There are many ways to make bread, but the most popular are yeast-based doughs. Yeast is the ingredient that makes the dough rise and gives it a soft texture. But there are many other ways to make bread, such as starter-based doughs, which use wild yeast or bacteria instead of packaged yeast for fermentation. There are also recipes that combine both methods.
While these variations have their own merits, this article will focus on what you need to know about baking with yeast vs without yeast. Baking with yeast is simpler than baking without it because there’s no need to feed your starter or wait for it to develop before you can bake your loaf of bread. That being said, there are still some things you should know about baking with and without yeast. Let’s explore!
How yeast works
Yeast is a living organism. It’s not the only ingredient in bread dough, but it’s the one that makes it rise and gives it a soft texture. Yeast feed on sugars to grow and multiply, which creates air bubbles in the dough as they go about their work.
These bubbles create pockets of air in the dough, which are then trapped by the gluten that’s created when you mix flour with water. This is what gives gas-based breads their characteristic soft texture. When these pockets of air aren’t present or are too few, bread becomes dense and hard instead of light and fluffy.
Yeast breads tend to be easier than non-yeast breads
While starter-based breads have a much longer fermentation process, yeast breads are easier to make. You can mix your ingredients, wait for the dough to rise, and then bake it. With no-yeast breads, you have to be very careful about when you add in your starter so that it has time to ferment. And if you forget to do this, the bread will turn out dense and heavy rather than light and fluffy.
Bread without yeast
If you’re baking in a bread machine, it’s also possible to bake without yeast. With no yeast, these doughs are made with high-protein flour, water, salt. These types of doughs are leavened with steam so they rise when baked in the oven.
However, there are some cons to this method. The dough will not have the same flavor or texture as yeast-based bread because fermentation takes place when yeast transforms sugars into carbon dioxide gas and alcohol.
Yeast breads tend to be easier than non-yeast breads. If you’re a beginner, use yeast! It will give you a head start and make it easier for you to create a delicious loaf.