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Fresh yeast


idun

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I can sometimes buy those dinky cubes of fresh yeast that I was able to buy in France, only my local Morrisons sell the x4, not expensive I grant you but as I am in believer in using little yeast have been throwing a lot out.

And so I decided to freeze some. I have read that it is possible and that one needs to use more when using defrosted fresh yeast. However, I have tried now and my yeast is dead.

Any suggestions how to freeze and keep it alive?

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I once froze some and as it thawed out it dissolved to become liquid. Even dough which has been frozen seems to lose some of its spring.

I've put a question on a breadmaking forum that I belong to, see if anyone can advise.

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The last lot I got out didn't 'melt' it just stayed as a lump and I mixed it with some sugar and hoped that it would start doing something, maybe the odd bubble but not a thing, at all.

I am curious about this and hate wasting three cubes everytime, although IF I know any friends who are  baking bread, I do pass it on to them.

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2 people on The Fresh Loaf forum say they have frozen cubes of fresh yeast and they still work, even if liquid. Wrap firmly in foil and don't freeze for too long. But do tend to lose some effectiveness.

It's a very good website for regular bakers.

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I usually buy a 'brick' of yeast from my local Sainsbury's bakery counter for about £2.  I chop it into roughly 15g cubes (weigh the first few, then eyeball the rest), put the cubes on a tray and freeze them, then pack into a freezer bag.  I find that the yeast has a freezer life of between 6 and 10 months. 

When I use it, I dissolve a cube of it in whatever quantity of liquid is needed by the recipe, warmed up to just beyond tepid.  If the yeast is getting to the end of its freezer life, I put in a little sugar and wait to see if it's working before adding to the flour as I'd hate to waste the flour with a dead yeast mixture.  I've usually got some dried yeast on hand, in case the frozen stuff has succumbed.  It works pretty well for me - I make pizza dough most Saturdays and a loaf or two of bread on a Sunday.  The hardest part is not scoffing all the bread when it's fresh out of the oven.

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So I wonder why mine was dead and it was. I had done as you did, only I defrosted it slowly and then put it with tepid water and a touch of sugar and nothing.  I have been baking bread long enough to know live yeast when I see it.

Dried, I cannot use,  my husband gets very very very ill if it is used.

When in France I bought a HUGE bowl and could do 7lbs of flour at a time. By then I had started using the 'little' yeast method, so I was only using half of one of those fresh yeast cubes for 7lbs. As I got a lot of loaves from this quantity I'd cut them up into usable quantities and freeze them, getting 'fresh' bread out for every meal. Had to stop baking such quantities though when my good oven gave up on me and I cannot bake multi shelves of bread any more. 

I would love to get the frozen yeast to work, next time I'll try the mixing a little flour in method. I tried to get some yeast yesterday and they had sold out.

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I wonder if your last batch of yeast wasn't that fresh to start with, idun?  I don't know if mine would defrost to a liquid state as I always put it straight into the warm liquid for the dough.  A friend of mine doesn't use any purchased yeast at all - she's a big fan of making sourdough and very successful with it, too.  She's had to give up on it recently, though, as she's losing the half stone she put on after eating too much of her own produce!

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I 'm sure it was fresh, as I used a little of it and then froze the rest and at least that first packet was lovely and fresh. Smell was good, colour good and it was lovely and crumbly, just how it should have been, I find that older yeast goes a little darker colour and it a bit rubbery and it is then I go by the smell.

I once bought 'off' yeast from my village baker in France, I went in to complain and was sent packing, Madame was quite a piece of work, so I contacted the DGCCRF and I heard later than they had done an inspection and not passed, and it cost them a fortune to put the place right. IF the harridan had just changed one little cube of yeast for a fresh one, I wouldn't have done anything. [Www]

M. Idun makes sour dough bread, but I am not keen on it at all and prefer to not have it.

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Idun: some on this forum may remember I am a a very keen bread baker. I use both fresh yeast and sourdough and recently, Mrs Gluey has joined in, thanks to day!

