A question about a recipe: Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Does the yeast really proof in room temperature water? I just wasted 2 packages of yeast that I just bought today. Bum batch of yeast? Not warm enough water?

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Cinnamon Swirl Bread
Recipe question for: Cinnamon Swirl Bread

21 Comments

Amanda October 21, 2017
I'm always using room temperature water with my yeast. I think it's change with brand. I'm using https://www.safinstantme.com as a brand. I can suggest it. And you can use room temperature water with it.
 
ChefOno March 29, 2012
I would like to correct a statement I made yesterday. I wrote "70F is way too cold for rehydrating dry yeast." What I meant to say was "70F is way too cold for proofing dry yeast."
 
Christine March 29, 2012
Is it possible that higher chlorine levels or sodium levels in bell s f 's tap water are affecting the yeast? Tap water is chemically treated so differently in different parts of the country; I had to start using filtered water to soak and cook beans when I moved to another region. Would it be worth trying to proof it in filtered or bottled water?
 
Amanda H. March 28, 2012
bella s.f. -- sorry you've had trouble with this. I always use room temperature water with yeast, and haven't had issues unless the yeast is bad. But there was lots of great advice given here and I hope it will help the next time around!
 
bella S. March 28, 2012
Well, for some reason, Amanda wrote the recipe asking for room temperature water. You don't think that she wanted you to eat your hat, do you?
 
mrslarkin March 28, 2012
Hi bella s.f.! Well, that's a bummer. Assuming the yeast is fresh, i.e. not extremely passed its expiration date, it should be fine for making this bread.

The slideshow on the recipe page has a shot of the bubbling action. It doesn't look like it's crazy-bubbly, just a few here and there. That's enough to tell you the yeast is alive.

I always dissolve yeast in water, usually warm tap water, and move on to mixing it into the flour immediately. I don't wait for the foaming action to begin, partly because I know my yeast is alive and well - I buy it in big bags and store it in the freezer - and partly because I can be very impatient.

Try warm tap water next time. And if you do try it again, let us know!
 
ChefOno March 28, 2012

Quoting myself:

"Cold water negatively impacts the yeast cells' rehydration process which must take place within a particular temperature range to be successful."

I don't purchase yeast by the packet but the instructions should be printed right on there. I'll eat my hat if it says anything about "room temperature".

Here, right from the horse's mouth (thanks to sfmiller):
http://www.lallemand.com/BakerYeastNA/eng/PDFs/LBU%20PDF%20FILES/1_6DRYYE.PDF



 
softpunk March 28, 2012
I've proofed dry active yeast with room temperature water before, but only with a teaspoon of sugar added. It usually takes 10-15 minutes to get nice and foamy.
 
ChefOno March 28, 2012
70F is way too cold for rehydrating dry yeast. Optimum temperature is just above 100F.
 
bella S. March 28, 2012
The recipe calls for 1/4 C. room temperature water. I put 1/4 C. of water into a cup and let it sit for close to an hour while I was doing other things. It was not cold water.
 
HalfPint March 28, 2012
Try adding a small spoon of sugar.
If the mixture is in a cup, put it in the microwave, and heat for about 10 seconds to warm up. If you don't have a microwave, wrap a hot towel around the cup.

And if those 2 things don't do anything, you got some dead yeast.
 
HalfPint March 28, 2012
Yeast can proof with room temp water but it's slower if that temp is on the cooler side. Standard room temperature is common understood to be about 72F. Not sure if your kitchen is that warm right now. Mix in a little sugar (about 1Tb) and wait a little longer. A little food (sugar) can help give a boost to yeast growth. Or try to gently warm up the mixture.
 
ChefOno March 28, 2012

Can you define "room temperature"? Dry yeast can be killed by subjecting it (them?) to cold water. See this recent post for details:

http://food52.com/hotline/13198-should-i-store-my-instant-yeast-in-the-freezer-or-refrigerator
 
HalfPint March 28, 2012
Cold does not kill yeast. It just makes it go dormant and sort of hibernate. It's pretty resilient for a little bit (weeks) at freezing temps too. That's why you can freeze bread dough. High temperature, over 100F, will kill yeast, no doubt. That's why I suggest warming the mixture up gently. You don't want to overshot and definitely kill the yeast.
 
ChefOno March 28, 2012
HalfPint, please read through the post referenced above; I guarantee you will find it informative and it will correct some misconceptions.
 
HalfPint March 28, 2012
ChefOno, I did and here's my backup for my statements:
http://www.four-h.purdue.edu/foods/Yeast%20dough.htm
and because I don't trust just one site, even if it's Purdue University: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2029/freeze-or-not-freeze-yeast
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/yeast.html

 
ChefOno March 28, 2012
HalfPint, I think we're on different pages -- both figuratively and literally. See post below.
 
Dona March 28, 2012
I made it using room temp water, didn't rise at all.
 
hardlikearmour March 28, 2012
Why don't you try using a warmer water with just a pinch of yeast to make sure it's working well. I'd expect the yeast to proof faster in warmer water, but think it should proof at room temp water as well - just a bit slower. I'll go test my yeast in room temp water - I know it's good - and get back to you in a short while.
 
bella S. March 28, 2012
Thank you so much, hardlikearmour!
 

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hardlikearmour March 28, 2012
Water was 72º F. Took over 10 minutes to get some foaming even with a pinch of sugar added to the water. I vote use warmer water ;-)
 
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