Bread dough question
When making bread if say for example I'm using this recipe.
500gr Tipo 00 flour
325gr water (65% hydration)
3gr active dry yeast
Do I subtract the water used to activate the yeast from 325gr of water?
Yes you do subtract the weight of water from the total.. However, it's really not necessary to proof active dry yeast in whatever liquid you're using first; you can do the same with it as you would instant yeast, just mix the yeast with the flour and salt and add the water. It may take a bit longer to rise, as the grains of active dry are larger than instant, but the technique works fine. Instant yeast has a yeast enhance/developer in it as well, so the yeast works faster.
The basic reason for proofing yeast in water first was to check for the viability of the yeast. If you're sure your yeast is fresh, there's really no reason to proof.
I find yeast recipes very forgiving. The measurements don't have to be exact. Your yeast sounds about right for the amount of flour, but even if you had a little more or less, it wouldn't make a difference, as long as you were using fresh (fresh in the sense of non-dead) yeast.
As far as liquid goes, I start with a basic recipe and then go by feel as I'm kneading it. Too sticky, add more flour; too dry, add more liquid. If the yeast is good and you knead the dough well, you really cannot screw up, even if your measurements are a little off.
Fresh yeast, as in compressed cake yeast? Converting fresh to active dry is 50% less by weight, so you'll use 50% more fresh for active dry. So 3 gm of active dry in your formula means 6 gms fresh. When using fresh you do need to dissolve it in water first, subtracted from the formula total.
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