Your personal shoppers, leaving home not required. Shop gift guides »
🔕 🔔
Loading…

My Basket ()

All questions

A question about a recipe: Crusty French Bread, Definitive Version

Cffbcecb a5d1 48a9 b23d 4be389cc9327  bread

I have a question about step 2 on the recipe "Crusty French Bread, Definitive Version" from John Ryan Brooks. It says:

"Pour the yeast into a small bowl or coffee mug and add a little less than a cup of the warm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast."
Normally it would include something sugary for the yeast to eat (honey, sugar, molasses) and grow but this recipe doesn't call for it. Does it make a difference?

asked by GIOVANNI50 almost 5 years ago
5 answers 1004 views
23b88974 7a89 4ef5 a567 d442bb75da04  avatar
added almost 5 years ago

When I make bread, I usually add the yeast just to some water. Not trying to activate the yeast, just trying to make it easier to incorporate into an autolyzed dough.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 5 years ago

"French" bread does not typically call for sugar (or honey). I use a bit of barley malt (available from home brew stores), and I do mean a bit - like 1/4 teaspoon for a 2-loaf batch. It has an excellent effect on the crust, among other things. True sugars will move the yeast along too fast and you won't get the great character that you have in doughs that proof very slowly.

075e9a08 24f4 4ac5 b2b7 5dbe68442d98  img 0319
added almost 5 years ago

I think it might actually be against the law in France to add sugar to any part of this recipe. (joking) I never have added anything to the dry yeast but warm water, and I love the way it turns out.

F8c5465c 5952 47d4 9558 8116c099e439  dscn2212
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added almost 5 years ago

True. French law dictates what ingredients a baguette is permitted to contain, as well as its two acceptable lengths.

120fa86a 7a24 4cc0 8ee1 a8d1ab14c725  me in munich with fish
added almost 5 years ago

Boulangere has it right. Sugar really isn't necessary in making bread. There are natural sugars found in flour--they are metabolized more slowly by yeasts, but this slow fermentation is what gives yeast breads so much flavor. If you have any doubts about the viability of your yeast, you might want to test some in a small cup with some lukewarm water and a pinch of sugar, but for the actual bread dough, sugar isn't necessary.