Author Topic: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast  (Read 4674 times)

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Offline Jackie Tran

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The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« on: May 30, 2011, 06:34:57 PM »
Back ground story

My wife and I went to a wine festival over the weekend.   I saw a mobile Pizza kitchen advertising NP pizza so I decided to give it a try.   The oven was a fire within unit.  Looking inside there was no live fire but just coals.   I didn't time the bakes BUT they seemed greater  than 2 minutes bordering 3mins or longer.  The rim was rather blonde with a definite crunch to it suggesting the longer bake times.  They were baking about 6-8 smallish 10" pies at a time.

I got a chance to talk pizza with the owner, a very nice guy.  He said that he uses 00 flour, a 60% hydration, a 90 second bake (which I doubted for several reasons).  He didn't mention the type of yeast used but according to his website he has been VPN certified/trained.  

I didn't get any pics of the pizza but as I said earlier, blonde crunchy rim, the bottom was tan and not charred.  You don't get a tan bottom from 900F and a 90 second bake.  You just don't.

The pizza overall was decent but the crust and crumb, I really liked.  Now onto the crumb.  It was tight celled and exceedingly soft with a crunchy crisp exterior.  Very little chew.  It reminded me of Bianco's crumb...exceedingly tender.  It also reminded me of some of my favorite baguettes with that exceedingly soft crumb and crispy exterior.   I have never been able to achieve this texture in trying to replicate those baguettes and chalked it up to dough enhancers and what not.

I tried a lower hydration CY pizza dough but it was a failure of sorts.  I had some extra CY thawed from the freezer and I decided to make an experimental loaf of bread with it.  

The bread came out really different texturally from my other Tartine styled breads.  The crumb was just like the crumb I had at the wine festival.   It was exceedingly soft, tender, semi moist.  Not much chew at all in the crust or crumb despite using a HG bromated flour for the bread.  The crumb seemed to just melt in my mouth.   I have made many loaves of bread the same way.  The only change this time was the CY.   Just then I recalled that Bianco told me he uses old dough with a bit of CY.  No doubt the old dough is just another source of CY as well.  So I'm thinking the CY gives a very specific crust and crumb texture.

There must be a reason why NP pizza is made with CY.  My initial findings is that it gives a very unique crust and crumb texture, mouth feel, and taste.

The crust.  The best way to describe it, is that it can be a bit "powdery" dry and crisp.  Gives way to the teeth easily.  I noted this same crust texture with the pizza crust I had at the wine festival and the very same crust texture of the bread.  It is a bit crusty and crunchy but little chew to it.  Very unlike my typical bread made with the same HG flour and IDY or a starter.  But with this bread I had to bake it a bit longer to get the right color, almost 10 minutes longer despite lowering the hydration by 5%.   ???

The crumb - exceedingly soft and tender depsite the flour.  mobile pizza - 00 flour.  Bianco's - Giusto's BF with a bit of HG flour mixed in.  My bread - HG bromated flour.  Melt in your mouth soft unlike my typically pizza which is soft but not melt in your mouth.  

I don't know if there is any truth to any of this, just observations.  I'm hoping that members can confirm this.  I will definitely be doing more experimental bakes with CY to see if I can reproduce this certain texture in pizza.  

Here is the bread made with CY and cold fermented overnight and a few crumb shots.  
Has anyone experience this with CY before?

Chau
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 03:38:48 PM by Jackie Tran »


Offline chickenparm

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2011, 08:59:33 PM »
Chau,

That bread looks incredible.I wish I could sample some of it.Jeebus man,you make bread as easily like you are ringing a bell or something.
 8)

While I dont have anything real to add,did/does your Fresh/CY smell bad naturally?I ended up throwing mine out,even after I finally got a chance to talk to the owner of the bakery I bought it from.The smell was normal,and said I would not notice it after I was done.I just hated the smell so much I would not even bother making a pizza with it.

