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Thread: Brewer's Yeast in Bread?

  1. #1
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    Brewer's Yeast in Bread?

    Okay, this is a kinda weird question but:
    Does anyone know if brewer's yeast can be used in a bread recipe successfully?
    I have a great spent grain bread recipe and would love to incorporate my yeasts into it.

    wonderin', wonderin'.......

    Prost!
    dave

  2. #2
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    I have successfully used bread yeast to make beer before. Its seems logical is would work both ways

  3. #3
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    I made some pizza dough years ago with some california ale yeast, it took a looonnng time to rise and did not really fluff up- but i did get impatient with it after 90 minutes or so. It may work better if you actually use some fermenting beer with active yeast rather than trying to rouse up dormant stuff- just a thought... Also keep in mind most packaged bread yeast is designed to activate very quickly, as we all probably know our yeast is not always so cooperative.

    I too am curious if anyone has had any better luck than i with brewers yeast and bread/dough.
    Last edited by Jephro; 11-06-2009 at 12:53 PM. Reason: mE is Sp3ll not gOOd
    Jeff Byrne

    12 year pro craft brewer *NOW available for hire...
    Auburn, Wa - for now

  4. #4
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    Back in my early homebrewing days (mid-80s), a guy I know got a hold of a 1# brick of wet "Budweiser Yeast." Don't know if they still do, but A-B used to sell it to bakeries.
    -Lyle C. Brown
    Brewer
    Camelot Brewing Co.

  5. #5
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    I'm gonna try this later today. I'll let everyone know how it turns out.

    Prost!
    dave

  6. #6
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    bread

    I've done this a few times now and with success. This was on a restaurant scale. The yeast was ale yeast - house strain. The gal in the kitchen makes delicious rolls with it (and with some crushed malt in the recipe.) They need so very little yeast to go a long way. One note of caution, I used some at home and the resulting bread was very bitter...I guess I used too much.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by beerking1
    Back in my early homebrewing days (mid-80s), a guy I know got a hold of a 1# brick of wet "Budweiser Yeast." Don't know if they still do, but A-B used to sell it to bakeries.
    Anheuser-Busch has a bakers yeast plant in Old Bridge, NJ (built during the final years of Prohibition IIRC) but they sold the plant to a Swiss (I think) yeast company in the late 1980's or '90's. Like a lot of other brewers they also sold malt syrup to bakers during Prohibition, too, via their "Yeast, Malt and Corn Products Division" that handled those products. (Not all the malt syrup was being used by homebrewers- just the 3 lbs. tins of the "hop-flavored" stuff- something like 400 million pounds of the stuff in 1926 based on one contemporary article in Colliers magazine.)

    The NJ plant had a lot of local complaints on odors -it always smelled somewhat "yeasty" around there and there was also a paper plant nearby with similar problems and the two scents combined it could get rough some days. And the complaints, and apparently the odor, got worse after the sale. (I always wondered if it was because A-B no longer owned the company- did the locals not mind when "Budweiser" owned it but didn't like the "furreners"?). I think the plant is closed now- haven't been down that way in many years.

    I used to live on the other side of a lake from the place and when the wind and humidity was "right" (well, "wrong") I could smell it. I blamed an early batch of homebrew (circa 1979) that went bad on it, in fact..."It's that damn Budweiser bakers yeast infected my IPA!"

  8. #8
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    Make a poolish

    I use a yeast slurry after fermentation to make a poolish (equal parts flour and ueast slurry) for French and Italian breads. If you let it open ferment on your counter (12-24h) it can take on a sourdough like flavor or put it in your fridge and let it go 24-36 hours. Then use it in your bread recipe that calls for a poolish. There are plenty of great ones out there.

  9. #9
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    Yes it works but not well. But, add some slurry to an active bread proof yeast as mentioned above. It will add a wonderful flavor to the poolish that will be used as your starter ith new baker's yeast when you make the bread. I used some celis yeast from a wit this summer really nice.

  10. #10
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    clarify

    I just talked with the gal who bakes our bread. So she apparently uses a mix of yeast. Mostly bakers yeast with some of my yeast. The reason she states is time, the brewers yeast would take significantly longer to rise if it were on it's own. But she adds it b/c of flavor. Martyrs...

  11. #11
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    Yeast that has already fermented beer is unsuitable because hop acids cling to the cell walls and will make the bread bitter. Always use fresh yeast, not cropped. (A hint of such bitterness might be desirable in some breads, so blending is advised in that case.)

    Baker's yeast is S. cerevisiae, so there is absolutely no reason why a strain good for brewing would not be perfectly suited to baking.

    The speed at which bread rises is affected by many variables. Temperature of course, DO in the water (never use boiled or RO water for baking), amylase in the flour, exogenous sugars, and trace minerals present in water and flour needed for yeast health.

    Flour does contain amylase, but in very small amounts. This is what provides the sugars for rising, just as in brewing. When you make a starter, you discard half every day and replenish half of the flour and water. This is necessary to replenish the O2 and amylase so the yeast can develop. (If you don't use a starter this is just FYI.)

    If you are having problems with rising, it is almost certainly an issue with the flour, not the yeast. You will find wildly differing amounts of amylase in various flours. You might try different brands and types, or simply add a small amount of sugar or some diastatic flour. Be sure to use cool, fresh water.

