Breads of Isolation – experimentation

The breads of isolation – time for some experimentation.
 
I had someone ask me if you could use brewers yeast to make bread. The mental picture I had was of powdered or tablet form of brewers yeast, an inert product used as a vitamin supplement – I’d come across it decades ago.
 
Therefore my answer was no. However, now the definition is broader I’ve discovered – brewers yeast can apply to beer yeast for instance.
 
Rummaging through the fridge one day recently, I found two sachets of wine yeast of indeterminate use-by date.
 
That’s where the experimentation came in – I wonder …. would this rise a bread dough?
 
It did, one sort was slower than the other, but it worked. The dough took about the same time as sourdough to rise.
 
The bread was good though, delicious in fact and the texture exceptional. I admit I lost patience and baked one loaf a little before I should have.
 
I left the other to finish its rising and went to bed, thinking to get up and bake it in an hour or so. I fell asleep of course and in the morning it was overflowing in the tin. I re-kneaded it briefly and it rose much faster, producing a lovely high loaf.
 
(In the above photo, the mug sitting next to it is there for size comparison – it’s a very large mug in actuality.)
The two loaves above were those risen by the wine yeasts – the smaller loaf is the one I baked a bit too soon.
A few days later I was given some sachets of beer yeast. These worked much faster, almost as fast as when I use dried bakers’ yeast.  In the photo below I’d added an extra cup of flour so as I’d also have three warm, fresh, crusty rolls for lunch that day.
 
So the answer was obviously – yes you can use brewers’ yeast, supposing bakers yeast gets short.
 
My ultimate preference though is for the hop potato yeast bread, an old recipe of the Derwent Valley, the recipe for which I’ve shared before and happy to do so again.  
I will post the recipe for the wine yeast and beer yeast risen breads later today.

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