Vegan under lockdown facing a short term future of ingredient substitutions


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Hi all. I'm finally getting around to all the baking I've always intended to do now that we're in lockdown here in the UK.

Unfortunately, flour is now hard to come by. I suspect that making bread with plain flour and other workarounds are in my near future.
 
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Hi all. I'm finally getting around to all the baking I've always intended to do now that we're in lockdown here in the UK.

Unfortunately, flour is now hard to come by. I suspect that making bread with plain flour and other workarounds are in my near future.
it’s pretty much like that everywhere. I’m in the US and the shelves are wiped clean of all baking supplies. The mill that I purchased my flour from, Which is local for me and supplies to the trade, and some retail for home bakers was so inundated with online orders they had to shut down their website.

I was at my independent grocery store this morning and saw they had some small bags of flour from the Mill so I purchased a couple of sacks for my SIL.

fortunately I had restocked my flour supplies just before coronavirus hit.

Even though baking supplies are in short supply, I am thrilled to see so many people taking an interest in baking
 
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Thanks @Norcalbaker59.

I'm continuing with experiments, and also using up some materials bought for baking a long time ago and never used. I've been cooking bread with expired flour. Some wholemeal spelt flour turned out to be rancid having a sour flavour when cooked. Though, I ate samples of it some time ago now and haven't become ill. I'm using up some Polish flour I bought for pizza bases. It's only 11% protein, but I'm adding a tablespoon of (also expired) wheat gluten to it, and the gluten seems to develop quite quickly when kneaded. I've no idea how much gluten to add, but the previous loaf I made was OK. Not wonderful, but entirely edible. I hadn't heard of the windowpane test before I read of it here, and tried it just now. The flour + gluten achieved the windowpane test after quite a short knead. Maybe five minutes. For dough proving I'm using the dough proof option on my combination microwave. (Right now, in fact.)

Now I'm using the same flour to make a fruit loaf - using out of date dried fruit which still looks fine,. I'm not doing a fancy recipe with spices as I've heard that the spices interfere with the growth of the yeast. One of the cheaper supermarkets here sells incredibly basic fruit rolls which as far as I can see are perfectly normal white bread that just has fruit in it. However, I really like them, particularly toasted with margarine and jam. So, I'm aiming at the same sort of thing, but am thinking of making a plait and putting some plain water icing on top. It's currently rising for the first time in my oven right now. I haven't added the fruit yet, and will do so when I punch it down for the second rise.

Like you I bought some repackaged flour from a local independent shop (vegan, not specialist baking) and they say that they'll be able to provide flour continuously. So maybe, I'll be OK for supplies. But things can change.

Not baking - but I've been making my own yogurt and fudge as well. I'm making the yogurt using the yogurt function on my microwave oven. I hadn't used dough proof on the oven nor the yogurt function before. I do have a Panasonic breadmaker which I haven't used in a few years. I've developed a recipe for coconut milk fudge that I like a lot, but my chocolate fudge is still coming out a bit dry and powdery. But, wrong forum!

I'd like to try some more cake recipes at the moment. I was going to make some carrot cake but the carrots got ... eaten. I'd like to develop either new recipes for white cake (as I know better performing chocolate cake and light fruit cake recipes). I'm also baking some puddings which are just cake mix on top of tinned fruit such as peaches or pears. Nice, but the texture comes out coarse as when I cook it just as a cake. I'd like to bake a white cake with a finer texture. The recipe does come out better when microwaved, e.g. I make a mock 'steamed pudding with golden syrup' by microwaving cake mix on top of golden syrup. The texture is better but the top isn't browned and it dries out if not eaten immediately. I wonder if I can microwave then brown in a convection oven...

I've got the book 'Vegan Cupcakes Conquer the World', and I find that the recipes work fine as normal sized/shaped cakes. I wish to try some more of their recipes.

EDIT: Oh, and I'm about to try making my own hummus - red lentil hummus. I've never made successful hummus before. Will give it another go. And, I'm growing herbs on my windowsills.

Sorry if I've waffled on too long.

EDIT:

buns.jpg
 
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Thanks @Norcalbaker59.

I'm continuing with experiments, and also using up some materials bought for baking a long time ago and never used. I've been cooking bread with expired flour. Some wholemeal spelt flour turned out to be rancid having a sour flavour when cooked. Though, I ate samples of it some time ago now and haven't become ill. I'm using up some Polish flour I bought for pizza bases. It's only 11% protein, but I'm adding a tablespoon of (also expired) wheat gluten to it, and the gluten seems to develop quite quickly when kneaded. I've no idea how much gluten to add, but the previous loaf I made was OK. Not wonderful, but entirely edible. I hadn't heard of the windowpane test before I read of it here, and tried it just now. The flour + gluten achieved the windowpane test after quite a short knead. Maybe five minutes. For dough proving I'm using the dough proof option on my combination microwave. (Right now, in fact.)

