Beer Yeast Bread

beeryeastbreadthumb.jpgI like doing things just a little bit wrong on purpose - this time, I thought it might be interesting to try making bread using the wrong kind of yeast - beer yeast.


Ideally, I'd have liked to start off with a sample of living yeast scooped out of the bottom of a cleared brew (and I'll try this sometime, but I didn't save any from my recent beer experiment.

So I bought a sachet of beer yeast - a strain named Gervin.

beeryeastbread2.jpgI mixed a teaspoonful of the dried yeast with two tablespoons of plain flour, one teaspoon of sugar.

I added enough cooled boiled water to mix up a thin paste in a large tumbler, which I covered with plastic film and left for an hour.

beeryeastbread3.jpgIt frothed up quite vigorously, so I used it to make up a batch of simple bread dough with it (450g flour, 300ml water)

This was late at night, so I left the dough to work overnight in a large covered bowl.

beeryeastbread4.jpgThe following morning, it was very lively.

I kneaded it a little, then put it in an oiled loaf pan and covered with a clean cloth.

beeryeastbread5.jpgIt took a couple of hours to prove - this is longer than I would normally expect for bread yeast, which is surprsising, given the very fast start.

beeryeastbread6.jpgI baked the bread for 20 minutes at 190C.

The end result was a nice even-textured, spongy loaf.

It doesn't look exactly its best in this picture, as I couldn't resist cutting it whilst still warm.

The Verdict

Not bad - really not vastly different to bread made with regular baking yeast - the crust was perhaps a little more flaky and crisp, but that's probably attributable to the overnight initial working and the long proving time.

There's a subtle (possibly subjectively imaginary) fruity aroma - other than that, it's not significantly different - I was expecting something a bit more dramatic - still, it's not a disappointment, as this is a nice loaf.


What's The Difference?

The beer yeast began working very fast - and I'd say the aroma was a little different whilst working - there was a fruity, tangy aroma to the raw dough.

But the chief differences between beer and baking yeast strains would probably be more noticeable if this experiment was reversed - that is, if I'd tried to make beer using baking yeast (I'm going to try this sometime) - beer yeasts work fast and keep going even as the alcohol content rises, then they clump together and settle out. I'm not sure a bread yeast will do that so reliably.


1. On Monday, August 6, 2012, 06:08 by kerrplunk

Looks a bit similar to the beer bread I've made with a bottle of beer, or even ginger beer, as the leavening agent. But that doesn't take any time at all to prove.

2. On Monday, August 6, 2012, 09:53 by Rachel

I think the differences between different strains of yeast are over-stated by people selling the more expensive varieties. I've tried this using yeast from the bottom of a fermenting bucket, and the bread was pretty good. I've also used bread yeast to

3. On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 20:15 by Jarm

I'm not surprised to hear about the fruitiness. A lot of beer yeasts are cultured to give off banana esters or a black pepper spiciness given the temperature of the fermentation. It would make sense that if it was warm when it was growing that some of

4. On Sunday, February 10, 2013, 03:38 by deb

It used to be common for people to get mother Yeast from beer manufacturers for bread making. After all beer making was as much about preserving grain as bread making wasof course now we are so much more refined about it.;

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