Food Science

Food Science Members of the Jury,
I hereby sentence this (points downwards) abdomination to life-sentence as

'Sihan's Worst Enemy'.

the yeast cell...

ARGHS!!!! i do exaggerate a little, but seriously, I haven't had much luck with the doughs. First the failed attempt at pecan honey sticky buns. And now, a seemingly dead end to project Brioche. Well, as the saying goes, in order to win a battle, one has to first proceed to knowing the enemy. Hence my investigation on the mysterious ways of this little demon.

So is Yeast actually a living organism?

you must be leaving in a cave to not know the answer to this question. YES of course yeast is a living organism. In fact Yeast are a growth form of eukaryotic microorganisms classified in the kingdom fungi. It reproduces aseuxually by budding. In baking, the yeast species Saccharomyces Cerevisiae is used.

How does yeast cause the bread dough to poof up?

well, i reckon I must have sleeping my Junior College Biology classes away as apparently, we have already learnt this back then. But returning back to the main point, Yeast convert fermentable sugars present in the dough into carbon dioxide thru aerobic cellular respiration. This causes dough to expand or rise as pockets of air are formed. When baked, this pockets are set leading to a soft and spongy texture. The use of potatoes, eggs or sugar in a bread dough accelerates the growth of yeasts. Salt, fats and butter slow down yeast growth. And as yeast will grow over a temperature range of 10-37 degrees celsius with optimal activity at about 30 degrees. the Bread dough is often left to rise in warm conditions during the first stage.

darnit.. doesn't it sound straightforward enough. Somehow or another, my attempts at making Brioche, an enriched dough always ends up in flames. First with the Dorie Greenspan recipe then now with the Martha Stewert one. How in the world do you expect the dough to double in size if you have to leave it in the fridge overnight? Wldn't the yeast be dormant under such conditions. And I thought eggs were suppose to accelerate the fermentation.. i'm seeing no difference.. ARGHS.

to be sure that my yeast wasn't expired... i even tested the yeast in a warm mixture of water and sugar. *tick tock tick tock*... FOAMING! that eliminates the possibility that the yeast i'm using is long dead. So what the heck could be the problem?

my patience is wearing thin...

Still the investigation of the bread dough continues...stay tuned.

a major thanks going out to Cafe Fernando for the photos. it literally makes me hot-headed just staring at the perfect results. *sobz*

My creation

after my long trip to Aussie Land, seems as though I've acquired a taste for laziness and just walking over to the nearest cafe to satisfy my cravings. In my bid to get in the swing of things, I decided that I had to start baking again. and first up on the list, Brioche! *ching ching*.. my foul enemy, we meet again...

the end result is sweet though i still reckon the dough to be of a cake like consistency after freezing overnight. But oh well, at least it managed its best to poof up to double the volume after a mere 1 hour at 80 degree farenheit. *cheers*.. now if only i could make it actually look like a brioche. you know, snowman structure with a little round head on top? *bah*.. (chomping on the brioche scone style with butter and strawberry jam)...

Next baking expedition: Cupcake Hero: Red, Blue and White

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