Now I'm using the same flour to make a fruit loaf - using out of date dried fruit which still looks fine,. I'm not doing a fancy recipe with spices as I've heard that the spices interfere with the growth of the yeast. One of the cheaper supermarkets here sells incredibly basic fruit rolls which as far as I can see are perfectly normal white bread that just has fruit in it. However, I really like them, particularly toasted with margarine and jam. So, I'm aiming at the same sort of thing, but am thinking of making a plait and putting some plain water icing on top. It's currently rising for the first time in my oven right now. I haven't added the fruit yet, and will do so when I punch it down for the second rise.

Like you I bought some repackaged flour from a local independent shop (vegan, not specialist baking) and they say that they'll be able to provide flour continuously. So maybe, I'll be OK for supplies. But things can change.

Not baking - but I've been making my own yogurt and fudge as well. I'm making the yogurt using the yogurt function on my microwave oven. I hadn't used dough proof on the oven nor the yogurt function before. I do have a Panasonic breadmaker which I haven't used in a few years. I've developed a recipe for coconut milk fudge that I like a lot, but my chocolate fudge is still coming out a bit dry and powdery. But, wrong forum!

I'd like to try some more cake recipes at the moment. I was going to make some carrot cake but the carrots got ... eaten. I'd like to develop either new recipes for white cake (as I know better performing chocolate cake and light fruit cake recipes). I'm also baking some puddings which are just cake mix on top of tinned fruit such as peaches or pears. Nice, but the texture comes out coarse as when I cook it just as a cake. I'd like to bake a white cake with a finer texture. The recipe does come out better when microwaved, e.g. I make a mock 'steamed pudding with golden syrup' by microwaving cake mix on top of golden syrup. The texture is better but the top isn't browned and it dries out if not eaten immediately. I wonder if I can microwave then brown in a convection oven...

I've got the book 'Vegan Cupcakes Conquer the World', and I find that the recipes work fine as normal sized/shaped cakes. I wish to try some more of their recipes.

EDIT: Oh, and I'm about to try making my own hummus - red lentil hummus. I've never made successful hummus before. Will give it another go. And, I'm growing herbs on my windowsills.

Sorry if I've waffled on too long.

EDIT:

View attachment 2860

The cakes look delicious. I’m surprised it is drying out with the golden syrup. Golden syrup is an invert sugar; invert sugars are commonly used to extent shelf life and retain moisture in commercially produced baked goods. I use Lyle’s Golden Syrup in both my peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies to create a crisp edge and chewy soft center. It’s very difficult to find in the US. I have to drive two counties over to purchase it.



I’d be very wary about eating old flour. According the a studies from the University of Massachusetts, rancid oils in flour from the germ can potentially develop toxic compounds. And its not just in flour, but nuts, seeds, cooking oils, and butter as well.



Is the yogurt difficult? I eat a lot of plain yogurt. I wondered about making my own. Even though it’s readily available, it’s just like taking the cheese class to make my own cheese.



Alternative baking is always challenging. I’ve been gluten free for 12 yrs due to a medical conditions. Despite my experience as a baker, I find gluten-free baking difficult. And the truth is some gluten-free baked goods aren’t worth the effort. I hate the high starch rice flours; and most of the grain flours leave a lot to be desired. There are some things I just won’t bake like gluten free bread. Gluten free bread is just horrible. Some of my gluten free cakes, pies and tarts I think are very good. And certain types of gluten free cookies translate well. But I finally came to the realization that some things simply cannot be reproduced in gluten free form, and bread is one of them.



I love hummus. It became an obsession. I found most hummus was thick and coarse. I hated it. I wanted light airy smooth hummus. So I was no a mission to make the best hummus ever. So I read every thing I could find about hummus. Then I searched high and low for the best ingredients I could find available to me here. Then I started making batch after batch. I posted my hummus recipe on another thread if you are interested.



https://www.baking-forums.com/threads/melissa-clark-recipe-book.4883/#post-36645
 
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They were actually iced fruit buns, rather than cakes. Though, I make cakes too.

The yogurt is really easy to make. But, my combination microwave oven does it for me. I think the process is identical to making yogurt with cows milk. Raise the temperature of the milk with gentle heat until about 90C. Then let it cool to 40-50C. Then add a sufficient amount of starter, put it in the combination microwave, choose the correct setting, and come back the next morning 7 hours later. I have found that my yogurt has been lumpy, but I blend it then leave it in the fridge to thicken up again.

I've just managed to buy some flour. I don't yet know exactly how strong the flour is, but I have wheat gluten so can fix any lack of protein.

