I’m not sure if anyone else has this problem—but from time to time, my bread flops. It fails to rise. And it’s the worst feeling ever. I’m embarrassed to say that I used to boil water before pouring it over yeast. Needless to say I killed the yeast. Big time.
Luckily, I’ve learned a thing or two since. So to ease your bread making, yeast rising fears, I made a video. Just humor me. This is my first video making attempt. Definitely a faux and not a pro when it comes to this.
How to proof yeast
1. According to your recipe, add warm liquid (s) to bowl. It should between 110°-115°. Use a thermometer to be sure. When you get more comfortable, you can ditch the thermometer. I hold my hand just above the water to detect warmth. You want it to be warm but not hot. I’m not a mom yet, but I imagine the baby bottle squirt on wrist technique will work for this as well.
2. Add a pinch of sugar to the liquid whether the recipe calls for it or not. Sugar feeds the yeast and helps it to grow. If the recipe calls for sugar, only add a pinch during this step.
3. Pour yeast into bowl. Give it a little stir and watch it proof or foam. Bubbles will begin to appear on the surface. This takes 5-10 minutes.
4. Use yeast mixture according to recipe.
Proofing allows you to make sure the yeast is active before you add it to the rest of the ingredients. If it fails to proof, start over. Most likely you’ve only wasted water and a pinch of sugar.
Give it a try with the Brioche Burger Buns recipe. I wish you great success in your bread rising adventures!
Hello Ive tried everything to get the yeast to activate, liquid temp is as recipe calls. I pour the yeast to the bowl and nothing happens. What do i do??? Helppppp!!
HI Grace! If the liquid temp is around 112° and the yeast isn’t activating, then more than likely it’s a problem with the yeast—it could be expired or dead. If you’re activating in a liquid other than water, you can test a little bit of yeast in warm water to see if the problem is the liquid. I’ve switched to using SAF Instant Yeast. No activation is required and it keeps forever in the fridge!
I am a novice bread baker and I have been successful but proofing my yeast has been really difficult. I know that it’s possible from what I read and I know it worked because my dough rose. When I add my yeast to the mixture of warm milk and sugar the yeast clumps up but it doesn’t in your video. Could that be because of the water? And will watered down milk change the richness of the bread. My goal is to bake a bread with a little nutrition and not just the basic four ingredients. Other people recipes that I have tried I have had no success but doing my own I can at least get a small loaf to rise and back nice. Any tips would be awesome!
Hey Mary! I’ve definitely had clumpy yeast. I try to sprinkle it evenly on the surface but sometimes it takes a little stir. Also, if you let it sit long enough, the yeast will bloom, evening out any remaining clumps. I would recommend using regular milk or adding honey and/or sea salt to help flavor your bread. I’ve been wanting to work on a sandwich loaf recipe, but haven’t gotten around to it yet. A friend recommended that if using wheat flour, to add Vital Wheat Gluten to help with the rise. Hope this helps! One of these days I’ll get to that bread recipe.
Dear Faux Martha,
I can’t wait to try your monkey bread recipe. The instructions make it seem so easy. I have a “yeast bread” phobia. I’ll get back to you if I’ve accomplished a likable product. By the way is the selected Bic Runga tune, playing on the tutorial, on iTunes?
See previous from R. Jackson
Now I can experiment with bread! Thank you!!! Now, is that Katie Melua??? Love your choice!
It’s Bic Runga, but now I think I found a new artist—Kate Melua. Thanks for the recommendation! Definitely hear the similarities. Let me know how the bread baking goes!
Great video, I am a big fan of homemade bread and am collecting little tips and quirks with every loaf I make.
A couple of other things I think are worth passing on:
brown/ demerara sugar gives a nicer crust and colour to your finished bread
if your recipe calls for salt you should sift it along with the flour and not add separately as it can kill the yeast
warming the flour for 10mins in the lowest setting on your oven is a step not to be missed
you can prove your yeast in warmed milk instead of water, makes a lovely soft bread
if you spritz the inside of your oven with water when you put the bread in it will create steam and form a crunchier crust
Love it! Thanks for passing along all these wonderful tips!
The video looks great! Can’t wait to see more from you!
Thanks for the encouragement Ruby! Let’s hope I get better asap!