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Yeast fermentation protocols?

vjb | Nov 30, 201801:40 PM     2

I know that, when replacing one form of yeast with another, I need to multiply the quantity by X or by zero-point-Y. But in contemplating a substitution, should I also worry about the other ingredients called for in the fermentation stage?

Some recipes call for water, and some for milk. Some call for a lot of liquid, some for very little, and some for none at all. There are recipes that say to add sugar, and some that don't mention it. Some recipes call for flour, and some don't. Some recipes include salt at the fermentation stage. What factors determine the ingredients in the fermentation stage? The type of yeast? The various steps that follow (# of risings, refrigeration, &c)?

Here's a concrete example: I have a very old family recipe for kouglof that says to dissolve butter and sugar in warm milk, and then to dissolve the [fresh baker's] yeast in the mixture. Is presence of fat at the fermentation stage compatible only with cake yeast, or could one use active dry or instant yeast in a milk-butter-sugar mixture?

I guess I'm asking whether there are any rules of thumb or even commandments dictating which ingredients to use with a given type of yeast in fermentation. And if there are such guidelines, does that mean that not all recipes will tolerate the substitution of one kind of yeast for another?

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