I've made a second batch of the buns. I did an experiment and used the tangzhong method which I had never heard of before. https://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2018/03/26/introduction-to-tangzhong They did come out better, with a softer texture more like commercial bread. In the past I used to use bread flour that had ascorbic acid added to it as a flour improver. But, I can't get that now. With the tangzhong, the buns did come out softer and more like a commercial product.

Thanks for the humous recipe. I suspect, however, that my tahini is not right. It has a strong bitter flavour. I remember eating a dish in Iran which was freshly baked barbari break dipped into first tahini and then concentrated grape juice. I'm sure I've tasted tahini at other times and it didn't have a bitter flavour. Other than that, the red lentil humous I made was fine.

I have some golden syrup and will look into using that in cookies.
 
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I can't see a link to edit the above. I tried using the tangzhong method for some wholemeal rolls. They were meant to be hot dog rolls, but they are a bit flat. But, they have come out quite nice. I painted the tops with melted margarine. Both before and after baking, and the top crust is nice. Overall, they are the best wholemeal rolls I've made. Just a bit flat. I think I may have let them prove just a bit long and they may have fallen down a bit. But, I'll definitely take these as a good result. When I've cooked full on wholemeal bread before it's never been very nice. And these rolls are. So, that's a step forward.

The "barbari break" in the previous post should be "barbari bead"
 
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They were actually iced fruit buns, rather than cakes. Though, I make cakes too.

The yogurt is really easy to make. But, my combination microwave oven does it for me. I think the process is identical to making yogurt with cows milk. Raise the temperature of the milk with gentle heat until about 90C. Then let it cool to 40-50C. Then add a sufficient amount of starter, put it in the combination microwave, choose the correct setting, and come back the next morning 7 hours later. I have found that my yogurt has been lumpy, but I blend it then leave it in the fridge to thicken up again.

I've just managed to buy some flour. I don't yet know exactly how strong the flour is, but I have wheat gluten so can fix any lack of protein.

I've made a second batch of the buns. I did an experiment and used the tangzhong method which I had never heard of before. https://www.kingarthurflour.com/blog/2018/03/26/introduction-to-tangzhong They did come out better, with a softer texture more like commercial bread. In the past I used to use bread flour that had ascorbic acid added to it as a flour improver. But, I can't get that now. With the tangzhong, the buns did come out softer and more like a commercial product.

Thanks for the humous recipe. I suspect, however, that my tahini is not right. It has a strong bitter flavour. I remember eating a dish in Iran which was freshly baked barbari break dipped into first tahini and then concentrated grape juice. I'm sure I've tasted tahini at other times and it didn't have a bitter flavour. Other than that, the red lentil humous I made was fine.

I have some golden syrup and will look into using that in cookies.
I eat so much yogurt, I really should try making my own. They sell starter at the grocery I shop at.

Yes the tangzhong method really really creates a great dough. I experimented with it a couple of years ago, making bread in tins and cinnamon rolls. I really produced light airy bread that rose sky high. I’m glad to hear it worked in your wholemeal bread. Wholemeal bread will always be low rising. The bran and germ add weight. in addition, the bran cuts the gluten network when the dough is kneaded, so the dough will not rise as much. But on the plus side is wholemeal has more flavor and is more nutritious than plain flours.

I really like PJ Hamel, but she’s incorrect about tangzhong being Japanese. It’s a Chinese, and the word tangzhong is even Chinese, not Japanese. I’m American, but my mother was Japanese, from Japan. I think people get confused because the method became popular when a Chinese baker Christine Ho of Australia created a recipe for Japanese Hokkaido milk bread. The Hokkaido milk bread is make commercially using tangzhong. Christine Ho was the first to create a home version of the bread. Up to that point westerners had never heard of the tangzhong method.

Cooked flour is not new. Northern Europeans have used it for a couple of hundred years. Bread was introduced to the Chinese by the Europeans. So there is a pretty good change that tangzhong was introduced to the Chinese by the Northern Europeans.

Tahinis are a tricky business. The flavors vary so greatly by brand. I think the best places to buy tahini is either a kosher market or middle eastern market. The tahinis imported from Israel and Lebanon are the best. The Al Wadi brand is Lebanese. It is a very nice mild tahini. The brand is very widely distributed so you might be able to find it. Tahini will have flavor, but it should not be real bitter.

So have been to Iran? I hope you were fortunate to go as a tourist, rather than a soldier. My son and nephew were both in the military. My son was released just three weeks before his unit was deployed to Iraq. My nephew was somewhere in the middle east (they wouldn’t say where) but only for short assignments. When he was released, the company that hired him had a military contract and since has a very specialized training, they sent him to Afghanistan. My sister was very upset
 
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I make yogurt in a stainless stockpot, gal milk and organic yogurt.
Wrap the pot with an elec blanket to keep it warm for 12 hrs, then dish it into glass jars to chill, its better than anything commercial, very smooth and creamy without binders or gums.
Once you have the yogurt its simple to go an extra step and make cream cheese, the real stuff.
 
