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Old 09-23-2016, 12:00 AM   #21
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when we lived in Egypt 20 years ago, you could not find the fast-rising yeast and `i would keep mine in the freezer with no problem...........really prolonged its shelf life actually.......these were the ones (Fleishman's) that came in small packets........
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:11 AM   #22
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and if you're ever in doubt of a yeast's viability, just make a yeast sponge that you can add to your recipe, removing or substituting the 1/4 liquid that it requires (read this a long time ago and it works for me)...........add your yeast to 1/4 cup warm water plus teaspoon of sugar........if it's not foaming and expanding, bubbling, billowing, etc., etc withing 15 minutes............then your yeast needs a funeral.......and you need new yeast
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:37 AM   #23
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A lot of my yeast recipes still call for activating your yeast before hand. It is only just recently I've been coming across ones that throw all the dry ingredients in at the same time.
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Old 09-23-2016, 06:47 AM   #24
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I always do a yeast "sponge" as they call it where you add about 1/4 cup warm liquid (for me usually water)to 1 teaspoon of sugar to the yeast and leave alone for about 15 minutes......that way you can tell if it's good or not and get things rolling quickly.........even if the recipe calls for throwing in everything together......all you do is adjust the liquid amounts......or at least that's what I do......it's never failed me
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:29 AM   #25
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an instant yeast like Flicheman's or even best buy can be just put in dry. I like to make a sponge, just because I generally use a tbsp of either maple syrup or honey in my recipes, and that combined with 1/2 a cup of hot water, and about ten minutes of sitting, I think even inspires an instant yeast to better efforts. I like a yeasty bread, so your mileage may vary.

Because I use a sponge almost all the time, I have kind of moved to Red Star when I'm not using a starter and making a big deal of it. But I like to always give the yeast a running start, even though it isn't strictly necessary.

Now when camping, I will put in an instant yeast dry. Simplifies packing and all.

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Old 09-25-2016, 06:04 AM   #26
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Because I use a sponge almost all the time, I have kind of moved to Red Star when I'm not using a starter and making a big deal of it.

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What's a Red Star? A yeast brand?
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Old 09-25-2016, 11:36 AM   #27
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What's a Red Star? A yeast brand?
Yes, a brand.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:13 PM   #28
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Red Star is a brand of yeast.........easy to recognize as it has a large red (Texas-styled) star on a white background........I've used it and it's great, too........
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:15 PM   #29
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What's a Red Star? A yeast brand?
The jar is what I buy.

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Old 09-25-2016, 02:02 PM   #30
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get a vacuum pack, save the money. Can always keep it in the freezer.

Also, I kind of consider King Arthur Flour, and the folks there, my retail friends, always treat me fairly, I even bought my first digital scale from them. Plus muffin pans, loaf pans, etc... Also a lot of good baking stuff. I always pay the extra dollar or so for the King Arthur flour at the store. They also will answer baking questions, saved my sourdough starter once or twice, when it had some troubles.

Mom gave me a $100 gift certificate there for Xmas and holy motherlovin son of Jesus, I was a kid in a candy store, let me tell you.



Red Star Active Dry Yeast - 2 lb.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:05 AM   #31
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Since a jar lasts me for a couple of years, I don't really need to buy in larger quantities.
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Old 09-26-2016, 03:04 AM   #32
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From the replies in this thread I've decided to make a sourdough starter and in the process found out that my yeast was coming into contact with my salt. I know put my yeast in before the flour. Much better results now that I have formed a barrier between the two.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:40 AM   #33
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Thank you! That sounds exactly like what I was watching.
I'm not too clued up on baking as I've just started the journey.
As I'm moving into a very rural area I'm teaching myself quickly to bake so I always have bread.
I can recommend "English Bread and Yeast Cookery" by Elizabeth David. - all you could ever want to know about bread making past and present and lots of useful information about making it. Just be careful of her salt quantities as she uses the British equivalent of Kosher Salt which is a lot less salty than ordinary table salt.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:48 PM   #34
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MadCook, you are right in that some salt is perceived as "saltier" than others, but only because of its "size" . Salt is salt and one is not saltier than another. But if the grains are different sizes - then you will actually be using more or less per measure in volume.

