Category Archives: Food and Wine

Baking with Wine Yeast

Who doesn’t have leftover wine yeast from last year’s harvest?  Wondering if you can bake with the lounging beasties?

Andrea Mugnaini of Mugnaini Imports in Healdsburg has done some of the homework for you.  She baked bread, pizza and focaccia with three cultured yeasts designed for wine making – RC 212, BRL 97 and D 254 in Mugnaini’s dreamy wood-fired or gas pizza ovens.  With Mugnaini Imports permission, we’re sharing Andrea’s findings (edited):

“…I found that the primary species for all yeast used for wine, beer and breads is the same – Saccharomyces Cerevisiae. So, using the three wine yeasts I had on hand, I spent two months testing it for making pizza, focaccia, and breads. I found surprisingly positive and favorable results, and several unexpected benefits.   

First, I used the exact same proportions that I already use for all of my dough recipes. What I found was amazing. The action of all the wine yeasts I tried produced a slower and gentler rise, appetizing aromas and much greater longevity. My last batch of dough was baked at 12 days and remained well structured and not sour. It was lofty and aromatic and baked with perfect speckled char browning. Read the notes below on the different yeasts I experimented with!

RC 212 
This yeast produced a warm cream and rye aroma upon proofing and then a clean, fresh yeasty bread aroma after baking.

BRL 97 
This yeast produced a rye & sour cream aroma upon proofing and then delicious dough with sour cream undertones and a deeper yellow color.

D 254  This yeast produced a very fresh wheat aroma upon proofing and then a sweet, fruity, very mild yeast backdrop when finished. …”

So, there you have it!  Use last year’s stash in the oven and get fresh packs for your winery.

The information for this post was shared by former SHW members Grant and Yoka Koch who now reside in southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley.  They say the wines are exciting in the valley and offer to help SHWers with their wine tour visits in that area.

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