Yeast Dough Basics

Reading Guide

Prior Knowledge Look over the Key Concepts at the beginning of the section. Write down what you already know about each concept and what you want to find out by reading the lesson. As you read, find examples for both categories.

Read to Learn

Content Vocabulary

Key Concepts

• leavens

• sweet rich

• List yeast dough ingredients

• peel


and their functions.

• starter

• rolled-in fat

• Distinguish between the

• hard lean dough

yeast dough

three different types of yeast

• crust

• gipfels


• chemical dough

• Danish pastry

• Summarize the



characteristics and uses of

• soft medium

rolled-in-fat yeast doughs.


Main Idea

Breads are usually a part of every meal. Learn about the characteristics of quality yeast products to plan a variety of menu accompaniments.

Graphic Organizer

Before you read the section, list the details of what you know already and what you wish to learn about yeast dough products in the first two columns. Fill in the last column after you have read this section.

What I Know

What I Want to Know

What I Learned

Graphic Organizer Go to this book's Online Learning Center at for a printable graphic organizer.

* Mathematics

NCTM Algebra Use mathematical models to represent and understand quantitative relationships.


NSESB Develop an understanding of chemical reactions.

Social Studies NCSSIIB Apply key concepts such as time, chronology, and change, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity.

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English

NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics NSES National Science Education Standards

NCSS National Council for the Social Studies

From bagels to flaky croissants, breads are usually a part of every meal. Yeast breads appeal to your eyes, nose, and taste buds. Learning about the characteristics of quality yeast products is important to foodservice professionals. It will help you plan a variety of nutritious and flavorful menu accompaniments that delight customers.

Yeast breads and rolls are made from dough. Dough is basically flour or meal mixed with liquid that forms a paste. Yeast leavens ('le-vsns), or causes dough to rise as it fills with CO2 bubbles. This process is called fermentation.

Quality yeast products are the result of a careful balancing act. (Figure 27.1 on page 707 shows how these ingredients work together.) The leavening action of the yeast is balanced with the development of gluten. Gluten, along with wheat protein, gives bread texture. The formation of gluten is controlled by mixing water and wheat flour, and by the way dough is handled during preparation. Most yeast doughs are oven-baked in pans, on sheets, or pushed into the oven on peels. A peel is a wooden board that a baker uses to slide breads onto the oven floor or hearth ('harth).


As described in Chapter 26, the three most commonly used yeasts in baking are compressed yeast, active dry yeast, and quick-rise dry yeast.

Be sure to check which form of yeast is called for in a formula. Dry yeast is about twice as strong as compressed yeast, but the two forms are similar in taste when the correct proportions are used. When you substitute compressed yeast for dry yeast, use double the amount of dry yeast called for in the formula. When you substitute dry yeast for compressed yeast, use half the amount. Too much or too little yeast will affect the yeast fermentation. Quick-rise dry yeast can be used in the same proportions as active dry yeast.

All yeast is sensitive to temperature. Yeast growth slows down at temperatures below 34°F (1°C). Temperatures above 138°F (59°C) kill yeast cells. The ideal temperature range for yeast fermentation is 78°F to 82°F (26°C to 28°C).

Because yeast loses its potency as it ages, all yeast is labeled with an expiration date. Yeast must be used before this date to produce the best quality yeast products.


The unique flavor and texture of some breads, such as sourdough, come from the use of a starter. A starter is a mixture of flour, yeast, and a warm liquid that begins the leavening action. A portion of the starter is then used to leaven dough. Sourdough starters are also available as active dry cultures and are used much like dry yeast.

Other Yeast Dough Ingredients

The variety of yeast products you see in a bakery display case all begin with flour, water, and yeast. The type and amount of additional ingredients, along with factors such as shaping and baking methods, determine the end product. Each ingredient in a yeast dough carries out a special function for the end product.

Choosing the appropriate flour is critical to the preparation of quality yeast breads and rolls. Different types of flour give the product different qualities. (For more information on flour, see Chapter 26.)


Use Compressed Yeast To blend compressed yeast with other ingredients, you must first soften the yeast. To soften compressed yeast, mix it with liquid that is about 85°F (29°C). Use a portion of the liquid to be used with the dough.

Baking Yeasts Pictured here are two common types of yeast used in baking. Why is temperature control important when you prepare yeast doughs?