Even the dough I made with it,had the same smell,I did not want to cook it.I tossed it out.

Now Im wondering if I should have given it a chance.I can always buy more,but my gawd,it stunk up the car on the ride home since I opened it up to see what it was like.
 :-D





-Bill

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2011, 09:29:15 PM »
Thanks Bill, as easy as it seems though there is always something I think I can improve upon or some aspect that fuels the next experiment.  

Hard to say about the smell of CY. Yes, there is definitely a noticeable stanky odour to CY.  :-D  However I don't find it apalling or offensive.   CY can be inconsistent though.    :-D

My very first block that I bought consistently left a very gross yeasty aftertaste in the back of my mouth after eating the bread or pizza that would last for several days.  Every time I used that CY, I would get the same effect.  I threw that block out and swore off CY for a while.  This 2nd block I've bought does not do that at all.   I've also seen molds and such grow on CY if it's left in the fridge too long.  So CY can definitely get contaminated.  

It could be that the block you got was contaminated somehow or that you are particulary sensitive to the aromas of CY.  :-D The aroma or odor of CY is definitely not there after the bake and the bread does not taste particulary yeasty or anything like that.   The flavor is slightly better than IDY/ADY but for me it is not comparable to using a sourdough starter for taste.  The textures can be very different though.  

BTW, this CY is left over from a block I bought more than a month ago.  At the time, I divided the block into 4 pieces and double wrapped the leftovers with aluminum foil and then into a freezer bag.   The CY was recently thawed out after more than a month of deep sleep.  It is as strong as it was when fresh.

Since it is so cheap, I'd give it another shot.  You may discover a very pleasant difference in the texture?  If you do, please let me know.

Chau
« Last Edit: May 31, 2011, 03:19:40 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline chickenparm

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 10:56:59 PM »
I will be sure to post my findings when I buy another block of it.Yet my gawd,the stuff stank something terrible.It smelled like horrible sweaty feet/socks or very bad beer.Im very sensitive to smells,and since I had never experienced it before,I was just worried it might not be normal.The bakery said it was.
 :-D

We shall see...maybe some versions smell stronger than others.







-Bill

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2011, 12:25:09 AM »
Chau, I would like to ask a question.  Several times you have posted about saving starters and whatnot in aluminum foil.  In your opinion what does foil "bring to the table" as far as preserving stuff?  I am interested in your thoughts because I was under the assumption that possible acidic activity could interfere with the aluminum and what the heck is wrong with sandwich baggies?   ;D :chef:
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Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2011, 12:37:23 AM »
Chau, I would like to ask a question.  Several times you have posted about saving starters and whatnot in aluminum foil.  In your opinion what does foil "bring to the table" as far as preserving stuff?  I am interested in your thoughts because I was under the assumption that possible acidic activity could interfere with the aluminum and what the heck is wrong with sandwich baggies?   ;D :chef:

Gene aluminum foil brings nothing more than just a surface to allow the starter to dry on.  I hadn't even consider the possibility of the acids in the starter leeching aluminum from the foil.  I usually spread a very thin layer of it on the foil and it dries pretty quickly, but I understand the cause for concern.  The starter can be dried on any surface whether it be plastic, wax paper, parchment paper, or a ceramic dish.  

Once the starter is dry, I peel the flakes off and store it in a plastic ziplock bag.  I don't actually store the dry starter in the foil although I don't see any issue with that as well.  

I do have some cake yeast wrapped in foil in the freezer but again, parchement paper or wax paper would work just as well.  My use of foil here just makes the wrapping and handling of the CY easier, kinda like how some candy bars are wrapped in foil.
  

