Making Yeast Breads with too many choices of yeast!

@yoyo1198 (3643)
United States
December 25, 2011 7:01am CST
I'm an old lady and have baked many a breads in my time, but that was before I got this old. I want to make regular white bread dough, enough for a loaf of bread and then a batch of cinnamon rolls. I have my recipes. So I'm gonna haul out the flour, salt, (shortening?),yeast, milk, and the sugar. Then try to work up some elbow grease for the kneading....and...throw it all together sans the bread machine cause I've never had one and hope it makes. Never made bread with a maching and probably won't ever. I've got about every pot, pan, baking dish, cooking dishes, etc that one would need in a gourmet kitchen, just not a bread machine. Now my quandry here is not about how to do it. It is about the yeast to use. The grocers sell several varieties and I'm confused on which to use. Active Dry Yeast, Double Acting Dry Yeast, Fast Rising Dry Yeast and compressed yeast (the little brick things). Remember, I'm making a loaf of bread and then a batch of cinnamon rolls. So, can I get some feedback here, please? Can't get it started til I get some opinions. Chop! Chop!! I really want these cinnamon rolls for breakfast this morning!
4 people like this
10 responses
@peavey (16866)
• United States
25 Dec 11
There's really not much difference in yeast forms. It's all yeast. the Active Dry Yeast is what I usually use, but have used the Fast Rising and the Double Acting and they're all about the same. I don't have a bread machine either and never will have one. I like to get my hands on the dough. That's part of making bread. If I had to use a bread machine, I'd just buy frozen dough. Anyway, I don't think you can go wrong with the Active Dry Yeast.
2 people like this
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
25 Dec 11
Thanks, peavey. I've got three kinds here in the house. I'll just go with what I'm accustomed to. I know what you mean about kneading with your hands. I think that's the main reason I never got a machine. That and the small-sized loaves that come out of them.
1 person likes this
@peavey (16866)
• United States
26 Dec 11
It's a connection between our efforts and our food that's too often missing any more. :)
@barehugs (8986)
• Canada
25 Dec 11
I'm an old man who bakes bread every other day (or so it seems) I use a bread machine and bread machine yeast. My wife and I love bread and eat a lot of it so I make it with all the good things. I use buttermilk, honey, olive oil, real mashed potato, plus nuts and berries.
2 people like this
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
26 Dec 11
That all sounds good to be adding. Especially the honey. I have some of that here, too. I'm not too fond of nuts so I'll not be using that. I have made good garlic bread with the garlic and parsley added. Thanks for your response. Hope you and yours are having a good holiday season.
@dragon54u (31636)
• United States
25 Dec 11
Sorry to be so late replying but I have used the fast acting yeast and don't notice any difference. I think it's mostly all hype--yeast is yeast and nothing you do to it is going to change the way it works. Just get the most basic kind you can, I think they are all the same. I don't like the cakes particularly, I prefer the kind in the jar or envelope. Happy baking!
2 people like this
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
25 Dec 11
I've got three types here in the house. Don't even remember getting them all different. A long time ago I worked in a donut shop and brought home those great big bakery-sized bricks and they lasted almost forever. Don't have brick nor cake now. Thanks a lot. I'm going to get in here and get busy with it so will probably be down a bit. Merry Christmas!
• United States
25 Dec 11
I do have a bread machine that I use occasionally to help make dough. The yeast is the same as regular yeast. I have used it with or without a bread machine. The only difference is in whether or not I'm "prepping" the yeast with warm water. The quick acting bread machine yeast doesn't require prepping. I love home-made bread. I'm sorry if I'm not traditional, but sometimes I like to have home-made bread without doing the work.
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
25 Dec 11
Thank you, Life....When you make bread in the machine, do you still get that good-smelling essence throughout the kitchen/house? I've not ever used a machine so I don't know. I love to smell bread baking. I also like to do the kneading. It just seems therapeutic. Thanks for your response and merry Christmas!!
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Dec 11
Wow...that is a lot of different yeasts. I wouldn't even know where to start. I use the self rising flour and that keeps me form making that choice I guess. I am nowhere near as schooled in the homemade bread department as others though. I think that self rising flour is the best thing coming and going. Do you have any of that?
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
26 Dec 11
Hi, Jen...Self-rising flour is okay for some quick breads and cakes, etc, but for a true good old-fashioned homemade loaf of bread, you still need yeast. The dough has to rise a couple of times and then it is baked. I love the taste and smell. A thick slab of homemade bread slathered with butter can't be beat. Thanks so much for your response. I hope you are having a good holiday season.
• Philippines
26 Dec 11
exactly yoyo1198 self rising flour has baking powder which is a chemical leavener while a bread needs a yeast which is a living and breathing organic leavener.I like quick breads and muffins really good if you are in a hurry and want a quick yet tasty bread for breakfast.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
26 Dec 11
Yes...there is a huge difference in the made from scratch stuff...lol. I am having a great holiday season...thank you...I hope the same for you...maybe you could show me how to make those homemade cinnamon rolls sometime.
