimum temperature for yeast cells to grow in is between 25-35°  If the temperature is too low – the cells will grow very slow (it is called slow fermentation).  Recipes normally state that you must add lukewarm water to your dry ingredients when working with yeast – it will be best to use a thermometer and not guess the temperature!  If the water is too hot (above 50°C) you will kill the yeast and your mixture will not rise at all!

Some other interesting facts:

Salt is not necessary for yeast to grow – it will inhibit the growth of yeast (BUT – we do need the flavour!!!)

Yeast prefer to grow in an acidic environment (Low pH) and not alkaline

If you prove the dough made with yeast – the temperature must not be too high. It is best to let your dough rise in a warm, draft-free location. Ideal rise temperatures are between 32-38°C.  Higher temperatures may kill the yeast and keep the dough from rising, lower temperatures will slow the yeast activity and will take very long.

Hope this will help and I will post a quick bread recipe soon for you to try out!  Working with yeast is easy and very rewarding – imagine that smell of home baked bread wafting through your house……

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