A week ago, i shared some bread baking tips in my post, Let's Break Bread. (I would read that post before reading this one, if you haven't already.) From that post arose some questions about the use of Rapid Rise/Bread machine yeast, and about the benefit (or lack) of rolling out and rolling up the dough to make loaves. So i thought i would do a little experiment and see about it.
Question #1: Will it work o.k. to treat Rapid Rise yeast the same as Active Dry yeast in a recipe calling for Active Dry yeast?
Almost every bread recipe instructs to allow the dough to rise "until doubled" after kneading. This is the "first rise," and it usually takes close to 1 1/2 hours at my house (with active dry yeast). Today, i used rapid rise yeast, and instead of allowing it to "rest," as is directed by the package and other sources i have read, i allowed it to rise until doubled.
Here it is right after kneading.
After 30 minutes.
After 45 minutes.
Answer #1: Sort of. After 45 minutes of rising, the dough was more than doubled, and it punched down as i would expect it to. I would certainly not recommend leaving it there for 60 or 90 minutes like i would with active dry yeast. When using rapid rise yeast in the future, i will probably allow the dough to rise as i did today . . . unless i'm in a hurry. I enjoy letting it rise and then punching it down. ;)
Question #2: What is the benefit of rolling out the dough and then rolling it into a loaf, as directed by Betty Crocker's cookbook?
So this time, i didn't bother with all that. After i punched down the dough, i immediately cut it in half and roughly formed loaf-ish shapes and lay them in the loaf pans. The one on the right is a little bumpy. Oh well.
Here they are after risen. Not too shabby.
Here they after baked and buttered.
Awfully pretty, i think.
Answer #2: After cutting off a slice and looking over my loaves, i notice that my bread slices will not be nearly the same size all the way through the loaf. The ones on the end will be much smaller than the ones in the middle, etc. Of course, i could have worked a little harder to form a uniform log of dough to rise in the loaf pan, but i believe that the roll out and roll up method must have been Betty Crocker's solution for evenly sized loaves. I may or may not go to the trouble in the future. ;)