The initial step for making batter breads requires dissolving the yeast. Follow the directions below.
- Be sure the yeast is fresh by checking the expiration date on the package.
- Test the temperature of the liquid ingredients with your hand (they should feel warm, but not hot) or test with an instant-read thermometer. The temperature should be warm (105°F to 115°F for active dry yeast; 95°F for compressed, fresh yeast). Liquid that is too hot will kill the yeast; liquid that is too cool will not activate the yeast.
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast with all or a small amount of the warm liquid. Let mixture stand 3 to 5 minutes until it gets foamy and expands.
NOTE: In many recipes prepared with quick-rising active dry yeast, the yeast is not dissolved in the liquid. Instead, the yeast is mixed with the other dry ingredients in the recipe. The liquid is heated to 120°F to 130°F, then stirred into the dry ingredients. The remaining ingredients are then mixed in. This combination of warmer dough and the quick-rising yeast means the first rising can take as little as 20 minutes compared to 60 or 90 minutes for traditional active dry yeast or compressed, fresh yeast.