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To bloom the active dry yeast as part of my recipe, I had to substitute 1 cup whole milk (which needs to reach 110F) with organic evaporated milk (0.5 cup) mixed with 0.5 cup distilled water - this mixture was mixed and then brought to 110F. After trying to bloom (no noticeable blooming) occured and mixing with 3 cups of bread flour and 1 cup AP-flour, the 1-hour resting period resulted in perhaps a ~0.1-0.2 increase of the initial dough size, which is unacceptable and confusing.

All things considered, what possibly resulted in this failed attempt at this ingredient substitution? Also, what are some options to mitigate this situation?

EDIT/UPDATE

Using organic whole milk (same volume/temperature), blooming occured! So, do not use (just) evaporate milk for uses as I described it.

  • What yeast did you use? How old is it? – J... Jun 8 at 14:47
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    per en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evaporated_milk : Evaporated milk generally contains disodium phosphate (process aid to prevent coagulation) and carageenan (to "stabilise", i.e. prevent solids settling) as well as added vitamins C and D. Any chance those would impact anything? – Jeffrey Jun 8 at 15:17
  • @Jeffrey Unlikely, I think. – J... Jun 8 at 20:23
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Could be that your yeast was simply not alive.

You could simply try to bloom the yeast with water and sugar. It should become visibly active within a few minutes.

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There could be a two reasons why you're not noticing any blooming. 1. The yeast could be dead due to not being stored properly. 2. Your altitude and climate can affect baking and cooking so you may have to experiment a little with temp. ( I am in a very high altitude with a very dry climate and the best bloom I've achieved from the yeast was with a temp of 100°f.) As the answer above states: you can try giving your yeast a pinch of suger to eat to see if that will wake it up.

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Could the evaporated milk have its sugars in a form that the yeast couldn't digest? I wonder if adding a teaspoon of sugar to the yeast might now have aided blooming.

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  • I think the heating process associated with the generation of evaporated milk may denature protiens, enzyms, and lower or altogether the effect of the natural sugars (I assume they are altered in some way). It's quite interesting to see just how deep we need to dive into this topic to answer it with chemistry! – Nathan Benton Jun 9 at 23:06
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    Brewers/Bakers Yeast can't process lactose, so this is a good point. – Kingsley Jun 10 at 6:37

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