5 Tips for Baking with Yeast + 5 Must Try Yeast Recipes

These tips will help you feel more confident in the kitchen and yield more successful results. Be sure to check out the 5 must try recipes that follow – they’re all tried and true family favorites that even my picky eater approves of. 

5 tips for baking with yeast 3

 

I love baking homemade bread. It tastes so good and makes the house smell amazing. Some people find baking with yeast to be confusing, challenging, or otherwise just hard to understand. Today I thought I’d share my top 5 tips for baking with yeast.

Top 5 Tips for Baking with Yeast

DOUBLED IN BULK

I don’t stick to the rising times as listed in the recipe. Instead, I consider them to be guidelines. My main concern: has the dough doubled in bulk. That is how you know the rise is complete.

FINGER TEST

Now you’re probably wondering: How do I know that my dough had doubled in bulk? The simplest method that I have learned over the years is to dust my fingers in flour and plunge them into the dough as the “guideline” recipe rising time nears.

The hole that you make will quickly collapse if it is not ready. Give it another 10 minutes and try again. If the dough is ready the indentations will remain.

FRESH YEAST

I always make sure to check the expiration date on my yeast. If I don’t remember purchasing it then it could have been in the pantry for months (or longer). Old yeast doesn’t yield reliable rising results.

If you don’t think you’ll be baking regularly, buy packets rather than jars of yeast to eliminate waste. Additionally, you can lengthen the life of yeast by storing it in the refrigerator, but make sure you let the yeast come to room temperature before using.

EQUIPMENT

You don’t need fancy equipment to bake bread. Yes, a bread machine, a stand mixer or other heavy duty mixer, and a food processor are all nice to have. And they do make the process easier. By all means, if you have any of these tools, feel free to use them.

5 Tips for Baking with Yeast + 5 Must Try Yeast Recipes

But, if you don’t, no worries. Your own two hands work just as well. Don’t let the lack fancy equipment keep you from making bread. With a little elbow grease, you’ll find that kneading bread is actually quite satisfying.

This Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread is super fun to make in the food processor if you have one!

TRY, TRY AGAIN

We all have our flops. Rolls that don’t rise enough and taste like yeasty rocks. Dry bread. But I’ve learned that you can’t let failure keep you from giving it another go. Practice makes perfect!

5 Must Try Yeast Recipes

Ready to test your baking skills now that you’ve read all about my 5 Tips for Baking with Yeast? Here are some of our favorite yeast recipes. 

  • Whole Wheat Naan, or “circle bread” as Logan and Madeline call it, is one of our family favorites. I serve it with this delicious Indian Butter Chicken, or as a wrap for Tandoori Chicken. The kids love helping roll the circles out.
  • Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread is my go-to recipe when I want some warm, crusty homemade bread to go with dinner. You can change up the flavors by using different herbs, adding sun dried tomatoes, or even some cheese, like asiago or parmesan.
  • Pizza Night is always a winner in our house, especially when we make our own Homemade Pizza Crust. Be sure to check out my tips for Totally Awesome Pizza at Home.
  • This recipe for Cheesy Ham and Broccoli Calzones is perfect for using up leftover ham (think after Easter!) and like hot pockets, only way better since they’re homemade. They’re easy to make and freeze really well, too.
  • My kids would totally revolt if I ever stopped making homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast on major holidays. Their favorites are Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. But we’ve tried several different types when we’re in the mood to mix it up.

Do you like to bake with yeast?