• United States
26 Dec 11
I don’t do much baking anymore. When I did make yeast bread and pizza dough I used the regular dry active yeast. You just put it in warm water and put it into the flour mixture after it sat for a few minutes. I think it said to put a little bit of sugar in the water, but I can’t remember.
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
28 Dec 11
Seems like the concensus is to use the regular active dry yeast. I looked in the cabinet and the little packages that I have are over 6 months expired. Have you ever used expired yeast? Maybe if I double the amount it will work? Thanks for your response, PQ. I'm having to come to the library to use computer so I won't be back til Friday.
• Philippines
31 Dec 11
Hi yoyo1198 if you wanna know if your yeast is still going to work is to proof it, just put a small amount of yeast(maybe 1teaspoon) to a luke warm water with a small amount of sugar if it still work then it can still be used.I wouldn't recommend you to double the amount of yeast in a recipe to test if it still work, might end up have an off taste (berry taste) in the bread.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Dec 11
I agree. I don’t think yeast will die from being too old. Those expiration dates probably don’t mean much to microorganisms like yeast. If it were milk or something… yes.. you would pay attention to the expiration dates…. But yeast can live a indefinitely in hibernation until they are activated. That’s what I learned in microbiology anyway.
• Philippines
25 Dec 11
I guess it would be good if you stick to active dry yeast because you have been using it and you have been comfortable using it.Using a different label of yeast has different rising action. What I use is the instant yeast(Fast rising dry yeast) and its okay for me and it takes really little time to make the dough rise but the flavor is usually mhhhh so so. Have a great day =)!
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
25 Dec 11
Thanks, pepail.....I will most likely go with the little package of regular dry yeast and just go with my recipe. I do love the smell of baking bread, don't you? I've heard the fast rising stuff leaves something to be desired. Kind of a trade off for convenience, I suppose.
• Philippines
26 Dec 11
yeah it makes the dough rise faster but sacrificing the flavor but what i do is reduce the amount of instant yeast to 50% to 25% so i can let it rise a little longer.And yes your abstrusely right anyone loves the smell of bread being baking in the oven so therapeutic and makes you hungry at the same time hehehe. Hope you have a great day with making your loaf and cinnamon buns/rolls
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
26 Dec 11
I did fairly well with it. I'm holding the dough a bit and waiting for a better cinnamon roll recipe. Hopefully, I'll get that later today.
@suspenseful (40316)
• Canada
7 Jan 12
I just use the active dry yeast. I do have a bread machine, but really I am not a bread lover. I got it because my renter said that she loves home made bread. I really wanted to get a panini maker. But I would go with active dry yeast and follow the directions.
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
14 Jan 12
Hi, suspenseful......I went with the regular old active dry yeast. I just love fresh baked bread with a big glob of butter smeared all over a thick slab. However, I did find a good-tasting bread at the grocer's deli this week. It was labeled as Italian Bread. Had a nice chewy crust and a soft compact texture. I made several sandwiches with it and really enjoyed the whole loaf. So, how often is your bread machine used now that you bought it special?
@aghiuta (526)
• Canada
27 Dec 11
I have a bread machine and I love it.For that is easy,I use the bread machine yeast.But I did some baking for Christmas and i used the active dry yeast. I took a tablespoon of flour, put the yeast(2 envelopes of 8 grams for 2lbs of flour).mixed it with a bit of warm milk to make a paste,left it to start raising,then added it to the flour.I was lucky to borrow a real strong doe mixer,because iI was never able to knead the doe well with my hands. the romanian holiday bread came out really good! Hope your baking does too!
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
28 Dec 11
I can still knead dough fairly well. When the arthritis gets too bad, I'll probably have to get a bread machine too. I've just never had one and it will be a totally new experience. Thank you for your response. Wishing you a Happy New Year.
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
26 Dec 11
When it comes to envelope yeast, your best bet is to go with active dry. Anything like fast-rising, double-rising, etc, is just live yeast that will eat up the sugars and put off gas really, really fast. For bread and especially for cinnamon rolls, you don't want this. What you want is texture. And that requires at least a double proof with the bread and probably an overnight rest in the fridge for cinnamon rolls. Plain active dry yeast will give you this slow rise for texture purposes. You don't have to proof it beforehand. You can just blend it in with your ingredients and rest your dough in a warm place. My favorite cinnamon roll recipe takes forever to make. It's basically a basic bread dough, only with 3 egg yolks plus 1 whole egg, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and a 1/2 cup sugar. After it rises, I roll and cut the rolls and sit them in the fridge overnight. Awesome final product!
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
26 Dec 11
You've given a lot of good information here. I understand about the necessity of a double proof with the bread. I don't understand about the not having to proof the yeast before adding it to the flour and other ingredients. Most all of my recipes say to proof the yeast first. Apparently, you've had quite some experience with this. Thank you so much for your informative response. Hope you are having a good holiday season.