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I've continued baking, and now it's rare for me to eat a piece of bread that wasn't made by me.

I've tried varying the recipe and produce something that is very soft soon after it was cooked using half white and half wholemeal flour. Fortunately I'm still able to find enough flour in the shops, though I've had to search a bit further than I hoped to do given lockdown and wanting to socially distance. Most of the time I shop I find no flour, but by going a bit off the beaten track (small specialist shops - most of the flour I have now is labelled in Polish), and grabbing it when I see it, I've got reasonable stocks at the moment. I'm trying to bake things I've never baked before. I experimented with making some burger buns and while they turn out different from commercial burger buns, the sesame seeds on top really add a nice flavour and I'm enjoying burgers made with them. I'm looking into making - I'm not sure of the official name - but buns you make by making a slightly sweeter than normal dough, roll it out flat, adding brown sugar/cinnamon mix, rolling it up, cut into buns, bake, and then add water icing on top. Whatever those are called, I'm planning to make them next.

My main difficulty has been buying yeast. I haven't seen dried yeast for a long time though I always check for it when I shop for food. I did find some fresh yeast, and that's all I have right now. I thought that for fresh yeast you add it to warm water with sugar and wait for it to foam. It simply does not foam at all in my experience. But, if I add the yeast water to the rest of the ingredients and proof it, it most certainly rises very well. I've been using the leftover yeast/water mixture to make fizzy drinks by adding water and sugar and then leaving it at ambient temperatures for a day. Typically I then add some lemon juice to make it naturally brewed lemonade. It's turning out quite nice, and it has much less of a yeast flavour to be covered up than other similar drinks I've made before with baking yeast.

I'm looking forward to having another go at baking rough puff pastry. I've never been able to make decent puff pastry myself, and I see the recipes for rough puff pastry. But, when I try to make it it always comes out very greasy and doesn't puff. I try not to mix the fat into the flour too much and get the 'marbled effect' it's said that it's supposed to have. But, it doesn't work when baked.

I'm continuing to make my own things. I'm experimenting with using MUCH less tahini than in he recipe. My latest humous is red lentil hummus, and it tasks OK, but it's got a very smooth 'bean puree' type texture which isn't what I wanted. When it's finished I'm going to cook up some chickpeas and try again. I have had a more 'hummus' like texture with chickpeas, so will pressure cook another batch of chickpeas soon (I think they're called garbanzo beans in the US), and use them for various purposes.

Going even further off-topic, up above there is a question of why I was in Iran. I went there for standard travel/tourism. I've been to Iraq too for the same reason. In both countries I enjoyed eating the local breads and wish I had access to them here. I've heard that there is a Kurdish baker here who sells the very rubbery stretchy bread common in Iraqi street food, but when I went there on my last shop they said they only take cash, not cards, and I didn't have any. I'm going to go there next shop with some coins next time I shop. @Norcalbaker59 - I note you said that your mother is from Japan. 私は日本で留学しました。かなり前でしたが、まだ少しでも日本語ができます。I hope your nephew is OK in Afghanistan (or is he back already). There are some people who go to Afghanistan for tourism, but I did do some research on it and have decided it's not for me. I'm a bit of a nervous traveller so only went to places that are known to be safe and I'm not sure that Afghanistan would be even with a professional guide.

Sorry I didn't post sooner. I was going to include some baking photos but didn't get around to it.
 
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I've continued baking, and now it's rare for me to eat a piece of bread that wasn't made by me.

I've tried varying the recipe and produce something that is very soft soon after it was cooked using half white and half wholemeal flour. Fortunately I'm still able to find enough flour in the shops, though I've had to search a bit further than I hoped to do given lockdown and wanting to socially distance. Most of the time I shop I find no flour, but by going a bit off the beaten track (small specialist shops - most of the flour I have now is labelled in Polish), and grabbing it when I see it, I've got reasonable stocks at the moment. I'm trying to bake things I've never baked before. I experimented with making some burger buns and while they turn out different from commercial burger buns, the sesame seeds on top really add a nice flavour and I'm enjoying burgers made with them. I'm looking into making - I'm not sure of the official name - but buns you make by making a slightly sweeter than normal dough, roll it out flat, adding brown sugar/cinnamon mix, rolling it up, cut into buns, bake, and then add water icing on top. Whatever those are called, I'm planning to make them next.

