Sunday, 9 February 2014

The Cinnamon Kid

I learned something yesterday.

Last week I made a cinnamon, sultana and date tea bread, and it was delicious.

Yesterday I decided to make a couple more loaves, but disaster struck - none of them rose. Tried two successive batches and managed to get a slight rise on the 2nd batch, but only after having doubled the yeast. Certainly not enough to knock back the dough and have a 2nd proving. 

I just couldn't understand why this was happening, until I realised that when I made my first tea loaf, I had forgotten to add the cinnamon to the mix and folded it in after I'd already kneaded the dough. The cinnamon was consequently in thin layers and not fully incorporated into the dough. I felt sure cinnamon had an adverse effect on yeast.

On doing a little interweb research, sure enough, cinnamon contains an aldehyde, which is an acid. Acid inhibits yeast, therefore the first loaf was a success only because of my 'mistake' in not adding the cinnamon to the dough before mixing.

This baking thing is quite scientific.

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