Fritters With and Without Yeast?

Well, I'm in REAL trouble now. I just wateched an older A and M video of a Brooklyn chef making corn zeppole, with yeast. Stupid me, not a bread baker(and yeast - averse) I thought that yeast in a product always meant kneading etc. Well, the video taught me that i was wrong wrong wrong. The yeast is added to a batter that is made like any batter -except that it has to rest. So now I've lost my yeast aversion (at least with fritters) so that is why I am in major trouble, because i could eat fritters forever.

That said, would someone plse teach me the textural differences between yeast and baking powder fritters? Is yeast for people who like angel food cake, and baking powder for people who like dense nut based tortes? Why go to 'the trouble' of a yeast based fritter, instead of just adapting the recipe to a faster-made baking powder fritter?
Thanks so much for your tutelage!

LeBec Fin


LeBec F. May 3, 2012
well kb, it looks like, judging froom the answers to my question, you must be the unofficial/official Food 52 Queen of Fritters! o I am soon going to be making some of your luscious delights . And I hope you'll try my Shrimp and Scallion Hushpuppies! (I don't know why, but it seems to me that The South is really best known for its non-yeast breads: Hushpuppies, Cornbread (both baked and fried), and Biscuits. Maybe it had something to do with the hot climate not being yeast-friendly(?). I don't know.
That would be an interesting question for a Southern food historian.....
ChefJune May 3, 2012
Mindy.... try these! no yeast.
Kitchen B. May 2, 2012
So yesterday I made two types of fritters for a party we had. One yeasted, other leavened with baking powder. Size for size, the yeasted fritters were lighter to taste, chewy and hold; and like I mentioned before had a chewier, spongier texture. The baking-powdered fritters were crumbly, with dense, moist centres and thicker crusts/outers. Both were enjoyed, served different purposes and allowed me do a 'fair'/up to date comparison! Go girl.....
Slow C. April 29, 2012
Yeast is also a living organism that, through it's live action and sugar eating properties, imparts flavor as well as texture in a dough. Yeast ferments, baking powder reacts. The best yest doughs that I know of are a product of an original batch, with a portion saved which is then added to the newer batch. This develops a depth of flavor that can not be replicted and will be original to the baker/owner. This kind of depth can not be achieved with a simple baking soda recipe (which is NOT to say that a baking soda recipe won't be delicious and wonderful too!).
LeBec F. April 30, 2012
That's so interesting to learn. I knew that about sourdough but did not know that it held for all yeast doughs, and that it was practiced by yeast bakers- the keeping of a starter batch. thx much!
LeBec F. April 29, 2012
yay! thx kb!
Kitchen B. April 29, 2012
Textural differences in yeasted vs baking powder fritters? Yeasted doughs/fritters are soft, chewy and stretch, think doughnuts, beignets, etc. Reason is perhaps the gluten has time to develop like with bread, and so the protein bonds result in the chewy texture.

Baking powder fritters (the ones I've made) are more crumbly in texture - as opposed to stretchy. Think Churros and fried choux pastries.

And yeasted batters are almost effortless for me, since I discovered no-knead. I now make ALL my doughs and batters this way. I mix up a batch of dough by hand, using my trusted King Arthur's Dough Whisk. I always make my doughs a bit wet and use less yeast than the recipe calls for. The reason is time will complement and balance out the adjustments.

I let the dough stay in the fridge till the following day. I often knock it back once or twice - this redistributes the yeasts and creates a more flavourful dough. Sometimes, depending on the type of dough, there may be no considerable rise after the first mix, especially with enriched doughs (butter and egg ones). When I'm ready to bake whatever, I pinch off the quantity required and gently knead it on a floured surface. And then I roll, slash, cut and do whatever else is required.

I digressed but, there you have it.

Yeasted doughs have more texture, more stretch and more bite than baking powdered fritters....Hope this helps
LeBec F. April 30, 2012
UH OH,kb! I'm in real trouble now!! Because now i'm not afraid of fritter yeast,so I can now make your wonderful recipes which I had coveted before!! oh boy oh boy oh no oh no!!! :-}
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