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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: English Muffin Love

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Susan - I am loving your blog that I have just discovered! I have a question for you about your Farmhouse white and I wasn't sure where to email you to ask....Okay - I am new to "bread baking" so sorry if these are silly questions....
1. you call for instant yeast- but all i see is active yeast and highly active (or rapid rise) - are one of those the correct kind?
2. next, your measurements are given in weight as well- do you recommend using the weight or the us volume for measuring? thanks susan! heidi
hscovill2000@yahoo.com

1/06/2010 2:27 PM  
Anonymous Farmgirl Susan said...

Hi Heidi,
My apologies for the delay getting back to you. It's always great to hear from a new bread baker - and no question is ever silly!

Yeast can be very confusing at times, especially since there is so much conflicting information out there regarding it. For example, this site says that instant yeast and rapid rise yeast are the same thing, but they really aren't. This post on The Kitchn gives a good explanation of the different types of yeast and their various uses. And this other post on The Kitchn about yeast is informative, too.

The main difference between active dry yeast and any of the 'instant' types is that the active dry yeast needs to be dissolved in liquid first, and the instant types can be added right to the dry ingredients.

Rapid rise yeast lets you shape the loaves after only one rise, but by skipping the second rise you will lose flavor and texture. I use instant yeast and always let the dough rise twice.

As for using weight or volume for your ingredients when baking bread, opinions about that differ, too, though commercial bakers always go by weight. A digital kitchen scale is a wonderful thing to have, and I use mine every day - yet when baking bread at home I almost always still go by volume measurements.

So many things affect how your dough will turn out - everything from the weather to the batch of flour you're using - that I find I never use the exact same amount of flour for a recipe. So what I do when I bake, say, Farmhouse White, is use the same amount of milk each time, then vary the flour accordingly. So in this case, weighing out an exact amount of flour doesn't really help me.

I suggest trying both methods and seeing which works better for you. Hope this helps. Happy baking!ay

1/12/2010 10:56 AM  

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