A KosherEye Chat with Linda Nelson


Our conversation with Linda Nelsen, consumer relations specialist Lesaffre Yeast Corporation, continues. She shares several important yeast cooking tips.

For beginning yeast bakers, which bread, roll or cake recipes are considered easy and foolproof?
We recommend that beginning bakers visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking section of our website. This has our baking steps guide, videos on how to bake (hand-kneading, stand mixer or bread machine) and other tips and information on baking with yeast.  All of our recipes on our website are tried and true, and offer simple easy to follow instructions.  For someone who has never baked with yeast before, they may want to start with one of our no-knead / Batterway recipes such as Fresh Apple Coffeecake, Batterway Spice Puffs or America’s Favorite Batter Bread.

What is your absolute #1 favorite yeast bread recipe?
It’s hard to say which bread is our favorite, it changes all the time.  However, our most requested recipe is the Whole Wheat Honey Bread. This makes a great sandwich for lunch or toast for breakfast.

What is the single most important yeast tip you would offer the home baker?

Don’t be afraid of yeast.  If you treat it properly, the yeast will work fine in your dough. The key is to never expose it to temperatures that are too hot; if the temperature of the liquid is comfortable for you to touch, it is comfortable for the yeast.  We have great resources on our website for how to prepare the yeast as well as proper storage and handling. Baking Steps Guide: Prepare Your Yeast, Yeast Shelf Life Storage.
It is important to note that the strength of the flour has a significant impact of baking success. About Ingredients: Flour.

What suggestions can you make to help the home baker from over proofing or under proofing dough?
There is a simple test, called the ‘ripe test’ that will help determine when your dough has risen enough: Before shaping and After shaping.

Can dough be left in the refrigerator and baked another day?
Some doughs may be refrigerated up to 48 hours. Postpone baking. 

What exactly is a dough starter, and is it essential to master? (such as a sourdough dough starter) 
A dough starter is basically yeast (wild or commercial) living in a batter of flour and water.  Some people say that keeping a starter is like having a pet that needs to be fed and cared for on a regular basis.  The most common is a sourdough starter that is kept over a long period of time, that when used in a recipe, give the bread that characteristic sourdough flavor and open or holey crumb texture. See our sourdough starter recipes,  A dough starter is simple to master, but not essential to enjoy baking with yeast.

September 9, 2012

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