A key ingredient in making the dough for the Kürtőskalács is YEAST!
There are THREE main types of yeast products on the market which you should know about as a Chimney cake baker.
Fresh yeast is commonly available in supermarkets in Europe, however, in warmer climates, it can be harder to find. If your supermarket doesn’t stock it, go and ask the local bakers as they may have a reliable source.
Fresh yeast usually comes in blocks. Small blocks of 42g or bigger blocks of 500g.
Its very important to check the date on the fresh yeast and store it in the fridge.
Fresh yeast stays active longer and activates faster than dried yeast, however, some say that as the dough gets older, a dough made from fresh yeast starts to ‘smell’ more prominent.
Fresh yeast needs to be crumbled with the fingers into the kneading bowl. We suggest that any liquid is added to the kneading bowl first and the fresh yeast is crumbled into that liquid. You could even give it a bit of a stir, to dissolve the fresh yeast first, in the liquid before adding the dry ingredients.
Active Dry Yeast.
Active dry yeast comes in the form of small granules. It is the most common of the dry yeast products and which is often found in regular supermarkets, sold in small packets.
“Active” describes a dry yeast that needs to be activated prior to use. It needs to be ‘woken it up’ by re-hydrating it.
This is a simple procedure; you just need to add some of the water from your recipe (warm water) into a small plastic bowl then add some sugar (a pinch or two). Mix the dry yeast, sugar, and water together and leave for 10 minutes.
You will visually see the yeast become active. After 10 minutes, if the concoction has produced bubbles, add it to the kneading bowl, with the other ingredients.
Instant yeast does not require re-hydration and can be used straight from the packet.
Due to its small grain size, added enzymes and the manufacturing process, instant yeast will dissolve in the ambient moisture of a dough’s ingredients, eliminating the need for rehydration.
There are also variations of instant yeast, which are defined by their trademark, such as the fast-acting Rapid Rise yeast (from the Fleischmann’s brand) or Quick-Rise (from Red Star). Some bakers say that the flavour of the final product made by using rapid-rise yeast is not as good as the product made by using instant yeast as the rise is too quick.