4 February 2008

Kitchen experimentation

On Saturday I decided to finally try out the idea of leaving a dough to rise slowly in the fridge overnight.

True, I made the dough in the morning, so overnight in this case would have been some 24 hours plus.

I made the dough for the cinnamon buns and again I made a double amount. I divided in in two, leaving one half to rise normally and the other I put in the fridge.

Here's where things started going wrong - the dough in the fridge rose at the same speed as the dough outside! I had to punch it down or it would have invaded the whole fridge. After that, it remained smallish.

From the half left outside, I made cinnamon buns, a bit on the small side, but still. Baked half of them, the other half I put in plastic bags and in the freezer. The idea being to be able to have them freshly baked on demand, rather than freezing after they're baked as they tend to dry out quickly when reheated in the microwave, not to mention that the nib sugar goes soggy then too. So will post later on how this part of the experiment works.

Yesterday, I took out the dough from the fridge - it hadn't moved since I punched it down. I took off the cling film and noticed the dough was wet with condensation. Very sticky when I took it out of the bowl, but also it smelt "funny". I took it to Lundulph and he said it smelt fermented. And of course that's what it was - yeast and sugar and nothing to kill the yeast after the initial rising (being a sweet dough, no salt was added, salt kills the yeast). And I'd no intention of baking that stuff, so ended up binning the lot, very sad.

Now my new fancy pastry book specifically says that fresh yeast should be used, but if course I've not been able to find it in the UK. As an alternative there's dry yeast, but under no circumstances should quick yeast be used, the book said, as it contains more than just yeast that makes things rise quicker and removes the control over things. So this is what I'm blaming for my fermented dough at present - I only use quick yeast nowadays, since it's needed for the bread machine.

My Mum often makes dough and leaves it to rise overnight and that always works out (I can only remember her having one mishap in the kitchen throughout my entire life). But she uses fresh yeast, something readily available in Sweden. Also she really does mix the dough in the evening and makes it first thing the next morning. So I'll be buying myself some regular dry yeast and make a second attempt. The idea behind this part of the experiment is that I could make the dough on Friday night and then make the buns on Saturday morning, and not have to lose half the Saturday with rising etc.

At present though, the freezer is cram-packed with food, so won't be cooking anything major for a while now. But I have a few things up my sleeve (or in the fridge actually) that I'll write about over the next few days.


Anonymous said...

You can get fresh yeast from the baker or bakery counter at the supermarket apparently. I've not done it myself but I've seen several people menton it on food forums.

Caramella Mou said...

Thanks Ginger, I'll see if I can get hold of some, I think it makes a difference in baking. In Sweden, the fresh yeast is sold in the dairy section of the supermarkets.