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post #1 of 8
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:laser:What is the VERY least amount of salt or sugar you can use to activate yeast?
post #2 of 8
None. First of all, salt inhibits growth of yeast. And if the yeast is fresh enough, merely rehydrating it will be enough to get it started. Then when it is mixed with the flour, it has the food it needs.

Although I suppose if you did want to add a pinch of sugar, that would be sufficient to get it going. But it isn't necessary. Think about so many of the Italian breads: nothing but flour, water, and yeast. Not even salt.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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post #3 of 8
Zero?

I always thought that all that was needed was flour and water, and not that much flour?
Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #4 of 8
Warm water is all that is necessary to activate yeast. In addition, it's been my understanding that salt actually inhibits yeast.
"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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"The pressure's on...let's cook something!"
 
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post #5 of 8
Salt kills yeast and sugar is simply used to check if dry active yeast is still alive. All you need is water and flour.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #6 of 8
Salt kills yeast, agreed.

Sugar -- or honey, syrup, beet reduction, whatever -- is simply a purer form of food for the yeast than the sugars present in flour.

Remember, yeast is a small organism that basically eats sugar and farts. When it's eaten enough, it generally either goes dormant or dies. So if you have a huge amount of pure sugar of any kind in your dough, the yeast its it all up, farts massively, and stops. So you get a rapid rise that ends quickly. If you have no pure sugar at all, i.e. your dough is all flour like in a French baguette, the yeast takes a good while to produce much farting action.

Let's try this differently. What are you trying to bake?

Edit: Clarification. Yeast is a small organism that eats sugar and THEN farts. It doesn't eat your farts. I'd not recommend that as a baking technique, at all.
post #7 of 8
You forgot the oxygen half of the equation. It farts when it can breathe. When it can't breathe oxygen, it still eats sugar, then excretes alcohol until it poisons itself or runs out of sugar.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #8 of 8
Oh god, a frat boy yeast getting alcohol poisoning!
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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