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Old 03-11-2010, 01:14 PM   #1
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Having trouble with some yeast (insert bad joke here)

Hey, I am just getting into the whole cooking thing and seems I tried to jump too far ahead. I was trying to make a cinnamon roll recepie and, well, had trouble at step 1 :(

The pertinant ingredients were:
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)

And the step was:
In a small bowl, dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

I tried this as best I could, but I lack a scale or anything so my research told me that 0.25 ounces of dry yeast was anywhere from 1.5 - 3 tsp depending on the source I found. My results, regardless of the amount of yeast I used was a frothy mixture on top with runny luquid under it. More yeast just meant more froth. Nothing even remotely close to this "creamy" it called for. I decided to hit the brakes and check before I wasted food making this. Am I doing something wrong, or is that you kids call creamy these days? :P

Thanks!

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Old 03-11-2010, 01:29 PM   #2
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Don't pay any attention to the "creamy" remark. That can vary from brand to brand of packaged yeast. Just be sure to give the yeast time to really bloom (foam). Ten minutes, in my opinion, is a minimum amount of time. Twenty to thirty minutes would not be uncommon depending on the temperature in your kitchen. Temperature is what significantly effects bloom rate. And the longer the time, the more active yeast is developed, which is what you want.

Account for the amount of liquid you use to bloom your yeast when you add it to your flour, but pay no attention to its looks. Before I began using a "poolish" to develop my yeast, I did it just as you are describing. More often than not, it looked like tan dishwater.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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Thanks for clearing that up (and the speedy reply). I shall have to give this a go when I have free time next week again.
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Old 03-11-2010, 01:56 PM   #4
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Selkie: I found your post educational, as I knew the foam part was good, and this usually happened for me in as short as a minute's time. For some reason, I always figured at this step that my yeast would get "used up" if I did not rush to use it. As a result, my cinnamon rolls have been okay, but really not anywhere near what I would like them to be like. (To the annoyance of my gf, I usually say "nothing like my Mom's".) I've got a vegetarian brunch coming up and I think I am going to try letting my yeast sit a bit and see if they don't turn out awesomely thick, perhaps even fluffy.
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:54 AM   #5
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I dissolved my instant yeast in some warm water for some 20 minutes now. Still no blooming happening in my warm kitchen! Does that mean I have to throw it out? Expiry is still 2011. Please help. I don't want to waste the rest of my baking ingredients...

By the way, brand is Pakmaya Instant Yeast (made in Turkey). Manufactured 3/2009, Expiry 3/2011.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:55 AM   #6
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Chopstix, more than just warm water is sometimes needed. Try adding a tablespoon of sugar, honey or flour to the warm water for the yeast to feed upon. You should notice some bubbling or foaming beginning to appear within 30 minutes. If you don't the yeast is bad and you will need to purchase fresh yeast.
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Old 05-18-2010, 06:59 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopstix View Post
I dissolved my instant yeast in some warm water for some 20 minutes now. Still no blooming happening in my warm kitchen! Does that mean I have to throw it out? Expiry is still 2011. Please help. I don't want to waste the rest of my baking ingredients...

By the way, brand is Pakmaya Instant Yeast (made in Turkey). Manufactured 3/2009, Expiry 3/2011.
usually instant yeast is not dissolved, I use instant yeast in bread machine recipes and it is mixed with all the other ingredients. It is only active dry yeast that is dissolved prior to using, in my experience..
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:37 AM   #8
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The most important reason for proofing yeast of any kind is to test it before adding it to the dough mixture and then wasting time and ingredients if it should be bad.
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Old 05-18-2010, 07:39 AM   #9
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Thanks, Selkie. To Beth's point, the recipe does call for active dry yeast while I'm using instant yeast. I didn't know there was a big difference! So can instant yeast be used like active dry yeast (dissolved in water)? And if so, would it still be good then if it doesn't foam up? Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:05 AM   #10
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You can use ANY yeast in a "starter" (warm water, sugar) and test its ability to bloom, particularly if you have any doubts about the quality. If it doesn't bloom, it's bad. It's that simple. If the recipe calls for the yeast to be added directly to the dough mixture but you want to proof it first, then simply subtract the amount of water that you use for your yeast proofing from the water to be used into the dough mixture. That way you won't be using more water than the recipe calls for.

Enjoy your bread making!!! It really can be fun and rewarding once a few principles are understood.
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