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Get rid of yeast smell/taste in dough products

So, I know how to make bread and dough products appropriately.

What I don't get is, everytime I make anything like that, the yeast smell is in the bread, instead of the rich, wonderful bread smell (like when you get really good bread - I get it at Kings here in New Jersey). You know that smell when you open up the yeast packet or jar? The whole bread smells/tastes like that.
Also I can't get the slight sourness, and just the rich taste in general that comes with a good bread

So what is it that bakers do, yeast-wise, to make such good bread when it's really good?
Is it that they use that fresh yeast cake stuff? Instant yeast? Is it that I have to use a starter - the flour-water-yeast mixture you leave for a few days?

What is it? Anybody know?

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  1. What recipe are you using? Are you doing a long ferment?

    2 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy

      just normal twice rise plus pre-bake bench proof, using the normal active dry yeast. The yeast that you proof with warm water and sugar

      1. re: peanuttree

        I don't know what normal is to you. How much yeast are you using and for how much flour?

    2. Use less yeast and a long slow rise. More time develops more flavors, especially if you retard your dough in the refrigerator overnight. Some sourness develops, but also just complexity. Try taking a recipe you know works, use half the yeast, and refrigerate the dough for the first rise for at least 12 hours. A starter can definitely help with flavor development and getting some sourness in there. You may even be able to use 1/4 the yeast if your original recipe had way to much.

      1. Yeast-flour-yeast mixture you leave for a few days.............not quite sure what you are talking about unless you are working on some kine of sour dough? We make bread every other day, each time we do it in half a day.

        1 Reply
        1. re: escondido123

          Biga is one name for it, others call it a chef or poolish or pre-ferment. It is not necessarily at room temp for days, but can last in the fridge for a few to add flavor. There is also the old dough method, where if you make bread regularly, you save back a bit of the dough and add it to the next batch, and keep going and going. All may have slightly different definitions/formulations, but same basic concept of time = flavor. It's not just about wild yeasts and developing sourness, there are enzymatic reactions with the flour that take place over time. Sorry I can't explain more, that's the gist of what I've read, I'm no expert.

        2. As others are saying, you want a long slow rise with less commercial yeast to get rid of the "raw" yeast aroma. To develop the sour flavor you're looking for you want to develop an old dough. That means that you pull off a handful when you next make dough. Put that in a sealed container in your fridge. Next time you make dough, take it out of the fridge, cut it into small pieces and throw it in with whatever other ingredients, remembering to pull off another handful and store it.

          To get a good overview of the use and scope of pre-ferments "Rustic European Bread from Your Bread Machine" by Linda West Eckhardt and Diana Collingwood Butts is a very useful book whether or not you prefer to use a bread machine.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rainey

            One thing I've noticed reading older literature is that it sometimes refers to setting bread to rise the night before, and then getting up early to punch it down for the second rise. This makes sense in terms of this sort of baking - small amounts of yeast, or wild yeast, with a long, slow rise time, rather than the more modern approach of lost of yeast and a couple of hours total rise time. Plus, I suspect that without much in the way of indoor heating, the nighttime kitchen temperature was cool enough to slow the fermentation.

            1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

              I think you're onto something with the cooler overnight temps. So many people today think you really need to put the dough in a warm location. I NEVER do that.

              An active dough will rise in a cold fridge. I use my microwave. Not turned on, of course, but at my house it has 2 advantages: it's an insulated box that will not dry out the dough at a neutral temperature and it keeps it safe from my dog who sees no advantage whatsoever to baking dough. Seriously, a microwave is a great proofing box and a great place to rest a roasted piece of meat.

          2. you're either leaving yeast in h2o too long or, more likely, your h2o is too hot or both; for good sour taste, find an aged sourdough starter from a good baker

            1. btw the yeasty taste results also from rising dough too much and/or too many times; my preferred method of rising dough is in "cool" gas oven ie gas oven warmed only by its pilot light; no comparable method for electric ovens; i am not fond of rising dough in refrigerator; imo product/texture/other qualities not as natural/traditional as room temp or oven of gas stove...

              1. I don't think you can get sourness without doing at least some sourdough. Even when you use only sourdough starter to leaven your bread, it still needs a long fermentation to be any sour, otherwise it's just sweet.
                I can't stand the yeast taste either, which is why I never bake with just commercial yeast.

                1. OK, so a long slow rise

                  thank you everyone

                  1. Sounds to me like you're overproofing your dough. As others have said, try a cooler rise, and don't let it over-inflate. When the dough rises, it' shouldn't truly "double" in size. You want it to the point when when you punch it with two fingers, the dough holds the indent and doesn't spring back. If it deflates like a balloon, you've let it go too long. Off flavors often are the product.

                    1. OK, here's the thing though, guys
                      HOW do I do a slow, cool rise?
                      I've tried refrigerating everything beforehand, and using icewater as the water for the dough, but you have to proof the yeast with room-temperature water, and you have to handle the dough, so no matter what, the dough always comes out at a relatively high temperature (compared to a slow, cool rise), and it takes a good two hours in the fridge to cool it down.

                      Any tips?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: peanuttree

                        According to a bread-making programme I saw here in the UK, it's a myth you have to use warm or room-temperature water, as water from the cold tap (I don't think ice-cold is required) will promote a slower rise

                        1. re: peanuttree

                          You seem to be confusing mixing and rising. You don't need to use cold water or flour to do a cold ferment. The ingredients should be at room temperature and it's normal for the dough to get warm. Once again, I would ask what your recipe is. Especially what percentage of yeast you are using. I usually do a long ferment at room temperature using a minimal amount of yeast and I have no problem with smell or taste. Another question I would ask is: Are you baking your bread long enough?

                          1. re: peanuttree

                            Use instant yeast and mix it with your flour, dry. Do not proof it in water. Then mix your dough with cool- to room-temperture liquid.

                          2. Buy this book; it will change your bread-making life and make you happy.

                            1. I used to experience a quite strong 'yeasty' taste and smell (not as strong as your description implies but it's possible we experienced this differently) using normal dried yeast in the quantities directed by the recipe. However I started using fresh yeast and I don't experience it when using fresh - if you can find it in your area it may be worth a try.

                              1. Here's a current thread, with lots of answers:

                                Bread Baking at Home