In Search of the Perfect Bread Recipe

In Search of the Perfect Bread Recipe

Ask the Chef

In Search of the Perfect Bread Recipe

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Question:

I am in search of the perfect bread recipe. I just found a recipe that made good tasting bread – which I will modify with whole wheat flour, etc. However, the recipe calls for 1/4 cup warm water for the yeast; then, after mixing yeast, flour, salt and oil, add 3/4 cup cold water to stop the yeast activation. Why stop the yeast activation? I thought you wanted to promote the activation process. Does it simply “delay” the activation for more action in the oven? Or what?

—Dan

Answer:

Our experience is that the cold water would stop the yeast activation in the early stages of development, preventing the end texture from becoming too light or airy and providing a denser bread. “Light and airy” is a result of plenty of yeast and proofing time – almost over proofing.

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