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55 votes
Accepted

Why use baking powder instead of yeast?

The main reasons are speed and convenience. Yeast takes longer (even "instant" yeast) and requires more maintenance: waiting for dough to rise, etc. But those are the historical reasons for the ...
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38 votes
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How was the usage of yeast for bread discovered?

The first yeast was "just there" - in the environment, everywhere. People discovered very early on that leaving the dough (or just a flour-water slurry) out would lead to it getting "...
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36 votes

How did people make bread before sugar was 'discovered'

Making bread without sugar is nothing strange - I do so several times a week! The wheat flour (or whatever you're using) contains enzymes which, when you blend it with water, breaks down starch to ...
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36 votes
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How did people make bread before sugar was 'discovered'

I assume, by sugar you mean sucrose. However, yeast actually prefers glucose and maltose, see nutritional requirements of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and also proofing. Luckily, we get glucose and ...
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33 votes

Is it more effective to add yeast before or after kneading?

The whole idea of adding the yeast before kneading is to be able to mix it uniformly. By adding the yeast after the dough is formed, it will be mechanically more difficult to combine it and you might ...
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31 votes
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Why not make sourdough bread from young starter?

The advice to let the culture mature before you use it is targeted to getting reliable results. A mature sourdough culture has a relatively small number of strains of microorganism, which have ...
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30 votes

How did people make bread before sugar was 'discovered'

You do not need sugar to make bread. The majority of traditional, rustic breads use just 4 ingredients - water, yeast, flour, and salt. Consequently, rising times are slower (usually resulting in ...
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26 votes

Some instant yeast went into my sourdough starter

"Flour with Leavening Improvers" generally means baking powder and/or chemical dough conditioners. Your sourdough will be unaffected.
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24 votes
Accepted

What kind of yeast is this?

In addition to the accepted answer: This is called Fresh Yeast in English. There are two other types of yeast commonly available in the English speaking world, called instant (bread machine) yeast and ...
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23 votes
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Why doesn't milk create gluten when combined with flour?

Milk does create gluten1 when combined with flour. The water in the milk does create a gluten structure. If it didn't, any bread made with milk would be dense and flat. But the dinner rolls I made ...
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22 votes
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Why is ciabatta poolish usually made with instant yeast?

Commercially produced yeast has been around since the mid-late 1800s, and the commercial strains we use today have been around since the 40s while Ciabatta was invented in 1982. So while ciabatta ...
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19 votes
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Can I freeze cinnamon buns in unbaked roll form

You can certainly freeze it in roll form, but it will be virtually impossible to cut while still frozen*. You'd need to completely thaw the roll in the refrigerator, slice, and then rise in a pan. It ...
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18 votes
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How much yeast is in a "package"?

According to Red Star, a very common yeast brand in the US: The strip contains three packets; each packet in the strip is considered one package. Each package contains 1/4 oz. or 2 1/4 teaspoons ...
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  • 72.3k
18 votes

How did people make bread before sugar was 'discovered'

Sugared bread is something mostly specific to the US. There might be a little sugar in European bread, but not much. From a personal opinion as a Belgian, I have to say that the few time I ate ...
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18 votes
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Some instant yeast went into my sourdough starter

Not withstanding @GdD's comment above, even if you just had a small amount of yeast on a spoon, I would guess that, after a year (and it doesn't take nearly that long), the bacteria and yeast you've ...
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16 votes

What kind of yeast is this?

It's often called fresh yeast in English.
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  • 10.5k
15 votes
Accepted

Does no-yeast dough need to rest?

There is a difference between resting and proofing. Resting allows flour to absorb water and lets the gluten that was formed during kneading to relax. Both of these make it possible to work with the ...
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  • 46.8k
15 votes

Converting bread recipes for an overnight rise?

There are no strict formulas or conversions, the mathematics of bread baking are too complex for such predictions. Rising at room temperature overnight is not recommended, it is generally way too warm ...
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  • 125k
14 votes
Accepted

Yeast dough won't go "stretchy"

Ok, this is going to be long. And you just wanted to fire up your oven and slap the sauce on the dough...but bear with me. Gluten The Holy Grail of elastic dough that can trap all these nice bubbles: ...
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  • 53.9k
14 votes

Why use baking powder instead of yeast?

In addition to Athanasius's excellent answer, the other reason to choose chemical over yeast leavening is the composition and proportion of the other ingredients. Yeast is an organism that requires a ...
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14 votes
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Dough failed to rise

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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13 votes
Accepted

Difference between types of yeast

Yeasts are pretty much interchangeable but have different fermentation qualities. Most recipes will specify the kind and amount of yeast. Adding more yeast than called for makes bakes rise a little ...
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12 votes

Why does mixing the salt and yeast sometimes work?

It doesn't work "sometimes", it works pretty much always. People are just being sloppy when they say "salt kills the yeast". Certain levels of salt inhibit the yeast, so that it ...
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  • 125k
11 votes

How can I make nutritional yeast?

I have to humbly disagree with SAJ14SAJ (I still have the utmost respect given the breadth of knowledge). Most of the steps you need to perform are regularly used by homebrewers and hobby mycologists ...
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  • 3,320
11 votes

Why doesn't milk create gluten when combined with flour?

Let's start with what Gluten development actually is. It's the process of developing the protein in flour, gluten, into a web that traps air into it. Water is essential for this web, and as you ...
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  • 396
10 votes

the yeast wont rise in my bread machine

Never use boiling water with yeast! Using boiling water almost guarantees instant death. Baker's yeast is a live organism, a unicelluar fungus saccharomyces cervisiae, very closely related to and in ...
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  • 53.9k
10 votes

Can yogurt be used as a substitute for yeast in pizza dough?

No, the bacteria in yogurt will not serve as the primary leavening agent for dough.
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  • 64.7k
10 votes

Why not make sourdough bread from young starter?

The wait is to give the desirable yeast cultures time to fully establish themselves as dominant in the starter. Using a starter that's too young can sometimes mean it doesn't rise as well or that the ...
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  • 10.5k
9 votes
Accepted

Does dead yeast result in a stickier dough?

No, the dead yeast (if it was dead at all) has nothing to do with the stickiness. Your dough has 87.5% hydration, which is unusually high. It also uses, for some unclear reason, pastry flour, so it ...
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  • 125k
9 votes

Sourdough starter bubbling but not rising after months of feeding

Filtering water may not remove all or even any of the chlorine in your water, it depends upon the filter. Chlorine is the bane of sourdough starter's very existence. In 2017, Nashville tested the ...
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