My main difficulty has been buying yeast. I haven't seen dried yeast for a long time though I always check for it when I shop for food. I did find some fresh yeast, and that's all I have right now. I thought that for fresh yeast you add it to warm water with sugar and wait for it to foam. It simply does not foam at all in my experience. But, if I add the yeast water to the rest of the ingredients and proof it, it most certainly rises very well. I've been using the leftover yeast/water mixture to make fizzy drinks by adding water and sugar and then leaving it at ambient temperatures for a day. Typically I then add some lemon juice to make it naturally brewed lemonade. It's turning out quite nice, and it has much less of a yeast flavour to be covered up than other similar drinks I've made before with baking yeast.

I'm looking forward to having another go at baking rough puff pastry. I've never been able to make decent puff pastry myself, and I see the recipes for rough puff pastry. But, when I try to make it it always comes out very greasy and doesn't puff. I try not to mix the fat into the flour too much and get the 'marbled effect' it's said that it's supposed to have. But, it doesn't work when baked.

I'm continuing to make my own things. I'm experimenting with using MUCH less tahini than in he recipe. My latest humous is red lentil hummus, and it tasks OK, but it's got a very smooth 'bean puree' type texture which isn't what I wanted. When it's finished I'm going to cook up some chickpeas and try again. I have had a more 'hummus' like texture with chickpeas, so will pressure cook another batch of chickpeas soon (I think they're called garbanzo beans in the US), and use them for various purposes.

Going even further off-topic, up above there is a question of why I was in Iran. I went there for standard travel/tourism. I've been to Iraq too for the same reason. In both countries I enjoyed eating the local breads and wish I had access to them here. I've heard that there is a Kurdish baker here who sells the very rubbery stretchy bread common in Iraqi street food, but when I went there on my last shop they said they only take cash, not cards, and I didn't have any. I'm going to go there next shop with some coins next time I shop. @Norcalbaker59 - I note you said that your mother is from Japan. 私は日本で留学しました。かなり前でしたが、まだ少しでも日本語ができます。I hope your nephew is OK in Afghanistan (or is he back already). There are some people who go to Afghanistan for tourism, but I did do some research on it and have decided it's not for me. I'm a bit of a nervous traveller so only went to places that are known to be safe and I'm not sure that Afghanistan would be even with a professional guide.

Sorry I didn't post sooner. I was going to include some baking photos but didn't get around to it.
No , don't do warm water for fresh yeast, cold water only, no need to prove it. It doesn't need activating at all.
In the hot weather we always used ice water for fresh yeast to keep it under control.

I can't drink commercial soda soft drinks so I make fizzy ginger ale, I've done it with dry yeast but it tasted too pungent, so I made a ginger bug starter, similar to a sour dough starter but using ginger insted of flour, ginger/sugar/water. Feed it daily with fresh chop ginger and a spoon of sugar, by day 4 its alive and ready. Just add to your cooled ginger tea and bottle it. Its probiotic.
The gingerale I made with bread yeast was too volatile, gave my neighbor a bottle and it blew up in his fridge. !

 
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No , don't do warm water for fresh yeast, cold water only, no need to prove it. It doesn't need activating at all.
In the hot weather we always used ice water for fresh yeast to keep it under control.

I can't drink commercial soda soft drinks so I make fizzy ginger ale, I've done it with dry yeast but it tasted too pungent, so I made a ginger bug starter, similar to a sour dough starter but using ginger insted of flour, ginger/sugar/water. Feed it daily with fresh chop ginger and a spoon of sugar, by day 4 its alive and ready. Just add to your cooled ginger tea and bottle it. Its probiotic.
The gingerale I made with bread yeast was too volatile, gave my neighbor a bottle and it blew up in his fridge. !

Thanks for the information on the ginger ale. I made another attempt to buy fresh ginger today, but I can't find it in any of the shops. I bought some powdered ginger and will see how I get on with that.

While I was able to buy flour today and it appears to be returning to the shops, yeast is still unavailable everywhere. Even the one shop that had fresh yeast for sale didn't have any today. This could soon become a limiting factor.
 
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@Annoying Twit
The flour situation here is still very bad as well. Stores with bakeries are purchasing additional 50 lb sacks of flour and sugar that they normally use for the bakery. Then they are re-packing them into 5 lb bags for customers. Whatever is on the shelves sells out within a hour or two. I managed to buy some all purpose, whole wheat, cane sugar, and brown sugar for myself and my brother’s family last week. There’s been no sugar or flour in the store since then. Customers are lined up in front of the store before opening hours hoping to buy scarce items like flour, sugar, napkins, toilet paper, paper towels, bleach, disinfectant and wipes.

Now meat processing plants are closing and there‘s indication that produce plants will be effected next. My brother and I decided to share the cost of a freezer to put in his garage. We are going to start filling the freezer food now while the framer’s markets are still open.

Cake yeast, active dry yeast, and instant dry yeast are three different strains of yeasts. They were developed for different uses. So they are handled differently.



