Raisin breads


 I have made several raisin breads using a recipe I copied from a library book.  I use nearly 1/3 of the weight is raisins, so it appears abundantly fruity.  But the 'Raisin Bread' recipe contains fresh yeast.  I can't imagine any health food store would sell it and haven't tried to ask them.  Is this fresh yeast different from my home made yeasts in my starter only packaged in a different form e.g. a cake or something?  


I have done loaves of fruit bread using dry yeast and this speeds up the rising a lot.  And I've tried leaving out the added yeasts, using only 150 g of starter, and it still doubled in size.  Would I need fresh yeast to help the rising?





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farinam's picture
farinam 2012 April 27

Hello Josho,

It might not be universal but I have had no problem converting recipes from yeast to sourdough. 

Basically, forget the yeast part of the recipe.  Use your normal aliquot of starter and adjust the flour and water/liquid components of the recipe to compensate for the flour and water contained in the starter.

The bulk ferment and proving times will obviously be longer but should be at or about your normal sourdough timings for plain breads.  For rich doughs the timings could be quite a bit longer and you will just have to judge by the volume increase and the poke test etc.

If you added commercial yeast, the processing times would be shorter.  Delis often sell fresh yeast or you could try bakeries.

Good luck with your projects.


arturoenk 2012 May 6

 To answer your question regarding the difference between fresh yeast and your  "home made" yeast. Fresh Yeast or Bakers Yeast is a strain of saccharomyces cervisiae which has been established in a reasonably standard form for many years. It comes as a browny-grey putty like material which dissolves as the yeast grows in the baking water. Dried yeast is this same material dried and in tiny granules and is usually a sort of pale brown. Your home made yeast is not home made but home cultured strains of yeast which occur on your flour and in your local environment. Your raisins also are carrying a strain of yeast native to grape varieties  which causes spontaneous fermentation in traditional winemaking and this is why some sourdough starter cultures include dried grapes in the initial stages.

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