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Interesting Facts About Baker's Yeast

Baker's Yeast has an influential role in the baking process. If the right amount of yeast is not included in the recipe, it will lead to an undesirable taste and improper texture in your bread. SwissBake brings before you some interesting facts about baker's yeast and its importance in bread making.

Baker's Yeast is a natural biological leavening agent that possesses basic attributes of all living things, which are respiration and reproduction. It is a unicellular microorganism found on and around the human body. Baker's yeast is a fermenting agent that belongs to the Saccharomyces cerevisiae species and is actually a member of the mushroom family. 

Yeast plays the most important role in bread making. Yeast loves to be able to eat their favourite sugar in a warm, moist environment where they will multiply in numbers. As the yeast munch away on their sugar, a process called anaerobic fermentation begins to take place. The by-products of this process are alcohol and carbon dioxide. In other words, one molecule of glucose sugar yields two of alcohol and two of carbon dioxide gas.

C6H12O6 → 2C2H5OH + 2 CO2 

During this time, the carbon dioxide is trapped by a series of strands of gluten in the rising bread. This is what causes the bread dough to rise, or expand on the surface, leaving behind a series of air pockets in the dough. The yeast eventually dies off, from the heat when baking, and any remaining alcohol evaporates. The air pockets left behind are what give baked bread its crunchy goodness.

Traditionally, yeast was known as "fresh yeast" which was a firm and homogeneous paste-like product with a creamy or ivory tint. With almost 70% of the water content in the fresh yeast, leading it having a limited shelf life which was 10 to 15 days at 15ºC (59ºF), or 30 days at 0º C (32ºF). It was advisable to use ASAP, If stored at 20ºC (68ºF). 

Further, Two types of dry yeast were obtained from Fresh Yeast by subjecting it to low-temperature drying processes. If compared to fresh yeast, dry yeast has a longer shelf life and can be stored in a refrigerator and used whenever necessary.

The older of these two types is available in the form of small granules containing only 7% humidity. These yeast cells are in the latent state which must be reactivated in advance, in order to use it, as an active leavening agent. This is done by re hydrating the yeast in five times its weight at a temperature of 38ºC (100.4ºF), along with little sugar. After 15 to 20 minutes of rest, the reconstituted yeast can be actively used for baking.

The second dry yeast type is the most recently developed, known as "Instant" yeast which is available in the form of small rod-shaped pieces, similar to vermicelli in shape. This type of yeast is more subtle than fresh yeast, as far as taste is concerned and even more subtle than the granulated dry yeast. The Instant yeast seems to accord more importance to the influence of the taste of wheat flour, to alcoholic fermentation and to the effects of baking, which are beneficial to the taste to the bread.

Baker's Yeast provides the perfect puff and rise in your bread with proper texture and desirable taste which will leave us wanting for more.

The usage of Baker's Yeast in the preparation of bread differs from variety to variety of the bread. For more information regarding usage of baker's yeast with your recipe of baking bread, kindly mail us at support@swissbake.ch and we will get back to you with the exact proportion of baker's yeast required to get a perfect rise and texture for your baking bread.