For a crispier crust, rub the top of your dough with oil or water. The sourdough, on the other hand, had a distinct sour flavor in the bread, similar to what you’d expect from a sourdough. Yeast is a living single celled organism commonly used in baking. After kneading for a few minutes, squish the dough back into the container, and flatten the top. Yeast is activated or woken up by warm water and then the sugar acts as its food. Work out any flour clumps. In a clean plastic sandwich bag, place one small (2” x 2”) piece of damp paper towel. For this experiment, I decided to try making bread with three different methods in order to prove why they are different based on chemistry. The addition of water also allows the straggly glutenin and gliadin proteins to bond together to form gluten. Many new ingredients, like vitamin C and anti-microbial preservatives, are now often added to bread to allow bakers to use less-expensive grains and to lengthen shelf-life. Carbon dioxide from yeast fills thousands of balloonlike bubbles in the dough. Remove the gloves and place each ball of dough into the corresponding tin. The chemicals undergo an acid-base reaction to produce carbon dioxide gas. Observation Time: Try pulling up the sticks to test the dough consistency. Test baking powder by mixing 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/3 cup hot water. (No wonder yeast means "bubbles" in old English and was dubbed saccharomyces, or “sugar fungus” in Latin!) Determine which “independent” variables you’d like to change and which “dependent” variables you’d like to measure. In terms of texture, the bread was airy, with mostly small air bubbles and a few large bubbles, and a soft chewy texture in the bread, a crust also formed on the outside which was crunchy and slightly chewy. However, since this process happens instantaneously, the small carbon dioxide bubbles will deflate if left out, which is why in baking you typically add the liquids to the dry ingredients last to prevent the carbon dioxide from escaping. Keep your mixing sticks in their corresponding containers. After 24 hours, remove half of your dough, and mix in 7 scant tablespoons of flour and 4 tablespoons of water. However, the yeast in sourdough starter is actually greatly outnumbered by lactobacilli, also known as lactic acid bacteria. Now that you’ve set up your microbe bait, it’s time to wait. Either way though, what made the loaves of bread so different? As mentioned, gluten is a protein, so when the dough is pulled and kneaded the strands of the protein stretch to become longer and stronger, this accounts for a chewier texture in the yeasted bread. It derives its carbon dioxide gas through a biological process of fermentation. https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/flame-light-relight Even so, all of the loaves could be easily recognized as bread, it just depends on what type you like best. Bread started out consisting of only 3 ingredients, grain, salt, and water, but today, bread often contains over 30 ingredients in just one loaf! Key Difference – Baking Powder vs Yeast There seems to be a lot of confusion over the difference between yeast and baking powder. Record what percentage of the bread is covered by mold, and see if the mold coverage follows an exponential growth curve. But, this got me thinking about how sourdough starter produced different loaves of bread than yeast or even baking powder and baking soda, which is something I thought would be perfect to test! During this quarantine, I’ve had a lot of time to do things that I didn’t have time for before, so one of the things I took up was bread making. But in the bottle with yeast, warm water and sugar the balloon inflates over time! Typically, baking powder consists of cream of tartar as the acid, baking soda as the base, and cornstarch as a filler to separate the particles of acid and base. Once you let the dough rest, the yeast go to work! This explains the large irregular bubbles that were present in the dough. About 30,000 years ago, humans began making bread. If you see weird colors, fuzzy patches, or anything else that looks like mold, you’ve caught some other moldy microbes, and you’ll need to start your sourdough starter over. However, since the dough has gluten developed, the carbon dioxide doesn’t merely escape the bread into the surroundings, it gets trapped in between the gluten strands causing the dough to rise. Although some of the recipes took time, they don’t require you to have incredible baking skills, so don’t be afraid to try your hand at making bread of your own! Try adding a bit of yogurt with active cultures to your dough to see if you can grow lactobacillus and make tasty sourdough bread! Soda bread, on the other hand, uses baking soda to create volume, reacting with an acid to form carbon dioxide and breathe life into the loaf. Watching yeast respire involves putting gloves on top of your dough containers to capture your yeast's waste CO2 and seeing how fast this CO2 inflates the gloves. All over the world, grains, like wheat, barley, rice, and maize started cropping up, due to humans’ careful selection of nature’s biggest and best grains. There are hundreds of