Introduction: Secret of Yeast

About: I'm an American ex-pat living in Greece, I enjoy cooking, sewing and all crafts.

As a child I loved to visit my Grandmother, she always baked a fresh loaf of bread just for me, I wasn't a big bread eater, but I would devour her Whole Wheat bread. When I grew up I tried to recreate her bread and even have the recipe she used, but it never came out the same. Sometimes the dough wouldn't rise, or it would be so hard after baking that I could have used it as a door stop!

What was I doing wrong?

I had her recipe, I was following it but it never turned out right :( AND THEN I discovered THE SECRET, it is all about the Temperature of the liquid, whether you are using water or milk, the liquid should be at 110 degrees Fahrenheit. So get your thermometer's ready it is time to make your kitchen smell like freshly baked yeasty goodness of Pizza, Cinnamon Rolls or even my Grandmother's recipe of Homemade bread!

Step 1: Liquid Temperature

Yeast Secret, heat Liquid Ingredients till 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

Liquid Temperature is the MOST important thing to making a Yeast recipe, the majority of them tell you to make it "Lukewarm" well let me tell you, don't just go eyeballing it, or doing the baby bottle test (drip a few drops on your wrist :) Nope you need to get out a thermometer and if you don't have one, you will need to buy one.

I put all of my *Liquid's that a recipe calls for into a pot, including butter/margarine/vegetable oil. The only liquid I don't heat up is eggs.

*Milk Water Butter Margarine Vegetable Oils (Olive Oil is a little to heavy taste for most recipes)

Step 2: Dry Ingredients

I also combine all of my dry ingredients together, I do them in a certain order, first put your flour in the bowl, then add the salt and mix thoroughly. Salt can have an adverse effect on yeast, but in baking recipes it is such a small amount of salt, that this is not a problem, but to be on the safe side, mix it well with the flour. Now add the dry yeast and sugar together, sugar helps yeast thrive and you do need to add a little bit to every yeast recipe, the yeast feeds off of it.

Those are the 4 main ingredients in a Yeast recipe, Flour, Salt, Yeast, Sugar

I mix my dry yeast and sugar mostly in the center of my flour bowl and then when I add my liquid, I mix the center first being sure to mix the center well. (See first photo) If you need to add eggs add it in after this first small mix.

Then slowly mix in the rest of the flour on the sides, (see second photo) when it gets to hard to use the spoon, start using your clean hands to knead the dough (see third photo)

Knead the dough until no longer sticky, if you need to add a little more flour then do so, once fully kneaded cover with a towel (4th photo)

Allow to rise for at least an hour (5th photo)

Step 3: Pizza Recipe

Pizza dough: makes 4 thin crust pizza's or 2 thick crust pizza's

Liquid Ingredients:

2 cups Water

1 Tablespoon Butter

Yeast Secret, heat till 110 degrees F

Dry Ingredients:

5 cups Flour (All Purpose Flour)

1/2 teaspoon salt (mix in with flour)

1 package of dry yeast (1 Tablespoon)

1 Tablespoon of Sugar

Mix as described in the previous step.

Sit allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

Roll out the Pizza dough to fit your pan

Top with your favorite ingredients

Making Pizza at home saves me over 30euros and we eat Pizza about once a week, so that is a savings of 120euro's a month, WOWZERS!

Step 4: Cinnamon Roll Recipe

My All time favorite Sunday Morning treat!

Liquid Ingredients:

1 cup milk

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup butter

Yeast Secret, heat till 110 degrees F

1 egg (remember don't heat this up, or you will have scrambled eggs :)

Dry Ingredients:

4 cups of Flour (All Purpose Flour)

1/4 teaspoon salt (mix in with flour)

1 package of dry yeast (1 Tablespoon)

1/2 cup of Sugar

Mix as described in the Dry Ingredients step, adding the egg after the initial first mix of the 110 degree warmed milk/water/butter liquid has been mixed in with a portion of the dry ingredients.

Sit allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

Roll out the dough in a rectangular shape.

Cinnamon Roll filling:

1/2 cup of White Castor Sugar

3/4 cup of Brown Sugar

1 Tablespoon of Cinnamon

Raisin's are optional

1/4 cup melted butter

Mix the sugar's and Cinnamon together, pour the butter over the top of the rolled out dough, sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the top.

Roll the rectangle up and cut into even pieces, place on a greased pan and allow to rise for an hour, then place in the 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Grandma's Bread Recipe

Makes (2) 9"x5" loaves

Liquid Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 cup milk

1/2 cup sunflower oil

Yeast Secret, heat till 110 degrees F

Dry Ingredients:

3 cups Flour (all purpose flour)

3 cups Wheat Flour

2 teaspoons of salt (mix in well with the flour)

2 packages yeast (2 Tablespoons)

3/4 cups sugar

Mix as described in the Dry Ingredients step.

Sit allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.

Divide the dough in half and place in 2 greased 9"x5"

Rise a second time for 1 hour

Bake for 40 minutes in a 350 degree oven (if the top's are browning to much place a piece of foil over top while baking)

Enjoy the smell of delicious Homemade Bread!

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