Friday, November 12, 2010

Baking Bread with Fresh Yeast

I pulled a cube of frozen fresh yeast from my freezer for a photo, and decided I might as well use it.

I knew it probably didn't have the rising power it would have had before I froze it, so I decided to make a smaller loaf.

Fresh yeast - about one ounce
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

I had the frozen fresh yeast in a little bowl, thawing.

I added a little bit of water - maybe a teaspoon, and the sugar, and stirred it around until it got foamy and proved to me that it was still alive.

I put the flour and water in the bowl of my stand mixer and added the yeast. I let that knead until it was smooth. I added the salt and olive oil and continued kneading until it was smooth, shiny, and almost fully elastic.

I put some olive oil into a plastic bag, dropped the dough in, made sure it was coated with oil, and let it rest in the refrigerator over night.

The next day, I let it warm up on the counter, then floured the counter, formed the dough into a loaf, and put it on a cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheet, seam side down. When it had doubled in size - about 2 hours later - I put it into the oven at about 350 degrees and baked it for about 40 minutes.

I've got to say that I don't see a whole lot of difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast, but there is a flavor difference with fresh yeast. I've got to remember to use it more often.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.