Cake yeast is high in moisture content; it does not need to be rehydrated before use. That does not mean it cannot be dissolve in liquid. But there is a specific way to dissolve it in liquid.



Here’s the basics on cake yeast.



20 grams cake yeast = 7 grams active dry yeast = 7 grams instant yeast



In the United States active dry yeast is packaged in 1/4 oz packets = 2 1/4 teaspoons

20 grams cake yeast = 1/4 oz active dry yeast





=============================================



20 grams cake yeast will leaven up to 450 grams of flour

Cake yeast is very sensitive to temperature and salt and sugar.

NOTE: If the ratio of sugar to flour is more that 44%, then you must consider one of two options:

  • Additional yeast
  • Switching to an osmotolerant yeast


Adding cake yeast to dry ingredients:

  • Crumble cake yeast over dry ingredients
  • Use liquids 90°F-95°F (32°C-35°C)
  • Cake yeast activity may decrease if placed in direct contact with salt or sugar



Dissolving cake yeast in liquid before using:

  • Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar in 113 mL liquid 90°F-95°F (32°C-35°C)
  • It is important that the sugar is dissolved because yeast is living organism. It feeds by absorbing nutrients through its cell wall. The process requires osmotic pressure. If there’s too much salt or sugar in its environment reverse osmosis happens. It impairs the ability to feed. And if there’s too much it can in fact kill the yeast because it draw the plasma out of the cell wall.
  • add crumbled cake yeast to dissolved sugar solution
  • Let the just stand 5 to 10 minutes until it begins to foam vigorously
  • Decrease 113 ml of liquid from the rest of the recipe to adjust for the liquid used to dissolve the yeast
  • Add the yeast to the recipe




For rough puff, it’s not vegan, but for the technique watch the video on the Fine Cooking website. I use a rough puff as my standard technique for most tart and pie crust. The technique I use is pretty close to the one in this video. What is most important are the ratios. The type of fat you use is important. You cannot use a spreadable fat. Look for a vegan butter that is in butter block form and is specially labeled for baking. It may still melt into a pool a grease, so you may have to try a few brands. I know these brands work well in baking, but I don’t if they are available outside the US: Earth Balance, Fora Foods, and Miyokos.



  • Flour 100%
  • Fat 70%
  • Hydration 30%
  • Sugar 2.5%
  • Salt 1.5%




If you want to do a full lamination, the blog Weekend Bakery. Again, not vegan, but for a detailed tutorial on lamination.


I hope you enjoy the chickpea hummus. It’s my favorite. I am going to by brother’s house on Friday to drop the flour and sugar off. I am going to stop by the kosher grocer to buy the good tahini to make hummus!!! I need some good hummus to soothe my soul!

Your Japanese is way better than mine. When I was in elementary school the principal contacted my father to demanded my parents stop speaking Japanese in the home. We were mixing english and Japanese words in conversation. They insisted it would impair our learning. They were too ignorant to understand we would eventually distinguish between the two languages. Not wanting to challenge the school, my parents complied. So I only recall a handful of Japanese words.

My sister in law was born and raised in Japan. My 7 yr. old niece is fluent in both Japanese and English. When I babysit, which is frequent, she will ask me to read her Japanese story books. When I remind her I cannot Japanese she insists it easy if I just follow along. She has such faith in me. So we read book called Atom Cat which is written in English and Japanese. She reads all of the Japanese parts, and I read all the English parts. She still hasn’t caught on to the fact that I haven’t picked up any of the Japanese:D

She too mixes Japanese and English words in conversation. My sister-in-law pretty much speaks Japanese exclusively with my niece. And she attends Japanese classes twice a week. When the school complained to my brother and SIL that my niece had some English language delay due to being bilingual, they held their ground. Of course being bilingual means her english vocabulary is slightly behind. But she has an extensive Japanese vocabulary which they totally overlook.
 
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There are solid vegan baking fats available here. The most common one is Stork block (https://www.bakewithstork.com/products/stork-baking-block-250g) which I have and can buy. I also have 250g of 'vegan block' (https://www.naturli-foods.com/products/organic-vegan-block/). This I bought as I was trying to support an independent food shop that was closing down (now re-opened in a covid-19 era compatible fashion). It's supposedly a replacement for butter, but using it to make pastry would result in very expensive pastry. It costs many times more than he Stork block. I've got some Stork frozen in cubes ready to have a go at rough puff using my food processor.

For rough puff pastry, I have tried Gordon Ramsay's recipe. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/rough-puff-pastry The first time I tried making approximate rough puff pastry from the recipe it came out nice. Not all that puffed, but nicely layered and nice. More flaky pastry I think. However, every time I've tried since then, it's turned out not very nice. I'm not sure why and I'm annoyed at myself. The first time I tried it I just grated in (fine mouli grater) some fat and did some folds. If I was able to reproduce that, I would be very happy. But, I'm not.

