What is Proofing?

What is Proofing? What should you think before Baking Yeast?

Oh, yeast? Nothing unusual just a living organism that is used for baking.

Just because it is said that casually doesn’t make it any less weird in the imagination, especially to people who are absolutely new to baking.

In fact it so happens that handling yeast for baking is the one thing that actually turns them away from the otherwise very simple and easy art of baking.

The fuss is absolutely understandable, but that doesn’t mean it is justifiable.

Yeast is actually a very cooperative kind of organism that is the main ingredient to your baked goods.

It is mainly the process of proofing that intimidates people.

The reason behind it that they don’t know how to go about it.

But you won’t be scared, because you are about to read what to do and what not to do.

What is proofing? (Proofing via Wikipedia)

It is a simple process of adding slightly warm water or another liquid to the yeast, to activate it.

It is usually carried out in a separate bowl and left for about five minutes.

It’s when the foam start to appear, you know that it is done.

Here is what you need to keep in mind when you are working with yeast

The yeast needs some warmth

After all, yeast is a living organism and it requires warmth and consideration.

Make sure that the liquid you add is warm around 105 degree F.

More than that and you might burn it to death, too cold and it may take forever to activate.

It also needs some sugar

Who doesn’t like some sweetness?

The yeast does too.

It feeds on the sugar and releases the gas that makes the dough rise.

Don’t forget to check the expiration date

This can be the moment you look back as the most frustrating time in your life if you wait for an expired yeast to activate.

Cool temperature means nap time for yeast

If you change your mind and decide to not bake the other loaf just yet, you can wrap it up and place it in the freezer.

The yeast will go back to it snap and the rising process will stop.

Now that you know the main pointers, let’s bake English Muffin Loaves.

Ingredients

  • Active dry Yeast: 2 packages
  • All-purpose flour: 6 cups
  • White Sugar: 1 tablespoon
  • Milk: 2 cups
  • Baking soda: ¼ teaspoon
  • Water: ½ cup
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Cornmeal: 2 tablespoons

Procedure

  1. Take water and milk in a saucepan and heat until they are very warm.
  2. Take a large bowl and add 3 cups of flour, salt, sugar, yeast and soda.
  3. Then add the milk and water that you warmed and beat well till it becomes a stiff batter.
  4. Place them in a greased pan dusted with cornmeal, cover it up and leave for about 45 minutes to rise.
  5. Then place it in the oven and bake it for 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.
  6. Take it out and let it cool.

Rise up Your Yeast & Let’s make Bagels at Home!

Homemade Bagels PhotoUsing living organisms for baking? This should be interesting!

It is actually amazing how nature works.

How one cellular organism is the key ingredient to the art of baking.

Yeast makes the sticky thick dough an elegant loaf of well-risen loaves.

How does Yeast do it?

The most important ingredients of any baked good are flours, salt, sugar, and of course yeast.

As soon as these components come together, magic happens.

The enzymes from the yeast and from the flour get to work like tiny elves breaking sugar into simpler sugar and releasing carbon dioxide.

Due to the strong network of the dough, the Co2 is captured inside and causes the dough to inflate like a bubble gum.

In baking, you want the dough to have a very strong gluten network so that it can trap the gas and rise gracefully with it.

Why is that so special?

Fermentation not only rises up the bread but also brings flavor into it.

When the enzymes in the yeast attack the big complicated molecules and break them into simpler molecules, they all give an amazing taste to the baked item.

During the fermentation, yeast not only releases the CO2   and alcohol, but it also reacts with the proteins and fats and makes by-products like amino acids and fatty acids that add much more flavor to the dough.

Anything Else Great About Yeast?

Why, yes!

After releasing carbon dioxide, Yeast gets trapped.

With every burst, the gluten network grows stronger.

Better put as kneading to the molecule.

When you punch down the dough after it has risen for the first time, you might have noticed that it is much smoother than before.

Also feel the strength of the gluten network and you will observe that it has strengthened due to the rise.

Ingredients

  • Water: 1 ¼ cups
  • Bread Flour: 4 1/2 cups
  • White Sugar: 3 tablespoons
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon
  • Vegetable Oil: 2 tablespoons
  • Instant yeast: 1 tablespoon instant yeast 4 quarts water
  • Honey: 1 cup

Procedure

  1. Take a mixing bowl of a stand mixer and add 1 ¼ cup of water, salt, sugar, flour, vegetable oil, and yeast. Mix slowly for about 8 minutes till the dough is well developed.
  2. Place the dough in a greased pan and cover it with a towel to let it rise for about 2 hours.
  3. Place dough on a flat surface and cut it into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into a sausage shape, it should be around 6 inches and then join the ends making a circle. Let them rest for 12-15 minutes.
  4. Has the oven preheated to 475°F or 245°C?
  5. Take 4 quarts of water in a large pot and bring it to boil. You may or may not want to add honey.
  6. Boil the bagels giving each side a minute till they float to the surface of the pot.
  7. Remove the bagels and place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.