An Expernemter

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by jajan, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. jajan

    jajan

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    [font=&quot]:laser:What is the VERY least amount of salt or sugar you can use to activate yeast? [/font]
     
  2. suzanne

    suzanne

    Messages:
    3,853
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    Food Editor
    None. First of all, salt inhibits growth of yeast. And if the yeast is fresh enough, merely rehydrating it will be enough to get it started. Then when it is mixed with the flour, it has the food it needs.

    Although I suppose if you did want to add a pinch of sugar, that would be sufficient to get it going. But it isn't necessary. Think about so many of the Italian breads: nothing but flour, water, and yeast. Not even salt.
     
  3. petemccracken

    petemccracken

    Messages:
    3,401
    Likes Received:
    158
    Exp:
    Professional Chef
    Zero?

    I always thought that all that was needed was flour and water, and not that much flour?
     
  4. amazingrace

    amazingrace

    Messages:
    929
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Warm water is all that is necessary to activate yeast. In addition, it's been my understanding that salt actually inhibits yeast.
     
  5. blueicus

    blueicus

    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Salt kills yeast and sugar is simply used to check if dry active yeast is still alive. All you need is water and flour.
     
  6. chrislehrer

    chrislehrer

    Messages:
    1,929
    Likes Received:
    126
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    Salt kills yeast, agreed.

    Sugar -- or honey, syrup, beet reduction, whatever -- is simply a purer form of food for the yeast than the sugars present in flour.

    Remember, yeast is a small organism that basically eats sugar and farts. When it's eaten enough, it generally either goes dormant or dies. So if you have a huge amount of pure sugar of any kind in your dough, the yeast its it all up, farts massively, and stops. So you get a rapid rise that ends quickly. If you have no pure sugar at all, i.e. your dough is all flour like in a French baguette, the yeast takes a good while to produce much farting action.

    Let's try this differently. What are you trying to bake?

    Edit: Clarification. Yeast is a small organism that eats sugar and THEN farts. It doesn't eat your farts. I'd not recommend that as a baking technique, at all.
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    8,421
    Likes Received:
    437
    Exp:
    I Just Like Food
    You forgot the oxygen half of the equation. It farts when it can breathe. When it can't breathe oxygen, it still eats sugar, then excretes alcohol until it poisons itself or runs out of sugar.
     
  8. siduri

    siduri

    Messages:
    3,599
    Likes Received:
    42
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Oh god, a frat boy yeast getting alcohol poisoning!