Yeast is one of the essential ingredients used in both bread and beer making. The word “yeast” is Sanskrit for “to seethe or boil.” Yeast is a living organism and the species used in food is called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a Latin name that means “sugar fungus.” The organism is ubiquitous all around you and can be found in many animals and plants. Yeast isn’t visible until over 1 million of them are put together as a working unit which means an average packet of yeast that you’ll use for baking contains billions of organisms.
Egyptians began using yeast around 3,000 years ago. For European and Mediterranean yeast-leavened bread formed basis of their diet for thousands of years.Initially, bakers used to grow yeast from sourdough starters, by leaving the mixture of grain and water where yeasts could ferment and mature. Then they used to remove a porting of his starter every day to make the bread and would replace it with more grain and water. In the 1850s, scientist Louis Pasteur studied the fungus and paved the way for the manufacturing process used today.
Yeast is a natural biological leavening agent, which produces carbon dioxide bubbles that make bread rise. Unlike chemical leavening agents like baking powder or soda, the gas produced by yeast is a product of its feeding process. Baker’s Yeast has a substantial role in the baking. Yeast consumes the sugars in the bread dough and exudes carbon dioxide, which makes the dough puff up. An incorrect amount of yeast in the recipe may lead to an undesirable taste and odd texture in your bread. As the yeast eats away on their sugar, the by-products of anaerobic fermentation are alcohol and carbon dioxide which produce the unique flavor of yeast bread. In other words, one molecule of glucose sugar yields two of juice and two of carbon dioxide gas. Yeast loves to consume their favorite sugar in a warm, moist environment where they will multiply in numbers that is why when the bread is baked, the high heat kicks the yeast into overdrive, and the dough rises very fast for a few minutes before the bread sets and the yeast dies.
Facts about baker’s yeast below:
Fact 1: Human Body
Did you know that baker’s yeast is also found in the human body in the form of a single-cell microorganism?
Fact 2: The Growth of Years
It has been observed that use of water from the potato boiling or even the boiled and steamed potatoes has exponentially increased the growth of baker’s yeast.
Fact 3: Sugar And Salt
The amount of sugar should be correctly measured as the use of excessive sugar in the dough, can dehydrate the baker’s yeast.
Fact 4: The Decrease in the Baker’s Yeast
Excessive use of salt, eggs, and butter and decrease the growth of baker’s yeast. But contradicting the fact, people believe that usage of fat in the dough can increase the volume of the baked bread.
Fact 5: The Wild Yeast
The wild yeast like S minor/ Saccharomyces inadequate can be found in wildlife such as grains, plants, and fruits. It is considered as the typical type of yeast during the baking process.
Fact 6: The First Usage of Yeast
As mentioned earlier in this blog, baker’s yeast was first used in the ancient Egyptian era to bake bread.
Fact 7: The Presence Of Yeast
Yeast is a significant ingredient in the dough to create he tastier and lighter bakery or bread. Hence, people mix the flour meal and water and leave it longer to make the yeast grow. Before the baking process, the fermentation of the dough occurs.
Fact 8: The Bread Bakers in 19th Century
Bread bakers used yeast from beer, known as Lo yeast to bake their bakery products in the 19th century. It made the bread sweet.
Types of Yeast
Yeast is available both in a cake or a dry, granulated form. Earlier yeast was known as “fresh yeast” which is a firm and homogeneous paste-like product with a creamy or ivory tint. There are two types of dry yeast and one of which can be obtained from fresh yeast by suppressing it to low-temperature drying processes. Dry yeast has comparatively more extended shelf-life and can be refrigerated and used whenever needed.
The second type of dry yeast which is available in the form of small rod-shaped pieces, similar to vermicelli in shape is recently developed and is most commonly known as “Instant Yeast.” It is more subtle than fresh yeast when the taste is considered and also when compared to the granulated dry yeast. The Instant yeast seems to grant more importance to the influence of the flavor of wheat flour, to alcoholic fermentation and to the outcomes of baking, which is beneficial to the taste of the bread.
Although Baker’s yeast, brewer’s yeast, and nutritional yeast are all part of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae family, they are not the same. Nutrient and brewer’s yeast will never make bread rise because the fungus is killed during processing.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a high source of protein, fiber, folic acid, B vitamins other than B-12. S. cerevisiae also improves immune function. Researchers are studying deep into the potential use of yeast in modern medicinal treatments and a possible role for baker’s yeast in the treatment of cancer.
The use of Baker’s Yeast in the mixture of dough differs from variety to variety of the bread. Even though it’s okay to eat baked bread, avoid consuming raw active yeast as these fungi when alive will continue to ferment in your digestive system, where they will eat your body’s B-vitamins and produce gas.