Cook with Fun Gus!

Make Yeast Bread!

Fun Gus

Did you know that yeast is alive? It is a one-celled fungus that can form spores. The spores float in the air all around us. They are so tiny that we can only see them with a microscope. They multiply by budding. There are many different kinds of yeast. Some of them are harmful causing infections in humans and some contaminate fruits and vegetables. Others are helpful such as the yeast that we use for making bread. It is called "baker's yeast" or Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Recipe For Two Loaves Of Yeast Bread

2 cups warm water 2 large mixing bowls
1 tablespoon active dry yeast Mixing Spoon
2-3 tablespoons sugar Measuring cups & spoons
1/4 cup canola oil (optional) 2 oiled baking pans
4-5 cups unbleached flour towel to cover bowl
oil to coat one bowl and the baking pans hot pads


  1. Add water to un-greased bowl. Gently sprinkle yeast on top. Add sugar and let stand for about 10 minutes or until the surface becomes foamy. Add salt, mix, and then add oil.
  2. Slowly add flour in small amounts, mixing in each time, until it becomes difficult to move the spoon. Using your hands, continue to add flour until it no longer sticks to your hands. The dough should still be squeezable and form into a ball.
  3. Set the ball in oiled bowl. Cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  4. Move the dough from the bowl to a working surface, and punch it down. Divide the dough into two balls with a knife. Knead each dough ball counting 100 times. You do this by pressing the dough with the palm of one hand while folding part of it with the other hand. It's fun!
  5. Shape each loaf to fit your oiled pans. Allow them to stand in a warm place for 45 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, until brown. Always protect your hands when handling hot pans ! Ask an adult to carefully turn the loaf out on to a folded dishtowl or other cloth and lightly tap the bottom. The bottom part of the crust will be lighter than the top of the loaf, but it should be dry, and the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. If the loaf does not seem done, use the towel to carefully put the loaf back into the pan, bake for 5 more minutes, and test again. When the loaf is done, keep it out of the pan and cool it on a rack or towel. Do not wrap the loaf until it is completely cool, to delay the formation of mold. Warm bread has a lot of steam (moisture) in it. If you wrap your bread before all the steam has escaped, you will be creating a mold growth chamber. However, DO wrap your bread as soon as it is completely cool, because it has no preservatives in it, and it will go stale if left out in the air.

Once you learn how to make yeast bread, you can bake breads with different types of flour; use seeds and nuts in the batter; even make sweet breads. You will find many wonderful recipes in cook books.


exit to mushroom club Last update: 30 Mar 99. Preparation of this page by Erika Quinn and Robert Fogel was supported in part by the University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.