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Updated : 21/1/2017

Yeast Cookery

Cooking with yeast - some useful information

YEAST

Fresh yeast is quick and easy to use but it is becoming difficult to buy. It should be creamy in colour, cool to touch and easy to break. It will keep for 4-5 days if stored in a loosely tied polythene bag in a cold place. Fresh yeast should not be stored in the deep freeze for longer than 4-6 weeks maximum and 3 weeks in the refrigerator. Dried yeast is very convenient as it is readily available and will keep up to 6 months if stored unopened in a cool, dry place.

QUANTITIES TO USE

Dried yeast is more concentrated than fresh yeast, so less is required. Follow the exact quantities given in each recipe.

PREPARING THE YEAST LIQUID

Fresh yeast should be creamed until liquid with a little of the warm milk or water given in the recipe. Dried yeast needs reconstituting as follows: Put 150 ml of the measured liquid into a small jug or bowl. Stir in the sugar and sprinkle the dried yeast onto the liquid. Leave in a warm place until frothy-this takes 10-15 minutes. Dried yeast works more slowly than fresh so allow extra time for rising.

KNEADING THE DOUGH

Only use enough flour on the board to prevent the dough sticking. Knead by folding the dough towards you, then pushing down and away from you with palm of hand. Give dough a quarter turn, repeat kneading developing a rocking rhythm. Continue for about 10 minutes until the dough feels firm and elastic and no longer sticks to the fingers.

TO KNEAD BY MIXER

(Only the stand-type with a . dough hook is suitable). It is important to check manufacturers' instructions to see how much flour can be used at a time and the kneading times.

RISING DOUGH

 All yeast dough must be risen at least once before baking to allow time for the yeast to work. The dough must be covered during rising to prevent a skin forming on the surface. Place the dough in a large bowl inside a large lightly oiled polythene bag. Stand in a warm place and leave until the dough has doubled in size and the dough springs back when pressed gently with a floured finger. Enriched doughs take longer to rise than plain ones.

PROVING THE DOUGH

This takes place when the shaped dough-either in tins or on trays is covered with a large oiled polythene bag and put in a warm place until dough doubles in size.

DIFFERENT FINISHES

Soft crust: For soft rolls, dust with flour before baking-wrap in a cloth when baked.
Crisp crust: Brush with water before baking.
Shiny crust: Brush with milk before baking.
Golden crust: Beat 1 egg with 3 x 15 ml spoons milk (3 tbsp). Brush evenly on rolls before baking. Sprinkle with poppy seeds after brushing with egg and milk.
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