Yeast is the magic behind the fluffy and soft bread texture. Through its fermentation process, yeast turns the dense dough in to the light and airy bread which we get in the bakery or at home in your breadmaker or handmade loaf.
What Is Yeast?
So what is this magical substance? What is yeast? It would surprise you to know that yeast is no mystical ingredient at all but just a basic single-oval shaped cell from the fungus family and are related to mushrooms! It is a living substance that activates when it comes into contact with water and requires moderate but not extreme temperatures to function, and is also susceptible to salt.
Yeast Gets Dough To Rise
So what is the reasoning behind this seemingly magic trick? What makes bread rise?
To prepare bread one generally needs to use flour, water and yeast. Upon interacting with each other, the enzymes in the yeast and the flour start breaking down the larger starch molecules in to the smaller sugar molecules. These sugar molecules are then metabolized by the yeast, in a process which produces carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol into the air bubbles inside the dough’s molecular structure. The carbon dioxide trapped inside these bubbles will start to inflate the bread, in an attempt to release to the external environment.
As the yeast converts the sugars into more and more carbon dioxide, the bread continuously rises until it becomes super fluffy and turns into the form we find in the bakery.
Larger chemical molecules such as proteins, starches, and fats don’t have much flavor, yet when they separate into their simpler versions like proteins into amino acids, starches into sugars, or fats into free fatty acids, they all have unique flavors. Aging the mixture, whether it’s following up on organic product juices to make wine or on flour to make bread, does precisely that—it separates larger particles into simpler tasty ones.
Toward the start of fermentation (initiated by addition of yeast), proteins in the yeast begin separating starch into more tasty sugars. The yeast utilizes these sugars, in addition to the added sugar, and produces carbon dioxide and ethyl alcohol as well as a large group of well-flavored molecules, for example, natural acids and amino acids. A large number of enzymes energize a wide range of reactions that break enormous chains of molecules into smaller ones —amylose and maltose into glucose, proteins into amino acids.
Can You Make Bread Without Yeast
Imagine a scenario where you didn’t have any yeast – how might you make bread? Is it even possible to make one? You might want to think it is not given how important yeast is to the professional bread making process.
However, making yeast free bread is very much possible.
The fact of the matter is that bread doesn’t need to be what you’re accustomed to getting in the supermarket (baked with flawless aesthetics), and you can make breads without yeast. It will be a denser bread without a doubt, however totally consumable and great (for the survival kitchen). There are many recipes which can show you how to make such bread.
To make eatable bread without yeast, fundamentally all that you are doing is adding ingredients to hold flour into a batter in order to cook it. These are basic ingredients and include:
2. Baking Powder
Any extra ingredients such as nuts, herbs, sugar, salt, etc. can be added dependent on your personal preferences and tastes. However, none of these are mandatory in making the bread.