Your Questions About Rising Sourdough Bread

Mandy asks…

Why does my Bread taste a bit yeasty?

I made challah bread today and I was all excited when it came out of the oven only to find out that I made yeasty bread. I put the egg wash on it and used a scant tbsp of yeast in like ithe recipe said. What could be wrong?

sourdough answers:

Challah bread generally takes longer to make than most breads. The longer you proof (let rise) a bread, you run the ‘risk’ of a yeasty, almost sourdough tasting bread. Next time, maybe try proofing it in a little warmer place 80-100 degrees is perfect; no drafts. You might be using old yeast.
To check your yeast, I always take the liquid portion of my bread recipe, heat it to approx 100-102 degrees, add 1 tsp sugar, and the yeast. Take a wire whisk and stir until yeast is dissolved. Let it sit for 10 min. In warm place. If it starts bubbling, and working its way up the sides of your cup, you know you’ve got fresh yeast. If it sits there doing nothing, toss it and get some more.

Donald asks…

Why can’t Amish Friendship Bread be baked in metal pans? Does that include the coated metal pans?

sourdough answers:

The Sourdough won’t rise in them.

David asks…

is it advisable to leave dough with yeast to raise for several hours?

I never used yeast in my baking before…. I was wondering is it advisable to leave dough with yeast to raise for several hours, for example overnight? will it go bad?

sourdough answers:

Its actually quite common. Overnight might be a little much, depending on the type of bread you’re making.
But I have made 18 hour bread before. And yes, it really does take 18 hours for it to rise completely.
You have to remember that the yeast are there for 2 reasons. They provide gas for the bread to rise, true. But another side affect of their fermentation process is flavor. Thats part of the reason why sourdough has such a strong flavor, is the time that bakers give the yeast to work.

Yeast are a special type of fungus. Their fermentation process produces alcohol and gas. Thats how beer and wine are made. Also, the environment created by the yeast will be more habitable to “good” bacteria, which will create an even better environment for themselves, which happens to be a worse environment for the “bad” bacteria.
And, you’ll be baking it. So you don’t have to worry about getting sick from it. The only possible thing that could ever happen would be off flavors. But the only way you could get enough “bad” bacteria to have that happen would be if you had it rising in the same pan as raw chicken.

No worries. Let it rise, let it get flavor. This all takes time.

Chris asks…

What is the best sandwich you have ever had?

sourdough answers:

The 4 very best according to my point of view :

Long before it featured in that orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally, Katz’s Deli was a New York institution. Established in 1888, Katz’s has served countless generations of New Yorkers and tourists alike. And the reason they keep flocking is its signature pastrami on rye. Served simply on mustard adorned bread, with a side of pickles, this is the most moist and tender pastrami imaginable. If you can wolf it down in one sitting, more power to your belly. If you can’t, return to it hours later – the infusion of the meat, mustard and rye is pure heaven.

If there is such a thing as a gastronomic Shangri-La it must surely be London’s Borough Market. And in among the magnificent array of heavenly smells, one stall teases customers in like a foodie Pied Piper with its evocative waft of melted cheese. Kappacasein’s toasted cheese sandwich is unlike any cheese sarnie you’ve ever experienced. The mix of shredded Montgomery cheddar, onions, garlic and leeks packed tightly into the sourdough bread is everything a sandwich should be: comforting, filling and reassuringly tasty.

At the risk of sounding like Joey Tribbiani, indulge us for a short while: Ham? Good. Cured pork sausage? Good. Steak? Good. Thick, gooey melted cheese? Good. A rich tomato and beer sauce? Mmmm… you sure you’re not making this up? Ladies and gentlemen, we give you the Francesinha, Portugal’s most notable gift to the world. Well, after Cristiano Ronaldo. And all those 15th and 16th Century expeditions across the globe. And if you really want to get a slice of this authentic action, there’s only one place to head – Bufete Fase in Porto. A tiny restaurant (a few tables) with mountains of history.

Having risen to prominence over the last decade, Vietnamese food now tops many a food lover’s list. We reckon this mighty Fish Banh Mi sandwich is partly responsible. To be found at the Banh Mi 11 stall on London’s Broadway Market or King’s Cross Boulevard, this is a dish that rebuts the notion that sandwiches are fast food. The grilled catfish is infused with turmeric and slow cooked with dill and spring onion so the delicate flavours can properly rub shoulders. The end result is mesmerising.

Nancy asks…

Who decided that bread needed yeast in it?

I mean who decided that something like yeast needed to be a part of bread recipe and where did he find that yeast? Did some caveman grunt: “Ug, woman, your bread tastes like dino shit, put some f-ing yeast in it; here I scooped some up this morning, now toss it in there and be sure to let it rise before baking it. Ug.” Or, was that caveman trying to eat scooped up yeast and thought, hmm needs flour.
I’m not asking how fermentation works.

sourdough answers:

I don’t think anyone knows how far back yeast baking goes. Originally, yeast wasn’t something you bought in a supermarket. Instead, dough was left out at room temperature and attracted wild yeast. You can still do this today; it’s called sourdough bread. (Most, but not all, sourdough starter recipes available today include manufactured yeast, but this is a modern invention.)

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