I'm not very good at explaining this... if someone could wade in and rescue me it would be appreciated.
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:00 PM   #35
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MadCook, you are right in that some salt is perceived as "saltier" than others, but only because of its "size" . Salt is salt and one is not saltier than another. But if the grains are different sizes - then you will actually be using more or less per measure in volume.

I'm not very good at explaining this... if someone could wade in and rescue me it would be appreciated.
You are right dragnlaw. I have both course and finely ground sea salt. The unground course tastes saltier than the fine ground. Yet they are the same salt. That is because you are actually getting a larger dose of the sea salt with the course ground.
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Old 09-26-2016, 01:07 PM   #36
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From the replies in this thread I've decided to make a sourdough starter and in the process found out that my yeast was coming into contact with my salt. I know put my yeast in before the flour. Much better results now that I have formed a barrier between the two.
Salt is a known inhibitor of yeast. I never add it to my yeast/flour/sugar mixture. Only to the main sifted flour pile.
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Old 09-27-2016, 12:41 PM   #37
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From the replies in this thread I've decided to make a sourdough starter and in the process found out that my yeast was coming into contact with my salt. I know put my yeast in before the flour. Much better results now that I have formed a barrier between the two.

I still like to start a sourdough starter with a sourdough starter, not just commercial yeast, I think a lot of the commercial baking yeast are highly aggressive, and leave out some of the sympathetic bacteria that make a sourdough starter sour.

Have at times had several starters going at once, so if you don't want to use say the 1847 starter, or King Arthur Flour's starter, and just want to make one from scratch, it just takes a little longer. You'll need a 2 quart container.

Then do this, real easy, just be prepared if it doesn't work the first time, if you get something that smells foul, is orange or green, it didn't work.

I'd start out with 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup non-chlorinated water. You'll need a 2 quart container that should be covered, but not airtight. A porcelain crock works great.

Work on this for six days, each day adding 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup water.

You should be getting something here that is about two cups, yeasty and bubbling. Use a cup in most recipes, replace it with the same proportion of water and flour, let it sit for a couple hours, if this goes in the fridge, it goes quiet, has to be woken up, dump off a cup, replace with 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup water and let develop for several hours.

Depending on what flour you use and your environment, there will be natural yeasts available or not. If you are having trouble, I'd suggest starting with a particular starter from a friend or from KAF or 1847 as above, I'll also be happy to send you a 1/4 cup of mine.

If you get mold, things have gone wrong. Sterilize, start again.

The longer you keep a starter going, the more complex and interesting it gets, that is because it accumulates local yeasts, but also helpful friendly bacteria that make that sour taste. There are often not so friendly bacteria, but you can tell if they move in by the orange tint and bad smell. Our yeast friends will kill the heck out of them 95% of the time.

It is kind of funny as if you move, your bread will suck for about two weeks, it will work, but not be as good as it was. That is because there is a yeast and bacteria battle going on in the starter. They eventually sort out their differences and make the bread even better.

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Old 09-28-2016, 12:56 AM   #38
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`i have had very good and very bad results making starters...........but when they're good they're very good and when they're bad they're very bad..........`i think that maintaining constant temps and keeping the bowl covered really does help
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:25 AM   #39
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plus it helps if you live in an area that's not really polluted aereally-wise...............the less polluted your neck of the woods probably the better chances of a good yeast-starter..........
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:19 PM   #40
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plus it helps if you live in an area that's not really polluted aereally-wise...............the less polluted your neck of the woods probably the better chances of a good yeast-starter..........
I sometimes take my sourdough starter camping, even if I'm not going to use it, just so it can get fresh air.

Yes, I am a strange duck.

But it makes sense, exposes it to new yeast and bacteria strains.

TBS
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