    Also, dough conditioners and bleaching agents are a problem. Unbleached, unbromated flour is best because these agents are hostile to microorganisms. French bread flour is treated with ascorbic acid and citric acid, the combination of which provides for a good dough conditioner and preservative that is harmless to yeast.

    You don't want too much yeast. You don't want to taste yeast per se; you want to taste the byproducts of yeast metabolism. Thus it is better to ensure a good environment for the yeast rather than dump in heaps of it. Also, a long, slow rising at a temperature of around 65-70F is best for flavour.

    If you want specific recommendations for the type of bread you are making, feel free to PM me.

  12. #12
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    I've always wanted to brew some bread with a little bit of wort thrown in!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sulfur
    I've always wanted to brew some bread with a little bit of wort thrown in!
    I hadn't considered that little twist. I like it! Gonna try it next time I brew.

  14. #14
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    Talking

    Working in both professions, I have attempted this several times. Not worth the effort IMHO. As mentioned before, both "baker's" and "brewer's" yeast are Sac. Cerevisiae, so both are (in technical terms) interchangeable. The difference is in how they are processed. Baker's yeast is not recommended for beer because it is not handled with the same level of cleanliness. It is not necessary to remove 99.9% of all micro-organisms from baker's yeast because you are going to cook it in a 425 degree oven. The yeast is functional. This is why we don't isolate strains from all over the world to achieve different results in bread as we do in beer. All of those subtle nuances we get from esters, how the yeast floccs out, or how viable and attenuative it is will go unnoticed (or have no significance) in a baked loaf of bread. Have you ever boiled beer after it has fermented? I believe you would lose more than just alcohol.
    Sure beer yeast works. I've tried it. It's just not worth the "money" or effort, and it is difficult to gauge exactly how much to use. In this thread there was mention of making a starter (what we call a biga, poolish or barm) with brewer's yeast. That is an excellent idea.
    I don't want to toot my own horn (but I am going to, so bear with me) as an accomplished pastry chef, I have had the opportunity to teach and attend seminars with some of the best bakers in the world. I was invited to one a few years ago with a guy who took second place in the Coupe de Monde. What I have learned over the years, (with the exception of sourdough) is in the most sought after breads in the world, the yeast is usually "silent." That being said, because of the similarities between beer and bread, some techniques are interchangeable. For example, if you want a clean, crisp mildly sweet and nutty bread, try "lagering" it. Use an instant yeast (Heck, try lager yeast and see what happens). Keep the dough cold through the whole process. I add ice to the bowl while I am mixing it. Bag the dough and refrigerate it. Punch it and vent it every day for about three days. After a long, slow, cold fermentation, form the loaves, proof at room temp, and bake as you would any rustic loaf. The resulting product is amazing! What I am playing with now is Brett in bread. I began a barm with Brett. Lambicus six months ago. I have been feeding it ever since. I have yet to bake any bread with it. I still think it needs some time.
    I mention this because you seem to be the kind of person who likes to think outside of the box. I hope this gives you some ideas.
    Last edited by mr.jay; 11-11-2009 at 06:48 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.jay
    Working in both professions, I have attempted this several times. Not worth the effort IMHO. As mentioned before, both "baker's" and "brewer's" yeast are Sac. Cerevisiae, so both are (in technical terms) interchangeable. The difference is in how they are processed. Baker's yeast is not recommended for beer because it is not handled with the same level of cleanliness. It is not necessary to remove 99.9% of all micro-organisms from baker's yeast because you are going to cook it in a 425 degree oven. The yeast is functional. This is why we don't isolate strains from all over the world to achieve different results in bread as we do in beer. All of those subtle nuances we get from esters, how the yeast floccs out, or how viable and attenuative it is will go unnoticed (or have no significance) in a baked loaf of bread. Have you ever boiled beer after it has fermented? I believe you would lose more than just alcohol.
    Sure beer yeast works. I've tried it. It's just not worth the "money" or effort, and it is difficult to gauge exactly how much to use. In this thread there was mention of making a starter (what we call a biga, poolish or barm) with brewer's yeast. That is an excellent idea.
    I don't want to toot my own horn (but I am going to, so bear with me) as an accomplished pastry chef, I have had the opportunity to teach and attend seminars with some of the best bakers in the world. I was invited to one a few years ago with a guy who took second place in the Coupe de Monde. What I have learned over the years, (with the exception of sourdough) is in the most sought after breads in the world, the yeast is usually "silent." That being said, because of the similarities between beer and bread, some techniques are interchangeable. For example, if you want a clean, crisp mildly sweet and nutty bread, try "lagering" it. Use an instant yeast (Heck, try lager yeast and see what happens). Keep the dough cold through the whole process. I add ice to the bowl while I am mixing it. Bag the dough and refrigerate it. Punch it and vent it every day for about three days. After a long, slow, cold fermentation, form the loaves, proof at room temp, and bake as you would any rustic loaf. The resulting product is amazing! What I am playing with now is Brett in bread. I began a barm with Brett. Lambicus six months ago. I have been feeding it ever since. I have yet to bake any bread with it. I still think it needs some time.
    I mention this because you seem to be the kind of person who likes to think outside of the box. I hope this gives you some ideas.

    Thanks Mr Jay. Very good info. You've cleared up a lot of questions I had regarding yeast and breads.
    Prost!
    dave

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