Chau

Offline Jet_deck

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2011, 01:02:37 AM »
Thanks for the explanation.  I am just an old school Kool-Aid guy who remembers reading about not prepairing the mix in an aluminum bowl.  No cause for concern here, just got my favorites mixed up. :-D
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Offline andreguidon

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2011, 08:18:42 AM »
Chau,

i never had inconsistency with CY, i think this is because i could buy smaller amounts (15g cubes) so they are always fresh, and never had a after taste problem also...
regarding the results that CY gives me in neapolitan dough, i thought that that IDY and CY where the same for a while, and also did not use it for a good while (about 2 years)... but suddenly i felt like experimenting again, and for my surprise it was a hole new world!! the crumb was softer and the structure was open and better, the taste was buttery and the coloration was much better, so i really think there is a difference, and wen talking to neapolitan pizzaiolos they never use IDY or ADY cause they feel the same way about the results...
there was a second VPN training here in Brazil, and the pizzeria that hired the training only used IDY and told the VPN pizzaiolo that there was no CY in Brazil, so he brought CY from Italy, and told them that they would need to import (imagine importing CY)... wen they got here they saw the CY in the supermarket and at other pizzerias they where visiting, and concluded that the CY was the same in Italy.
so i think if we are seeing a difference and Neapolitans see differences, there must be a difference!! right??

Andre
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Offline Pete-zza

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2011, 09:43:56 AM »
I recently printed out an article by Cook's Illustrated describing the various yeast types. The article is dated 2004 but I believe that the information is still valid given that the article was reprinted just recently. Here is the description for fresh yeast:

Fresh Yeast: The original commercial yeast, known as fresh, compressed, or cake yeast is about 70 percent water by weight and is composed of 100 percent living cells. It is soft and crumbly and requires no proofing - fresh yeast will dissolve if it is simply rubbed into sugar or dropped into warm liquid. Owing to qualities associated with its strain, fresh yeast will produce the most carbon dioxide of all three types of yeast during fermentation. Fresh yeast is considered fast, potent, and reliable, but it has a drawback: it is highly perishable and must be refrigerated and used before its expiry date.

Peter

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2011, 04:59:16 PM »
Andre, thanks for posting your experience with CY and why pizzaiolo's favor it for NP pizza.  The crumb seems to be definitely softer but I'd have to do more tests to see if I can get consistent results.   My usual crumb seems more open with other types of yeast but that could be due to other factors as well.   Hopefully we can get more members to post up their experiences and opinions of CY. 

In a different test recently between CY and IDY in a 24h RT ferment, the CY dough did exhibit about a 10-15% increase in volume over the IDY ball despite being the same weight of dough.  The current CY I have is really strong so I had to use a much smaller amount compared to the estimated conversion amount, which may have skewed the test. 

As far as inconsistencies with CY, the differences may be from block to block.  CY seems to be very consistent when using it from the same block/batch unless it becomes too old, but it may be inconsistent from batch to batch. 

When I tried to source CY locally, I called almost a dozen bakeries and only found one place that uses CY and would sell me a block.  Great Harvest Bread Co.  When I inquired why other bakeries didn't use it, many stated that they found it to be inconsistent compared to commercial yeast and stop using it for that reason. 

Chau


Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2011, 05:33:24 PM »
When I tried to source CY locally, I called almost a dozen bakeries and only found one place that uses CY and would sell me a block.

Chau have you tried any restaurant supply stores?

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2011, 05:45:57 PM »
Chau have you tried any restaurant supply stores?

David, we just got a restaurant supply type store so I will check with them.  But for now, I don't mind paying a few dollars for a block from Great Harvest Bread Co.  Also knowing that I can freeze it and extend it's use is really cool as well.   One block should last me a really long time.   I'm curious to know how well this current block will work after 2-3 months of freezing.  

Chau

Offline chickenparm

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2011, 06:18:17 PM »
Chau,
This is just something the Bakery owner told me about the CY,she said its not ideal to freeze it,it would still work but lose over half its strength(maybe it was potency?).Told me to use it up before 2 weeks for best results.She did admit they go through CY very fast there,since its a bakery,but said for home use,this is what she noticed.

