All questions

A question about a recipe: Pita Bread

1-web_pita

I have a question about the recipe "Pita Bread" from lapadia.

Hi, i've got a bit of a problem with the yeast. I used instant yeast and added lukewarm water as instructured but it did not form at all even after 10 mins of waiting! The climate in my area is humid although it was raining on the day i tried the recipe.

Some of the online sources I've read said that instant yeast does does not require proofing and can just be added to the dry ingredients before adding water while others indicate that you should still add water to instant yeast separately before adding to the dry ingrediens. Also, if the instant yeast does not form, it is dead!

Does anyone know which is the truth? Is my instant yeast dead because it did not form?

asked by cherrygirl over 3 years ago
10 answers 732 views
Sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

Probably. Look at the exp date. Also it should be stored in the 'fridge.
To test instant yeast..add a touch of sugar and flour to the water. It needs something to feed on

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

For instant yeast, definitely look at the expiration date. The beauty of it is that you don't need to, and in fact shouldn't, "proof" it. Simply add it to the dry ingredients, add all the liquid ingredients, mix, and knead. I'm guessing yours is beyond its date.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13
added over 3 years ago

Hi!!
I'm in total agreement with boulangere, doesn't need proofing. The only other thing I am thinking is a chance that the water was warmer than it should be...perhaps it killed the yeast...just a thought. You could always dump the water and yeast and start over with that part of the recipe if you have a doubt...believe me, I have done that a few times. BTW - I use instant yeast in the majority of my yeast recipes and as you read, I always add it to the dry ingredients. Happy Pita making...and let me know how everything turned out for you! Linda :)

Sit2
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 3 years ago

All might not be lost. Try a couple of balls flattened out as thin as you can..."Dock them" with a fork..poking holes in them. This will make a flat bread instead of a puffy pita bread.

I actually prefer that sometimes..coating with olive oil, salt, before before baking, and some dried herbs, or cheeses.

Default-small
added over 3 years ago

i thought one of the reasons to proof yeast is to prevent ruining a whole batch of bread because you didn't realize the yeast was not good. if it doesn't foam i always use a different batch of yeast. i always add something sweet to the proof cup to accelerate the foaming. lapadia, why do you prefer instant yeast over noninstant. what are the advantages of each in your opinion?

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

Instant yeasts are strains that have been developed to grow at a very rapid rate. They perform better when dispersed among dry ingredients because they are smaller particles, and grab onto a food source rather than grabbing onto others of its kind. Active dry yeast is so named because it must be activated in liquid before being introduced into dry ingredients.

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13
added over 3 years ago

Hi mcd2! Hmmm, my preference - instant yeast vs. non-(or Active dry). Love the question, takes me back to re-examine just exactly why I do what I do! Anyway, I have used both types of yeast (in the past) with great success, in my opinion, understanding how to use the two types seems more important than what type is being used. At some point, in my bread baking life, I simply decided I preferred to skip the time needed rehydrating yeast, which is what’s needed when using Active dry, oh and btw, if and when I ever used Active dry I would add a pinch of sugar to the warm water. I prefer, to add all dry ingredients including the instant yeast to a work bowl with dough hook, and then I slowly add the wet ingredients (which include a form of sweetener – usually diastatic malt powder or honey) while forming the dough; it streamlines my time, a bit. Exception to all of the above would be my pita (and pizza) dough, which I do by hand but still use instant. I buy SAF instant yeast, a 1-lb package from King Arthur and keep it in a vacuum sealed container (also from KA) in the refrigerator and I swear it lasts forever! I have never worried about this SAF yeast failing me, have never had trouble with it…I am careful to make sure the liquid ingredients used are lukewarm, so as not to kill the yeast. Finally, I must add - when I first started baking bread of any kind (way back) I followed the recipe to a “T”. But today, because there are no “bread baking police” in my kitchen, most recipes or methods I follow are usually tweaked to my liking. Whew…I think I more than answered your question? :) Oh @boulangere - like your explanation on instant yeasts vs. active dry. @Sam1148 like your flat bread idea vs. non-puffy pitas!

Dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 3 years ago

Love that you've banished the bread police!

Default-small
added over 3 years ago

Hey thanks everyone sharing all your experiences and suggestions!

I went ahead and baked the pita bread accordingly and it came out gorgeously puffy! Slightly crustly on the outside and soft on the inside. My family enjoyed eating it.

Thanks for the recipe lapadia!

Massimo's_deck_reflection_10_27_13
added over 3 years ago

So happy to hear that, cherrygirl! :)