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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:18 PM

Bread-baking help needed!

I am making Anadama bread. (Anyone else remember this, from when Pepperidge Farm used to sell it?). It can also be called "cornmeal and molasses bread."

It didn't rise! I don't know why, because I made this recipe before (decades ago), I thought the yeast looked fine, I kneaded it for 10 minutes as directed, etc. It's just a really dense lump.

The only difference I can think of is that the cornmeal is heavier grained, but there isn't all that much put into it. It uses milk rather than water, but that shouldn't be such a problem.

QUESTION: I just read online that it can be revived by making a thick paste with another package of yeast and working that into it. Anybody ever tried this before?

TIA!

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Arrow 19 replies Author Time Post
Reply Bread-baking help needed! (Original post)
Sparkly Jan 2013 OP
sinkingfeeling Jan 2013 #1
Sparkly Jan 2013 #3
GoCubsGo Jan 2013 #2
Sparkly Jan 2013 #4
LiberalEsto Jan 2013 #8
Sparkly Jan 2013 #5
GoCubsGo Jan 2013 #6
Sparkly Jan 2013 #7
Sparkly Jan 2013 #9
bif Jan 2013 #10
Warpy Jan 2013 #13
Sparkly Jan 2013 #14
Major Nikon Jan 2013 #11
Sparkly Jan 2013 #16
Warpy Jan 2013 #12
Sparkly Jan 2013 #17
Warpy Jan 2013 #18
Sparkly Jan 2013 #15
Sparkly Jan 2013 #19

Response to Sparkly (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:22 PM

1. Check the expiration dates on your yeast. If good, add another package.

Maybe your liquid was too hot for the yeast.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:25 PM

3. Date is okay.

It looked okay to me when dissolved, although I didn't use any sugar to "proof" it.

Another suggestion I read was to make a whole new batch (ugh!) and combine them.

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Response to Sparkly (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:24 PM

2. I have never tried that.

Are you sure it's warm enough where you set the dough to rise? I have had dough not rise very well because my house was too cold. I found that warming my oven up just a tad, and letting the dough rise there helped activate the yeast.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:26 PM

4. Yeah it is cold...

Hm, maybe I'll find some warmth for it.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:48 PM

8. Very true

What I do is warm up one of those "bed buddies" in the microwave and put it under the dough bowl. I heat it up again periodically, as needed.

Bed buddies are what you call those fabric tubes filled with rice or buckwheat hulls that you heat up for a couple of minutes in the microwave. I've bought a couple and even made my own. Wonderful for neck pain or tummyaches.

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Response to Sparkly (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:28 PM

5. ALSO -- could it be the flour?

I used all-purpose since that's what it called for. If I do make another batch to combine (PROOFING the yeast!), should I try using bread flour? Maybe water instead of milk?

It's just heavy as can be.

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Response to Sparkly (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:35 PM

6. Flour shouldn't matter.

I have made bread using a-p flour, and it rose just fine. The same goes for water vs. milk.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:41 PM

7. Hmm...

I'm going to proof another package of yeast and see what happens, just to make sure it's not DOA.

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Response to Sparkly (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 04:52 PM

9. Thanks for all the ideas!

I proofed another package of yeast -- this time with sugar -- and it foamed up nicely. So I kneaded that into my dough, odd as that seems.

I *think* it will help. When I was kneading before, it sort of wanted to break rather than stretch, but now it seems stretchier. That, or I am deluding myself.

I'll let you know how it turns out!

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Response to Sparkly (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:29 PM

10. My yeast is about 5 years old.

I bought one of those industrial sized bricks from Costco. I keep in in the freezer in a zip-lox bag and it's lasted forever.

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Response to bif (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:59 PM

13. I've had dry yeast in the fridge that's 5 years old that is still alive

It's now 8 years old since I found out I'm allergic to wheat, so I'd probably test it to make sure if I baked wheat bread for someone else.

My gluten free breads have been more successful as quick breads. YMMV.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:29 PM

14. Don't let Stinky see this.

I tend to throw out anything and everything past its "date," but Stinky frequently insists they're fine -- yeast is a good example. (I actually did buy new yeast to make this bread.)

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Response to Sparkly (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:39 PM

11. You can proof your yeast to check it

Dump it into some lukewarm water with a small amount of sugar and let it sit for about 5 minutes. After that amount of time it should be making plenty of bubbles. If not your yeast is bad.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #11)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:33 PM

16. Yeah, that's what I didn't do the first time.

It was dissolved in milk and I thought it looked okay, but hard to know. Then I added a little sugar to another envelope, it foamed, and I kneaded it into the heavy blob I'd created... I think it's working!

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Response to Sparkly (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 05:57 PM

12. Use tap water for the yeast, not hot water.

and you can indeed knead a yeast paste into bread that has failed to rise. It takes another 10 minutes or so of kneading to incorporate it completely and it can be hard work, but it'll get done.

Just don't proof that yeast, ever, unless it's been sitting in the fridge for 5 years and you want to make sure it's not dead. Then to be sure, use unproofed yeast in your bread.

I stopped making bricks when I stopped proofing yeast. It's an unnecessary step.

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Response to Warpy (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:35 PM

17. Does proofing it affect the bread, do you think? nt

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Response to Sparkly (Reply #17)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:42 PM

18. It's the most efficient way to kill off most of the yeast that I know.

I stopped baking bricks when I stopped proofing my yeast.

If it's active dry yeast, just mix it in with the flour and salt. Just add tap water.

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Response to Sparkly (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 06:31 PM

15. It's baking and looks good!!

Not sure which factor worked, but I added more dissolved (proofed) yeast, and let it rise with the oven light on and a mug of microwave-boiled water beside it.

We'll see how the texture turns out, but at least it doesn't look like a flat lump!

Picture coming soon...

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Response to Sparkly (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 08:32 PM

19. Not perfect, but not bad.

At least it did rise. It had a slightly bitter taste, though (the so-called "robust" molasses, maybe?) and salty -- recipe called for 2.5 tsp for one loaf.

This isn't the first old recipe that doesn't seem to work well anymore. Could it be the changes in American wheat? Or is it just me?

Thanks for all your help!!



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