Jäst - Fundamentalt och viktigt att få rätt

Yeast - Fundamental and important to get right

Yeast is something most people use; at least those who take on their own baking. In this article, we'll go over basic yeast knowledge, including exactly what it does, what type of yeast you should choose, and the most common mistakes to avoid. In addition, you will find out why Lilla Napoli does not sell yeast.

The irreplaceable role of yeast

Most people know that yeast is needed in baking, but what does it actually do? Simply explained, yeast is a microorganism that causes the dough to increase in volume. This is made possible by the yeast producing carbon dioxide (gas) when it breaks down the sugar molecules, which fills the dough's pre-existing air pockets. And the more carbon dioxide, the bigger the dough.

However, it is not only carbon dioxide that is formed, but also other tasty by-products such as alcohol. Generally speaking, taste differences between different types of yeast are very small when it comes to pizza, unlike, for example, beer.

Why Lilla Napoli doesn't sell yeast

After a quick look at our webshop, you'd think we sell everything you need for a pizza. That's pretty true, but we don't actually sell yeast.

Unlike some other countries, including parts of Italy, in Sweden fresh yeast of good quality is available in all grocery stores.

It might seem reasonable that we would sell some nice Italian dry yeast, but we simply feel that it is not necessary.

Fresh yeast or dry yeast?

Fresh yeast is much more common than dry yeast in Sweden. You can make really good pizza and many other bread things with both, but it is often said that the fresh yeast can give a somewhat nicer and more complex taste. In Naples, according to tradition, fresh yeast is used, but there are those who use dry as well.

An advantage of dry yeast is that it basically does not have an expiration date. To activate the yeast cells, you only need to mix it with body temperature water. You need considerably less dry yeast than fresh yeast for a dough: about four times as little.

Regular yeast or sourdough for the pizza?

Sourdough is something that has grown in popularity over the past decade; not least when it comes to pizza.

When you use a sourdough base in the pizza dough, it is responsible for the fermentation. Then not only carbon dioxide and the other usual by-products are produced, but also lactic and acetic acid. It is the latter that account for the difference in taste and texture.

Sourdough pizza is more complex in taste with its unique sourdough aroma along with a certain sourness. In comparison, a regular dough is neutral in taste. You can compare the taste of sourdough pizza to regular sourdough bread, and it can be very good even if it is not something for everyone.

In terms of texture, sourdough pizza is often a bit crispier with a more "compact" feel. In addition, sourdough bread of all forms is tougher. Regular dough is undoubtedly softer and usually has more swoosh.

Using sourdough instead of regular yeast is definitely trickier, but we encourage anyone who dares to try it!

Bring to the boil - Common mistakes to avoid

It may seem obvious how to use yeast, but time and again we see common mistakes that can easily be avoided. Here we have collected the most common mistakes about yeast that can spoil any baking:

Too much yeast

If you use too much yeast, it can lead to a fast and aggressive fermentation. This results in fluffy dough with poor structure and an unpleasant yeasty taste. This is the case for all types of dough, but perhaps especially pizza.

Instead, yeast should be used in moderation, and when it comes to Neapolitan pizza, relatively small amounts of yeast are used. This ensures that the dough matures correctly and that the right flavor is achieved. Therefore, it is also important to let the fermentation take its time.

Wrong water temperature

Incorrect water temperature can significantly affect the dough's fermentation process. Too hot water can kill the yeast and inhibit its ability to produce carbon dioxide, leading to a flat and heavy dough.

Water that is too cold slows down the fermentation process. This results in a compact and chewy texture with a poorer taste.

Optimum water temperature is therefore crucial, and the right temperature is our body temperature - about 37 degrees. However, it can be misleading to only feel the water until it feels lukewarm, as this often leads to water that is too cold.

Instead, the water should often feel slightly warm, but certainly not super hot. If you want to be on the safe side, you can use a thermometer, and it's also a good way to learn how the water should actually feel.

Improper storage or old yeast

Many people probably know that yeast should be kept in the fridge, as it is damaged when exposed to heat and/or moisture. Then a good fermentation can no longer be guaranteed.

What fewer may know is that fresh yeast from the store has an expiration date. The shelf life is usually about a month, and although it can probably be used for a while longer, it is fraught with risk; especially if you don't have much time for fermentation.

Ready to start baking?

After reading this you have hopefully gained a good understanding of the fermentation process of a dough. As mentioned, we do not sell yeast because the regular yeast in the grocery store works just fine. However, we offer many other nice products in both kitchen utensils and raw materials on our website , which you are welcome to take a look at.

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