The first, I need some expert help. At least help from someone who knows a little about baking with yeast. Anyone out there?
Paul has a radioactive iodine test coming up and before he gets shot up with the RAI, he has to go on a diet of low-iodine foods and stay on it for 2 weeks. I hate this. It changes how I buy and cook our food for 2 weeks which always seems like 3 months to me when it’s going on. So, in order that he can eat sandwiches at lunchtime, we make a whole grain bread from the Thyroid Cancer website where they have a terrific, quite extensive Thyroid Cancer Cookbook for just such an occasion when people are being tested for iodine uptake. We haven’t had to go through this diet for a couple of years but it’s time again to do it so I need to make the bread.
I tried it the other day only once the dough was made in the bread machine, I took it out and followed directions from a web site and cut it in two pieces, let it rise, and then baked the two smaller (1 lb. each) loaves in the oven. They never rose much. I suspect it was my yeast that had probably gotten old.
I have a little jar of yeast in the fridge and I wanted to know if it is alive or dead, so I went online again and found the test you do to yeast to determine that. You put some sugar in a little warm water and add the yeast and if it bubbles up, you are good to go.
So here is my question. You see the photo below? This is my yeast test. That yeast has been sitting in the warm sugar water for about 20 minutes and I think it’s as bubbly as it’s ever going to get. My question is: Is this bubbly enough? Does this yeast look alive to you?
I’d appreciate any advice in this regard. We did purchase some new yeast in packets today at the store, so that is what I’m using in my current bread that is being made in the bread machine in hopes of getting a full sized loaf this time. I told Paul he could use the two tiny loaves as finger-sandwiches…
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My other subject here is to show you something I love. My friend Mary gave this to me for Christmas (which we just celebrated together the other day when we went out to lunch – a late Xmas get-together. (Thanks, Mary!!!) This is from Maine. It’s Peach Amaretto jam that she got at Stonewall Kitchen down Maine. I’ve never been there and Mary has offered to take me up to look around, but the mobility factor keeps me down here. Anyway she gave us three jars of different types of this lovely jam and I just wanted to share with you how beautifully yummy it is. I am having it now with some soft cream cheese on a bagel and it’s like being in heaven with each bite.
Stonewall Kitchen has a web-based catalog, as well as a regular catalog, if anyone is interested. More here. I know it’s a wee bit expensive for a small jar of jam, but this stuff is worth every penny!
The Amaretto in the jam is not overpowering but just mildly there, and there are huge chunks of fruit (peaches) all throughout. The other two we received were blueberry and strawberry, which I have given to Paul as he has jam with toast along with his homemade granola cereal every morning.
So that’s about it. Look at the yeast, and if you know, should I keep this jar and try it in a new bread? Or do you think it’s over-the-hill? It’s been living in the door of the fridge since I bought it and the sell-by date says September 2012, so theoretically it should still be OK, but I just don’t know. I’m not a baker by nature and don’t know the ins and outs of yeast.
Thanks for any help.
ADDENDUM: When I finished writing this and went downstairs, the measuring cup with the yeast test in it was filled to the tippity-top with puffed up yeast. Yikes! It had gone from only about an inch to the top of a 2-cup measuring cup. I picked it up and jiggled it and it deflated back down, but maybe that yeast does have some life in it still!
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I think I could turn and live awhile with the animals…
They are so placid and self-contained,
I stand and look at them sometimes half the day long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied… not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or industrious over the whole earth.
~ [Walt Whitman, from “Leaves of Grass, No. 32”] ~