I have some cake yeast from my previous purchase. But, when I run out of that, I'm not sure what to do then. There are people selling yeast on eBay, but it is marked up many times more than the price would have been. I can buy it, but would feel ripped off. Also, they sell it in 500g bags, so that would be enough for me for a LONG time and I probably wouldn't get through it. I'll hold off for a bit, but maybe I'll just have to buy the overpriced stuff if I don't find any other sources.

I'm going to put out some chickpeas to soak to make humous. I keep forgetting.

Good luck with learning Japanese! It seems you have an eager teacher there.
 
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There are solid vegan baking fats available here. The most common one is Stork block (https://www.bakewithstork.com/products/stork-baking-block-250g) which I have and can buy. I also have 250g of 'vegan block' (https://www.naturli-foods.com/products/organic-vegan-block/). This I bought as I was trying to support an independent food shop that was closing down (now re-opened in a covid-19 era compatible fashion). It's supposedly a replacement for butter, but using it to make pastry would result in very expensive pastry. It costs many times more than he Stork block. I've got some Stork frozen in cubes ready to have a go at rough puff using my food processor.

For rough puff pastry, I have tried Gordon Ramsay's recipe. https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/rough-puff-pastry The first time I tried making approximate rough puff pastry from the recipe it came out nice. Not all that puffed, but nicely layered and nice. More flaky pastry I think. However, every time I've tried since then, it's turned out not very nice. I'm not sure why and I'm annoyed at myself. The first time I tried it I just grated in (fine mouli grater) some fat and did some folds. If I was able to reproduce that, I would be very happy. But, I'm not.

I have some cake yeast from my previous purchase. But, when I run out of that, I'm not sure what to do then. There are people selling yeast on eBay, but it is marked up many times more than the price would have been. I can buy it, but would feel ripped off. Also, they sell it in 500g bags, so that would be enough for me for a LONG time and I probably wouldn't get through it. I'll hold off for a bit, but maybe I'll just have to buy the overpriced stuff if I don't find any other sources.

I'm going to put out some chickpeas to soak to make humous. I keep forgetting.

Good luck with learning Japanese! It seems you have an eager teacher there.
I think the Stork block is fine really. I use the Earth Balance more as it’s more readily available and a lot cheaper than the other brands I mentioned. Baking can get really expensive. Alternative baking is far more expensive.

I think Gordon Ramsay‘s recipe leaks because he kneads the dough. The vegan butters are made with oils that have a lower melting point than butter. So you definitely want to keep everything cold. you definitely do not want to knead the dough. That’s just going to cause heat friction

chill your flour
chill your water
Dissolve the salt in the water
And leave the water in the freezer until your ready to use it

working with vegan butter is a little more difficult. Do you have to work a little bit faster. Handle it a little less than you would with regular butter.

And you definitely want to let your dough rest at least an two hours before using it. I actually make mine the day before and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator. Even my gluten-free crust is super flaky. So I believe it really is a matter of technique.

I really do like cake yeast. In the United States it’s only available on the East Coast and some parts of the Midwest. I now live on the West Coast so I can’t purchase it here. I took it for granted when I lived on the East Coast. I have an abundance of dry active yeast!!! Two jars fullin my refrigerator. We are never happy with our lot in life.:D

The demand for baking ingredients is so high, people are demanding ridiculous prices. I did not pay them. Have you thought of making sourdough starter or using yeast water? For sourdough starter requires a lot of flour. But used water can be made with water and dates. You can make bread with these water although I’m not at all knowledgeable about that. But I took a class on sourdough pasta a few months ago with a German baker. He’s in fact a master baker. And he makes all his bread using yeast water. And we made the sourdough pasta using yeast water. So you can leaven bread with it. Pasta was delicious. I don’t eat gluten but I risked this because it was einkorn, and ancient wheat that has not been modified. And the dough was fermented for two days which breaks down and destroys the gluten. It was delicious. And it did not make me sick.

Let me know how your hummus comes out. I’m going to my brothers tomorrow so I’m going to stop by the kosher store for tahini.

 
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Thanks for the reply.

When I was out on a volunteer mission this morning I was parked up (bicycle) near a Polish foods shop, and stuck my head in the door and asked if they had yeast. They did. So, I bought a fair amount of cake yeast. (They had plenty so I wasn't greedily taking it all or even a big fraction of what they had on the shelf.) Previously I divided the yeast blocks into six for freezing, and the bread rises really quick. I think it's too much so I cut them into eight pieces each this time before freezing. That will give me enough yeast for 32 bakes of the size I've been doing. I'm guessing that if I've cut the yeast into too stingy blocks that the rise will just take longer - correct? My combination oven rises the dough quickly and it feels very warm when removed from the oven.