ways to make dessert breads and cakes. Can you explain the results you find? As moisture evaporates, the crust starts to harden as it dries out. Overall, the loaves looked and tasted very different, which is not surprising due to the different ingredients and processes that were involved in making the bread. Wash your hands between each container to prevent contamination. Whether you are a beginner baker or just need to brush up on your baking skills, this section will guide you through the basics of bread making. Add milk, oil, vanilla and baking powder and beat until well mixed. ), Label your three clear containers. Add 3 small spoonfuls of yeast (3/4 teaspoon total) to container #1 (the “Control”) and Container #2 (the one with “Added Sugar”). Let the containers rest at room temperature (out of direct sunlight) for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has reached the top of the container. Add 3 small spoonfuls of yeast (3/4 teaspoon total) to container #1 (the “Control”) and Container #2 (the one with “Added Sugar”). In a container, mix 250 ml (1 cup + 1 tablespoon) of high-gluten flour with 150ml (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons) of tap water. For all three containers, add flour up to the 200ml mark (7/8 cup for each container). This ensures the same amount of water is poured into each container. Both yeast and baking powder are used to gas-fill the pastry, make it expand and thus make it soft and fluffy. You'll need the following materials, included in Magical Microbes's DoughLab, or available at your local grocery (or pantry! With DoughLab (or the equivalent components from the store), you can design your own delicious bread experiments and learn about yeast! Just like the volcano experiment with baking soda and vinegar, you can achieve a similar reaction with baking powder and water (only it will take more baking powder to get the same effect). So, once stabilized and added to the flour and water of bread dough, the starter feeds on the sugars converting them into carbon dioxide, ethanol, and acetic and lactic acid. Yeast is, after all, a rising agent, and most kitchens have a jar or packet of another rising agent tucked away somewhere – baking powder! Once you see bubbling in the mixture and the glove inflating, your yeast are replicating! For the traditional method of making sourdough, skip to Step 10. Level off each spoonful (1/4 teaspoon) of yeast before adding it to your container. However, the yeasted bread had a slightly yeasty flavor, but a distinct bread taste. Gluten proteins expand and become tangled up with other straggly gluten proteins nearby. You’ve created seitan, a food enjoyed all around the world, commonly with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. This process starts immediately. Their names may sound similar. So, although the surface dried out, the gluten proteins did not coagulate and create a crust. The reactions occurring although somewhat similar, varied between bread recipes, resulting in three unique tasting and textured loaves of bread. Our Inspiration. Baking soda experiments or activities are a great, safe and easy way to introduce the concept of a chemical reaction to children. However, adding vinegar to yeast dough requires a delicate balance, because too much acid can stop yeast fermentation and hinder browning. Add 3 large packets of sugar (1/4 tablespoons total) to container #2, the “Added Sugar” container. In sourdough, these bacteria typically outnumber yeast 100-to-1! Populations boomed with these energy-rich, storable foods. Yeast and baking powder are mainly used for culinary purposes as leavening agents. Additionally, ethanol alcohol evaporates when baked, so they create small air pockets as well. It was only a few thousand years ago that people started using yeast to make bread fluffier and more delicious. Alternatively, shape your own foil packets (caution: your dough might ooze at the seams if you try this, so pinch the corners tight)! Now that your culture is alive and well, continue to remove half and mix 7 scant tablespoons of flour and 4 tablespoons of water into your container every. Before you start, here's the skinny on saccharomyces: Yeast,a single-celled fungus that belongs to the same kingdom as mushrooms,is one of the most common microbes in the world. https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/tools-and-techniques/baking-powder.htm, https://www.lefoodist.com/guides/cooking-classes-paris/cookingparis146.html, https://www.thekitchn.com/the-science-behind-yeast-and-how-it-makes-bread-rise-226483, https://www.discovermagazine.com/planet-earth/the-biology-of-sourdough, https://slate.com/culture/2012/11/why-does-steam-make-bread-light-and-crusty-it-slows-down-the-cooking-process.html. Mix the dry ingredients together with a mixing stick (or clean spoon). What percentage of the reasons bakers knead dough is to uncoil gluten compounds and encourage more linkages between them yeast! Until all your doughs are the same recipes, resulting in three unique tasting textured... Almost biscuit-like in flavor the top of your experiment to digest than others from... 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