Boutique Yeasts and Spelt Challah recipe
I have seen several new yeasts available... pizza crust yeast, platinum yeast etc. I bake challah weekly and am wondering what these yeasts are used for, and if you have had success with them. I am also looking for a recipe preferably to make in the bread machine with spelt. I was asked to make challah for a sheva brachot and the bride is wheat intolerant.
So. On a basic level. There are 3 types of yeast. Instant Dry, Active Dry, and Fresh. These are all interchangeable as long as you change the percentage of yeast you use in the recipe. (google.)
Instant Yeast is the best because it doesnt have to activate in water and can be mixed right into the flour. It also doesnt take up alot of space and last a failry long time. Fresh yeast, goes bad faast. The rest of the yeasts out there are just marketing gimmicks, with the exception of osmotolerant yeast (gold level) which is used for high sugar doughs (sugar above 5% of flour weight, I like using it for even mildly sweet doughs.) this isnt really available on a retail scale.
as far as spelt goes. Spelt can make an incredible bread, when used with pre-ferments. Where you mix some dough a few hours before (this builds additional strength, and then you mix a dough with that pre ferment. Happy to send you a recipe (just pm me).
Straight spelt challah can be a bit heavy because theres many other things interfering with gluten development (fat, sugar) and spelt is low in gluten to start with.
The trick with Spelt challah is to knead enough. I dont use a breadmaker but if it is possible to run it through an extra kneading cycle, that should do it. The point is to develop the gluten, so it will rise properly, and because spelt has less gluten, it takes longer kneading. The closest I can come to describing it is that the dough shoud have sort of strands of gluten running through it.
I do, but I usually add 1/2 c of wheat flour to it (to 9 c of spelt), as I think that small amount helps. I assume it will be fine without but wanted to mention it. By the way, gang, this is a terrific and very forgiving recipe with wheat or spelt.
This recipe assumes some familiarity with bread baking, but if you are a first timer, please ask.
9 1/2 c flour
3/4 c sugar (I actually use agave nectar)(or honey)
1 tbsp salt
2 eggs plus a white
2 pkgs yeast dissolved 1/2 c warm water & a little sugar or agave
1/2 c oil
1 c water
Disolve yeast in water with sweetener
When it foams, add everything else. I use a kitchen aid mixer. I "knead" with the dough hook until it is smooth and the gluten developed (as i said this will be clear when it is. There will be strands in the dough and it will look the way bread dough should). If it seems a bit dry (flour varies) add a bit more water but very gradually, say a TBSP at a time, mixing thoroughly).
When thoroughly blended, cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. A second rise (about i/2 hour) is optional but very good. In any event, after one or two rises, shape and put on a greased sheet, allowing to rise about 1/2 hour. Egg wash if you like (I don't). Seeds if you like. (I do.) Bake in preheated oven till golden and a loaf thumped on the bottom sounds hollow. (Time varies depending on size.)