Not trying to change or add another volume of pointless technical crap,but was just curious if this has been the case for you.I found it odd,since I seem to have read many people have froze them up and reused them again later with no ill effects.
 :)

-Bill

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2011, 06:34:01 PM »
Chau,
This is just something the Bakery owner told me about the CY,she said its not ideal to freeze it,it would still work but lose over half its strength(maybe it was potency?).Told me to use it up before 2 weeks for best results.She did admit they go through CY very fast there,since its a bakery,but said for home use,this is what she noticed.

Not trying to change or add another volume of pointless technical crap,but was just curious if this has been the case for you.I found it odd,since I seem to have read many people have froze them up and reused them again later with no ill effects.
 :)



I was told the same Bill.  2 weeks max.   I have not tested fresh yeast at the beginning and end of 2 weeks to see the difference.   I first heard about freezing CY from Matthew.   I believe John has also had good results after several weeks to a month of freezing.  

I recently used some of this CY that was thawed after being frozen for over a month and it seem just as potent as the original, but I will say that it was divided and frozen the day it was purchased.  I used 0.04% CY for a 22 hour room temp ferment and it worked wonderfully.  To give you an idea of how much CY that is, it was 1/20th of a gram of CY.   It actually rose better than a similar test dough made with IDY.

Chau

Offline A-Neibs

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2011, 12:47:09 PM »
I bought some cake yeast from Great Harvest Bread Store a while ago. I asked the baker if I would need to use it within 2 weeks, and he said it was brand new and should last for 4 weeks. It actually lasted for about 6 weeks in the fridge before I noticed mold on it the other day. I was really surprised by that. I actually think the pizzas I made with it in it's 6th week were better than those in the first 3 or 4 weeks. So I got good use out of it. I was very impressed with it, and I need to go get my hands on some more.

Offline Matthew

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2011, 01:13:39 PM »
The best way to store fresh yeast is wrapped in wax paper & then vacuum sealed. 

Matt

Offline Jackie Tran

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2011, 05:00:52 PM »
So I made a 2nd loaf of bread using CY, but this time changed up the process a bit.   I still used 100% HG flour with CY but instead of using 0.4% and cold fermenting the dough, I used 0.1% CY and fermented at room temps of 70F for 12h.   Instead of hand folding  the dough as I have been with my breads, I decided to mix this dough in the Bosch mixer for 2 minutes after the usual autolyse.  

The resulting crumb was surprisingly similar to the first loaf despite more kneading, 1/4 of the CY, and no cold fermentation.  The crust did have a bit more chew, and the crumb was slightly drier which I'll attribute to the increase mix times.    But CY definitely gives a consistent crumb quality and structure.  

Chau
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 12:58:05 AM by Jackie Tran »

Offline chickenparm

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2011, 11:38:56 PM »
Chau,that bread looks religiously salivating.You truly keep making some incredible bread and pies.
 :chef:









-Bill

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2011, 07:22:06 AM »
I have only just seen this thread, some very good posts!
Has anyone cold fermented a fresh yeast dough ball for a long time? What were your findings?
When I worked at a bakery we only used fresh yeast and the longest we cold fermented for was 1 day..

Thanks,

Paul

Offline scott r

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Re: The unique crumb chacteristics of Cake Yeast
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2011, 11:19:58 AM »
funny you should ask this.   I just used a dough ball last night that was made with fresh yeast and was cold fermented for 8 days.   The dough ended up just like I would have expected for the amount of yeast I used, and it came out perfect.   I do have to mention, however, that I feel like I am the only one here that doesn't notice any difference between the pizza doughs I make with fresh yeast vs idy.   Still waiting to notice a better flavor, a more tender crumb etc, but I just dont.    The dough does definitely smell better when its in its raw state, but once its baked I don't find any difference.   still looking, however.   Could this be because I tend to use such tiny amounts of yeast?