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I love fresh bread especially with butter and cheese, I know it's not good for me but I'd rather have a small slice of lovely bread than more of a mediocre bought shop loaf.
We have had breadmakers for sometime, and the present one will soon be going to the place where well used breadmakers go as it has been over worked, since we discovered a great packet of yeast and have never had any failures.
I always bought little sachets of yeast but my recipes didn't need quite as much as it said and so continually had little bits left in packets. Doves Farm quick yeast comes in a re-sealable bright orange packet with a dove symbol on the front. It is a quick yeast and this is important when using a breadmaker, as some yeast need to be left for an hour or two with liquid in a warm place before adding to the flour. It contains 125grams and can cost between 89pence and £1.25 depending where it is on sale. Sadly Tesco seem to have stopped stocking it and so do Summerfield so I have to buy online or from Lakeland. Doves farm yeast is suitable for both bread machines and hand baking.
The little granules of yeast smell yeasty! OK, so how do I describe a yeasty smell? My son has always recognised the yeasty, hoppy smell of beer as we drove into Edinburgh from the brewery, not a smell I like but when the granules get to work it produces a gas which causes the bread to rise. The yeast needs sugar to feed on and moisture but it also needs to be kept at the correct temperature, too cold and it won't work, too hot and it stops rising. As the yeast feeds on the sugar, it creates two digestive by products--alcohol (ethanol) and carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is what leavens the bread--carbon dioxide gases filter through the dough creating lift and the alcohol is evaporated in baking.
We have made normal breads, savoury breads with garlic, sun dried tomatoes, olives etc, dinner rolls, Chelsea buns, Nann bread to name but a few and always the results are good. In a 125gram packet there is enough to make 25 loaves as most of my recipes use 1 teaspoon of yeast. Making our bread we know the exact ingredients and can add a smaller amount of salt, some salt is needed to stop the yeast from rising too much. there are no additives and we can use mixtures of flour to our liking.
This product is Free from Gluten, and Wheat and is also suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans. This is also Soya Free and Nut Free. Once opened it should be used within two months. I have used this yeast when it has been a few weeks out of date when I hadn't realised and it still produced delicious bread. There are only two ingredients in the packet -Yeast and rehydrating agent (sorbitan monostearate E491).
Personally I think this is a brilliant yeast and hope Tesco start to stock it again. And in case you wonder who Doves are they are specialists in organic flour and gluten free flour. The Doves Farm story began at their farm near Hungerford in 1978 and today they make a variety of organic and gluten free products including great tasting organic flour, biscuits, cookies, cereal bars, breakfast cereals, pasta etc.
Doves Farm produces a range of baking and bread making products including their quick yeast. This yeast comes in a little bright orange bag of 125g and the packaging and logo are modern and eye catching. Many dried yeasts come in little individual sachets ideal to add to a certain volume of flour however this little packet means it is ideal to use with a bread maker where the volumes of yeast are giving in teaspoons.
The yeast offers excellent value for money retailing at 99p in tesco. I bought this packet when I first got my bread maker almost two months ago and I am only now nearing the end of the packet. Once opened it states it is best used within two months so ideal for regular bread makers but this does have a huge downside if you are an occasional bread maker so may be false economy for some.
The packet is easy to open without tearing and there is a resealable tab on it as well however this quickly looses its stickyness and I had to put a little bit of tape on it but that did the trick. This yeast is ideal for hand baking as well as for use in bread machines. I did try hand baking with this yeast twice. Once following the quick bread recipe on the packet which wasn't really a success but I think that was due to the recipe only giving 25 minutes rising time before baking. The second time I followed the Delia method and the bread was very good, nice and light and fluffy so the yeast was clearly doing its job.
However I use this yeast every day in my breadmaker and I have never been disappointed. I have made bread, rolls and pizza bases with this yeast and each time the bread has risen nicely with lovely air whole in the soft dough. The yeast itself are like little granules, almost little grains of sand and there is a yeasty smell when you open the packet, this smell appears to get stronger the older the yeast is.
I really can't fault this yeast as it suits my needs perfectly however for those who only use yeast occasionally are not like to use the yeast quickly enough before it starts to be less effective.
Some years ago I always used to trot off to our local pet food store an buy a few ounces of fresh yeast, in fact the pet shop were the only people in the town who stocked fresh yeast. The fresh yeast has a fairlyshort lifespan and you have to wrap it up well or the strong `hoppy` smell taints the fridge.
Now things have progressed and I have all but given up bashing the dough about and handed the task over to my more than capable bread maker. I always swore that I would never use one, a clumsy looking contraption that took hours to churn out a loaf of bread - I soon ate my words!
So the packets of dried yeast have taken over where the fresh yeast has left off and every couple of weeks I replenish my stock of dried yeast.
I have to admit that dried yeast is far easier to handle than fresh yeast, for starters that pungent smell isn't there.
Doves farm is a family business that is based on the Wiltshire/ Berkshire border and in 1978 Michael and Claire Marriage set about building a business that concentrated on providing good wholesome baking products and breakfast cereals.
How many times do we buy certain products and inwardly groan at the needless amount of packaging. Not only do some manufacturers use far too much wrapping but they then decorate the boxes to the hilt, thus even more valuable resources are wasted.
Dove Farm have adopted and embraced simplistic packaging, their dried yeast comes in a small vivid orange coloured rectangular box. The Dove Farm logo is on the front of the box ( just a simple dove in flight carrying his olive branch) the product information is in a plain black lettering and is clear and concise.
The 125g packet of dried yeast costs just 99p and it goes a long way. My bread maker uses one and a half teaspoons of dried yeast to make every small loaf (1 ½ lbs), this is equivalent to around 7.5g of dried yeast.
Lets just take a moment to describe how the dried yeast looks.
When you open the packet you will see hundreds of tiny granules, all grey coloured and the mild smell of hops is drifting out from the mouth of the packet.
When you open and use some of the contents of the packet then you must remember to reseal it well, the dried yeast needs to be kept airtight. Store it in a cool place.
The Dove Farm dried yeast has been approved by the Vegetarian society and it is also suitable for vegans.
The dried yeast is free from nuts, wheat, gluten and soya.
Dried yeast is a good store cupboard staple, it can easily be reconstituted with warm water and sugar to include in yeast based recipes. But before you embark on any particular recipe please check that dried yeast is suitable, I have come across recipes that demand fresh yeast.
Another good rule of thumb is if the packet is past the sell by date then discard it, or your recipe may well be ruined.
There have been many debates concerning the use of dried yeast, some say that it doesn't measure up to fresh yeast. In reply I would like to say that I achieve a good tasty loaf of bread using the Dove Farm dried yeast.
There may be someone reading this who fancies baking a loaf themselves, using the old fashioned methods and I have included the recipe below.
500g strong bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Quick Yeast
275ml hand hot water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Combined flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Mix in water, add oil and bring dough together. Turn out onto floured surface and knead vigorously. Cut, shape and place in oiled tins or baking sheet. Cover and leave to rise in warm place for 25 minutes. Bake at 220°C / 425°F / gas mark 8 for 35-45 minutes
Dove Farm have their own website which is well worth taking a glance at. They produce a host of speciality flours, good wholesome breakfast cereals and baking products.