Cooking

Good quality dry yeast, now in India

8:13 AM

If you have been following this blog for a while, you know about the issues I have with dry yeast in India. Branded yeast available in stores plain old SUCK. There is probably no word strong enough to describe how I feel about what is available in supermarket without resorting to foul language.
It doesn't rise, sometimes doesn't even dilute right and it can even make you doubt your own baking skills at time. This is how bad it has been for years. So bad, that I used to ask family and friends to bring me dry yeast packets when they were visiting me.

I had quite a stock of these, a stock that finally ran dry, leaving me with few alternatives. The wisest, being to head down South to Crawford market to buy fresh yeast in bulk and freeze it. The other often cited alternative being to find a reliable baker in your neighbourhood to supply you with fresh yeast (none exist in my neighbourhood).
This is when I remembered a website called CCDS that cater to bakers and sells cake decorating tools and baking supplies. Including this :

Dry yeast in India

Baker's yeast! They sell it in packs of 125g for 150 rupees and ship accross the country. I figured out that I had not much to loose trying that one out. After all the worst case scenario would have been that the yeast didn't work.
It turns out that this is a very good quality yeast, that gives an excellent rise and makes for soft elastic bread. The only thing to mind, is that the pack needs to be stored in the freezer once opened. Yeast gets activated by heat and humidity, two things of which there is absolutely no shortage of in Mumbai.

You need about one teaspoon to one teaspoon and a half yeast for each 500g of white flour (more if you are using whole weat).

These past few days have been ridiculously hectic for me, to the point of feeling stressed out. Baking bread is therapy, kneading and pounding dough alone is an amazing stress buster, and the smell of freshly baked bread melts the remaining tensions away. This is yesterday's baking session that reminded me I had this picture on my iPad and the potential for a blog post ready.

I'll probably be a more regular and grounded blogger once Ishita's birthday party will be over, and school days will become longer than 3 bloody hours early in the morning (don't get me started just now, I might spit a novel on that). Truth be told, I have a million ideas, projects and draft going around (nothing unusual) and not enough quiet time to work on them (Introvert problem).



5 comments

  1. thank you so much for this Cynthia.
    Can I beg you for your whole wheat and the white bread recipe ?

    regards,
    Smita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have quite a few bread recipes, not all published on the blog yet. To make a basic bread, you will need about 500g of flour to begin with. About a teaspoon and a half to a table spoon of salt, a little oil to taste, and of course yeast.

      I disolve about a teaspoon of dry yeast in half a glass of lukewarm water that also contain a teaspoon of sugar, yeast feeds on sugar and gets activated. Then I make a well in my flour and pour the yeasty water in it and cover with a thin layer of flour. From then, I wait until the yeast starts bubbling through and oozing through the flour. This means the yeast is fully active and the time to knead the dough has come. I add the oil (a splash) and the salt to the flour then, and start adding water to form a nice elastic dough. Once the dough is mixed I knead and fold on a flat surface for about 5-7 minutes to incorporate as much air into it. Before forming it into a ball and letting it rise in a bowl under a clean towel. This part usually takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

      Then it is knock back time, I punch the rises dough and shape it I to whatever bread shape I am planning and cover it again with a towel for about 20-30 minutes. then I bake at around 200 degrees for 20-40 minutes depending the size of my loaves.

      Whole weath flour is denser and the bread will be heavier. So it will need a bit more yeast than a bread made with white flour. You can also mix a few parts of white flour in to make the bread lighter. There is also the option to make a starter dough 8-12 hours in advance and incorporate that starter into the dough making the next day. This is the sour dough concept, it makes for a more activated yeast and a bread with a tangier taste.

      Hope this helps.

      Delete
  2. thank you so much for this Cynthia.
    Can I beg you for your whole wheat and the white bread recipe ?

    regards,
    Smita

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is a great recipe, I am targeting making this weekend.
    So, million thanks.

    What if I want to add some seeds ? Does that become a part of dough ?

    Does this bread turn out like the ones we get in market.

    Thanks so so much for helping out.
    I still remember how well your feng shui wealth advice worked for me. And looking at you, I have started making DIY paint items.

    Regards,
    Smita

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a basic bread recipe I gave you, you ca of course add seeds to the dough, or herbs. If you want the bread to look close to what is available in the market, place the dough in a rectangle cake/bread thin before the second rise, and then bake the bread in said thin. If you want the outer crust to remain soft, brush it with a mix of water and milk regularly during the baking process.

      Thanks for sharing your success with my Feng Shui tips. And I am really happy to know that my blog posts inspired you to do DIY projects :-)

      Delete

Follow me on Instagram

Blog Archive