^ ) FIGURE 27.1 I Yeast Dough Ingredient Functions

Proper Functions Each ingredient in a baked good has several functions in a formula. What ingredients add to a baked good's nutritional value?

Ingredient Function





Milk Solids



Binds ingredients

Absorbs liquids

Adds to shelf life

Adds structure

Affects eating quality

Adds nutritional value

Affects flavor

Affects rising

Affects gluten

Adds texture

Colors crust

Affects shape

Affects volume

Adds tenderness

Yeast products are generally classified according to the type of dough used to produce them. Regular yeast doughs are prepared by combining yeast with the other ingredients into one mixture. The three most common regular yeast doughs used in foodservice operations are hard lean doughs, soft medium doughs, and sweet rich doughs.

Hard Lean Doughs

A hard lean dough consists of 0% to 1% fat and sugar. Hard lean doughs are the most basic yeast doughs. A hard lean dough is often made solely from flour, water, salt, and yeast. Hard lean doughs yield products with a relatively dry, chewy crumb and a hard crust. The crumb is the internal texture of a bread or roll. The crust is the outer surface of a bread or roll.

Fats make a hard lean dough easier to manipulate, but they also soften the crumb.

In commercial baking operations, chemical dough conditioners such as chlorine dioxide ('kl6r-en dl-'ak-sld) are sometimes used. These chemical dough conditioners may be added during the baking process to strengthen the glutens that give hard lean dough products their dense structure.

Similar to traditional hard lean doughs are whole-grain breads, rye breads, and sourdoughs. Their textures are much more dense because of the coarser, heavier flours and hotter baking methods used. The crumb is chewier and the crust is usually darker and crisper.

Enriched Hard Lean Doughs Hard lean doughs are stiff, dry, and more difficult to work with than soft medium doughs. Some bakers add eggs or oil to hard lean doughs to make them richer. Whole eggs may be added for color, fat, or additional moisture.

Mini Bread Basket
^J Forms of Dough Hard lean doughs are used for breads such as crusty rolls, while soft medium doughs are used for sandwich breads and buns. What other types of breads are similar to traditional hard lean doughs?




Rohwedder bread slicing machine is introduced in Chillicothe, Missouri

Street stock market crash occurs

The Origins of Yeast Doughs

Yeast provides the leavening action in many of the baked goods produced in foodservice. The world's earliest breads were unleavened and made from mixtures of ground grain and water. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Egyptians were making leavened bread as early as 4,000 bce, and probably began to do so by accident. Unbaked, flattened bread dough left in the open air probably picked up wild yeast spores, leavening the bread.

History Application

Document the effect yeast has on bread dough by photographing the different stages the dough goes through during the breadmaking process. Label the photos during each stage.

NCSS II B Apply key concepts such as time, chronology, and change, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity.

Soft Medium Doughs

A Soft medium dough produces items with a soft crumb and crust. The percentage of fat and sugar in these doughs is 6% to 9%. Soft medium dough is elastic and tears easily.

Yeast products made from soft medium dough include Pullman bread. Pullman bread is white or wheat sandwich bread that is made into squared-off loaves. These loaves get their shape from baking in a 2-pound loaf pan that is enclosed on all sides. Other soft medium dough products include dinner rolls, such as cloverleaf and Parker House rolls.

Sweet Rich Doughs

At the other extreme from regular yeast doughs are sweet rich doughs. A sweet rich dough incorporates up to 25% of both fat and sugar. Because sweet rich doughs use such large amounts of fat and sugar, their structure is soft and heavy. The high gluten content of bread flour helps sweet rich doughs support the additional fat and sugar.

Most sweet rich doughs are moist and soft. When you work with a sweet rich dough, you may be tempted, or enticed, to add more flour to make the dough easier to handle. However, adding flour will toughen the final product. Use only a light dusting of flour on your hands and work surfaces when working with sweet rich doughs.

Many sweet rich dough products are famous for their golden yellow crumb and brown crust. The traditional means of achieving this golden color is to add many eggs to the dough. However, the egg can break down the gluten and make the dough too heavy. Many commercial bakeshops use yellow food coloring to enhance the color of dough. You can also add shortening to increase the dough's richness. Some examples of sweet rich dough products are yeast-raised coffee cakes, cinnamon buns, and doughnuts.

I Name What are three types of regular yeast doughs?

Continue reading here: RolledIn Fat Yeast Doughs

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