I have enjoyed little success freezing baker's yeast: it rapidly loses its potency; since it is a living organism, it dies.

I now buy fresh baker's yeast from one of the last proper local bread bakers and simply keep it in the fridge and am prepared to chuck it away when it is no longer useful.

Interesting, Asda, Tesco, Waitrose now refuse utterly to sell small amounts of yeast: even a local bakers which has changed hands several times in recent years and would previously happily sell me yeast, now refuse! Interestingly, the owners are now a Frenchman and his English wife.

The only reason I started baking my own bread and researched the topic deeply, was a digestive problem I suffered with any English bread: even supposed "Proper" bread. I found it was a number of additives, ubiquitous to commercial flour.

So now We only buy top quality four from such as Baldechre: stone ground, organic: expensive but well worth it.

Raymond Blanc uses flour from Shipton Mill.

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The reason I started was nothing about 'how' the bread was made, never thought of that, and I was quite young then. It was to have bread in the house. In about 76 or 77, there were lots of strikes and when we had finished work shops would have sold out of bread. I have always cooked and baked and had made bread at school and without a thought, decided that I would bake it if we couldn't buy it. So I did.

Over the years I have changed my technique, and use very little yeast these days, preferring it to just rise over hours and hours. And I use cheap and cheerful flour too, and as I have had no complaints, au contraire, so I'll stick to it.[Www] edit, I have tried expensive flours, the difference once in say a sandwich or smoothered in pate, and we cannot tell which is which.

We have had a few times when we haven't baked much, but have pretty well been baking it for all these years. As I said, my husband has been making sour dough bread (pain au levant), but I just think that with some things I am not a 'sour' fan, ie sour dough bread and creme fraiche. And when he bakes it and due to limited freezer space, I will happily buy sliced white bread, love it toasted. Never think of health implications, or how it is made, as in life, I sort of go for what gives me pleasure and to heck with it!

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[:D]Yes, I know it is far cheaper too as well as being superb,  and I suppose that I realised eventually that I knew what went in it, still that doesn't always help either.

Do you ever make a Tropezienne Patf?

I remember the first time I ever ate one, someone had brought a cake when invited for dinner and it looked 'different'. When we started eating it, and it was 'bread', well brioche and I loved it.

I add a little kirsch to my creme patissiere and sprinkle icing sugar on the top and make sure it is well chilled before serving. And talking of one, I think I'll make one tomorrow.

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Maybe it would have worked, but really it looked awful and when yeast isn't showing any signs of 'life' and looks odd, I'd rather not waste my other ingredients to be honest.

Patf, my brioche recipe isn't really fiddly to be honest. I saw the directrice of our primary school buying yeast at the boulangerie and asked what she was making and she said 'brioche' so I asked for the recipe. I have fancier recipes, but this I call my peasant brioche and works perfectly well for a Tropezienne.

Didn't make one today,  made 6 pizzas instead using the 'frying pan' method instead of using either of my awful ovens, I just love them cooked like this.

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Off thread a bit but, id, my new oven is sitting in the garage, waiting for the new kitchen...........so, a tiny bit of the way there?

Wish I could get an installer that looks and sounds half-way competent and doesn't want to charge an arm and both legs[+o(]

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Idun - I didn't mean the brioche bit was fiddly, it was using it to make chelsea buns.

Another thing I've tried with the same dough is stollen, but that came out rather flat.

Mint - is your new oven gas or electric? Why can't you just move it into your kitchen area anyway

and start to use it?

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Pat, do NOT mention stollen.  The result of the one and only stollen I made was so awful that I haven't recovered from the traumatic experience and I have sworn that I will never make another one.

Alas, Pat, no room in the present kitchen what with that stupid industrial sized affair I have taking up a large space in a small area[+o(]

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mint, I really really hope that your new oven is lovely and your tops are not burnt and bottoms are never soggy.

It is true that all artisans charge an arm and a leg, and when one sees their 'charges' then it is no surprise really, our neighbour, a self employed plumber who was always working, ended up folding, because he couldn't live on the money left to live on. He was better off working for someone else.

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