Baking bread is an age-old practice that is now enjoying a new-found popularity. More people are now making their own bread rather than buying them from their local supermarkets. This is because home-made bread is fresher, healthier, and more delicious than store-bought ones. However, to bake a great-tasting bread, you need to use the right ingredients. One of the magic ingredients that can take your bread game to the next level is champagne yeast.
In this article, we’ll be exploring how champagne yeast can transform your bread-baking experience. We’ll be looking at what champagne yeast is, how it works, and why it is the perfect yeast for baking bread.
What is Champagne Yeast?
Champagne yeast is a type of yeast that is used in producing champagne and other sparkling wines. It is a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is a species of yeast that is commonly used in bread-making. However, champagne yeast is different from other strains of yeast because it can survive in an environment with high alcohol concentration, which is ideal for fermenting sugar to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol.
Champagne yeast is also known by other names such as Prise de Mousse, EC-1118, and Lalvin EC-1118. It is available in both dry and liquid forms, and it is used not only in winemaking, but also in baking, cider-making, mead-making, and other fermentation processes.
How Does Champagne Yeast Work?
Champagne yeast works by fermenting sugar to produce carbon dioxide and alcohol. When it is introduced into a dough mixture, it breaks down the sugars into carbon dioxide gas, which gets trapped in the dough and causes it to rise. This process is called leavening because it makes the dough rise and become fluffy.
Champagne yeast also contributes to the flavor and aroma of the bread. It produces a slightly sweet and floral aroma, which is different from the sourdough aroma produced by other strains of yeast. The alcohol produced by champagne yeast also evaporates during the baking process, which makes the bread less dense and improves its texture.
Why is Champagne Yeast the Perfect Yeast for Baking Bread?
Champagne yeast is the perfect yeast for baking bread for several reasons.
Firstly, it has a high tolerance for alcohol, which means it can survive in an environment with high levels of alcohol. In bread-making, this means that champagne yeast can continue to ferment sugars even when the dough reaches high levels of alcohol concentration. This results in a faster rise and a better-textured bread.
Secondly, champagne yeast produces a consistent rise, which means you get the same result every time you use it. This is because champagne yeast has a consistent vigor, which ensures that it ferments the dough evenly and at a steady rate. This consistency is especially important for bakers who want to maintain a uniform standard for their bread.
Thirdly, champagne yeast produces a unique aroma and flavor, which is different from other strains of yeast. This aroma and flavor are more floral and slightly sweet, which makes the bread more appealing to the senses.
Finally, champagne yeast is readily available in most baking stores, and it is easy to use. It comes in both dry and liquid forms, and it can be stored for long periods without losing its potency.
How to Use Champagne Yeast in Baking Bread
Using champagne yeast in baking bread is quite easy. Here are the steps:
- Combine water, flour, salt, sugar, and champagne yeast in a mixing bowl.
Mix the ingredients until they form a homogenous dough.
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for about an hour or until it doubles in size.
Knead the dough for a few minutes and let it rest for another 10-15 minutes.
Shape the dough into a loaf shape and transfer it to a greased loaf pan.
Cover the pan with a plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let it rise again for an hour or until it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Brush the top of the loaf with an egg wash or milk.
Place the loaf pan in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing.
Champagne yeast is a versatile and reliable yeast that can transform your bread-baking experience. It produces a consistent rise, a unique aroma and flavor, and it is readily available in most baking stores. Using champagne yeast in baking bread is easy, and it only requires a few simple steps. So, the next time you’re thinking of making homemade bread, consider using champagne yeast and take your bread game to the next level.