I asked about supplies of yeast on a local vegan group, and have received a kind offer of a bit of someone else's sourdough starter. So, I'm going to pick that up in the weekend.

The only ingredient I'm short of now is that sugar is getting low. But, that will only be an issue if I was cooking lots of sweet cakes/fudge etc. Which I do normally :) but I can hold off a bit on. But, sugar has been easily available here throughout .. 'this situation' so I will just restock during the weekend. Which will put me in the situation of having lots of ... everything. And I'd better get baking so that the ingredients won't go to waste.

I hadn't heard of yeast water. I'll look into that further. I used to make date/nut bars, so if I buy ingredients for that, I can use some dates for yeast water.

Chickpeas have been (pressure) cooked and are in the fridge. I'll be doing various chick-pea related cooking this evening. Thanks for all the advice.
 
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I can't edit as the time limit expired. I tried one of the 'cut into 8ths' bits of yeast today, but then forgot I was proving dough (1st rise) and it had ... become much bigger than 2x and probably 4x or more, and had reached the lid of the bowl I was proving it in. I beat it down, made finger rolls, and left it to rise again. It rose fine, and the finished rolls are fine. Hence, I think I can use even LESS yeast and still have good results.
 
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You'll get a feel for what works for you, recipes aren't meant to be handcuffs.
My old recipe for croissant listed 3 oz yeast for 1 gallon liquid, I often threw 8 oz in but never less than the listed 3 oz.
 
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Thanks for the reply.

When I was out on a volunteer mission this morning I was parked up (bicycle) near a Polish foods shop, and stuck my head in the door and asked if they had yeast. They did. So, I bought a fair amount of cake yeast. (They had plenty so I wasn't greedily taking it all or even a big fraction of what they had on the shelf.) Previously I divided the yeast blocks into six for freezing, and the bread rises really quick. I think it's too much so I cut them into eight pieces each this time before freezing. That will give me enough yeast for 32 bakes of the size I've been doing. I'm guessing that if I've cut the yeast into too stingy blocks that the rise will just take longer - correct? My combination oven rises the dough quickly and it feels very warm when removed from the oven.

I asked about supplies of yeast on a local vegan group, and have received a kind offer of a bit of someone else's sourdough starter. So, I'm going to pick that up in the weekend.

The only ingredient I'm short of now is that sugar is getting low. But, that will only be an issue if I was cooking lots of sweet cakes/fudge etc. Which I do normally :) but I can hold off a bit on. But, sugar has been easily available here throughout .. 'this situation' so I will just restock during the weekend. Which will put me in the situation of having lots of ... everything. And I'd better get baking so that the ingredients won't go to waste.

I hadn't heard of yeast water. I'll look into that further. I used to make date/nut bars, so if I buy ingredients for that, I can use some dates for yeast water.

Chickpeas have been (pressure) cooked and are in the fridge. I'll be doing various chick-pea related cooking this evening. Thanks for all the advice.

I don’t know how the package the yeast in the UK. Here they sell them in 2oz (60 g) blocks. What’s important is the weight of the yeast to the weight of the flour. We cut the block in thirds. We use 20 g of yeast to no more than 450 g of flour

That’s great you were able to secure so much cake yeast. I’m so jealous!!! i’ve not seen a block of cake yeast in years. I’d give anything to be able to purchase some.

I didn’t realize you could freeze it. The grocer used to warn me to use it within three weeks, otherwise risk losing it. maybe that was just to sell more of it. Hahaha!

But I don’t know if freezing it changes anything. I would ask @retired baker if freezing it requires more.

I am really curious about using yeast water to make bread. The German baker has moved on. I’m not sure where he went. After the lockdown I’m going to see if I can locate him because I really want to learn more about this technique.

Well my brother just text to see the new freezer was delivered. So I’m going to head to his house.
 
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Freezing yeast kills it. It will work but its stunted, in a pinch I'd use it but its never as good.
I always threw it in the trash after 2 weeks, its very cheap by the case. Less than a dollar lb.

Fresh yeast can be ordered, $10 lb , but ...they're out of stock.
 
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Freezing yeast kills it. It will work but its stunted, in a pinch I'd use it but its never as good.
I always threw it in the trash after 2 weeks, its very cheap by the case. Less than a dollar lb.

Fresh yeast can be ordered, $10 lb , but ...they're out of stock.
Yes my grocer used to tell me to use it within 3 weeks or toss it. I will have to keep checking back with this company to see if I can get some fresh yeast when they get a new shipment. The odd thing is fresh yeast is only available in the US a few months out of the year. I don’t know why that is. Thanks for the link!
 

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