431: Yeast

Unknown Speaker 0:04

I'm Molly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:04

And I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:05

And this is spilled milk. The show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all, and you can't have any I'm sure I'm trying out a different tone today.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:14

Oh, wow, this is gonna be this very exciting. Do you think I do I

Molly 0:19

haven't figured out what the tone is yet. Yeah, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:21

was really trying to figure out what the bit was. And this episode is about yeast. I kind

Molly 0:31

of can't believe it's taken us this long. I mean, like we already did a sourdough episode. Well, sourdough

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:37

sourdough predated yeast by century

Molly 0:40

actually, sourdough has yeast in it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:43

Okay, sourdough predated commercial. Like there you buy it off the shelf yeast. Yes, this was suggested by listener Aaron, who I think actually the listener Aaron's suggestion was leavening. Which, I mean, we try it we try and like, bring a little levity to the atmosphere every week. Oh, boy. That wasn't me making that joke. That was my new character that are okay.

Molly 1:10

All right. Anyway, so yeah, we're gonna talk about commercial yeast. So for me, that means you know, active, dry, rapid rise, it also means like, fresh like Kiki's Yes, we're

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:20

gonna always things Yeah,

Molly 1:22

okay. So should we worry

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:25

we're not going to neglect fresh cake ease. So we go down to talk about like in baked goods we'll talk about like the origins of commercial yeast in the in the beer industry, but

Molly 1:37

okay. Yeah, let's

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:38

go down memory lane. I used to work at a yeast lab. You did? Yes. That's my memory lane. So after college, I got a job in the medical school.

Molly 1:49

Hold on is this after so I know that you you dropped out of college but then you went thanks for telling everyone

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:55

Molly. Sorry.

Molly 1:57

No, I think this is one of the more interesting things about you. Because you're so nerdy, but not in this like you know, linear education went

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:06

no more and more in like a devil may care kind of leather jacket. Kind of

Molly 2:12

Oh, yeah. Yeah, you wear a leather jacket all the time. You're constantly like revving your motorcycle is you know, that's true beat off down the street.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:21

The other day, I went to look at clarinets with teenager this just because like why wouldn't I because like that's the kind of devil may care. Like, Mr. Cool Mr. clarinet. I don't get clarinets with teenager, the show Iris who's in the market for a new clarinet. If anyone has a clarinet in their closet that's like burning a hole in their closet. Let me know you might dig it off your hands. So why for the show, Laurie found there's this guy in belltown, who has who is like a clarinet and saxophone repair person and just had his office in belltown for like a shop in belltown for years and years. Great. And so we went down to check that to check this out and see what clarinets he had for sale. And his his shop is like in the back room of a bar. It's exactly what you would want it to be. It's like a small room full of machines and old clarinets and saxophones, some working sub nod and like in a corner of of the shop for no reason was a motorcycle, like yeah, this is this was a tiny room. Like it was not bigger than my kitchen and dining room.

Molly 3:35

He's a real clarinet man,

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:36

real clarinet man. So this guy is way cooler than me. It's got a motorcycle that cannot be driven because it's inside a shop inside a bar.

Molly 3:44

Okay, anyway, but hold on. So you write and then then you then you move to Seattle and then you you finished your degree at the U dub?

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:53

Yes. Okay, so it's a it's a very heartwarming Horatio Alger story. And after I finished at the U dub, I got a job at the U dub at the medical school as a research assistant in a yeast lab. I mean, not not to brag, but but u dub my alma mater is one of the most important yeast research institutions in the world along with the Carlsberg lab in Denmark and some others.

Unknown Speaker 4:19

Oh, that's cool. Uh huh. That's cool.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:20

So the reason the

Molly 4:22

reason Yeah, and I tell you something about my experience in a lab. So I worked in a corn genome. I remember lab working on this genome at Stanford, the summer after my freshman year, and it was a formative time for me. It was the summer I lost my virginity to a grad student in a different lab. Oh, and I first met him at like a, you know, in her lab, interlab barbecue, okay at the cornfield. Oh, okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:53

I guess I wasn't sold on the story until you mentioned the cornfield.

Molly 4:56

Anyway, but I thought that I I was like, so lucky to have gotten this job because the woman who was the head of the lab, the scientist, who is the head of the lab was like a celebrity to me because there was like, a little sidebar about her in my AP bio in high school. And so then like getting to work for her, like, I seriously thought this woman was I had like, like Bieber fever for this one

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:28

was so cool. What was her name?

Molly 5:29

Her name was Virginia wall, but okay, she's still out there, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:32

believe. Somewhere deep in the cornfield.

Molly 5:36

Anyway, you know, I think that obviously, she's a very accomplished scientist. But to me, like, I mean, my thought of her was like, way out of proportion. Like she was like a celebrity to me because she was in my high school textbook.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:48

A one time I worked for a u dub, Prof. biology professor who wrote the biology textbook that we use for the course I was very impressed by that.

Molly 5:57

Yeah, those were formative years. Yeah, very formative.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:59

So I got a job in this yeast lab. And like, the reason they study yeast is like, it's easy to grow. It grows fast. You can like look at its genes and modify, and you know, mess around with them.

Molly 6:12

It's easy to do like genetic work on it because you can like splice things into its genome. And

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:18

yeah, right. Yeah, totally. And a really good vector, right? And like humans, it's a eukaryotic organism. So it is more there's more similarity between the yeast genome and and also like yeast physiology is I don't know if that's the right word cellular biology and human cellular biology that'd between like humans and bacteria, okay. However, as like the the new guy at the lab, I didn't get to work with the yeast very much. I was mostly working with E. coli. So okay, when you work with yeast, and you have like yeast growing in like the incubator, it smells like bread or kind of like beer somewhere between beer and bread. When you're working with the E. coli. It smells like poop.

Molly 7:01

Really? Yeah, that's what makes poop smell like.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:03


Molly 7:03

I mean, I know we all have E. coli in our intestine,

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:07

tons of it.

Molly 7:08

I didn't realize that that was part of what creates the poop smell.

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:11

Yes, absolutely. And like, you know, we weren't working with pathogenic E. coli. Like the bad ones that you hear about this was like, you know, totally like non toxic safe E. coli, but it still smelled terrible. I did not enjoy that job very much. I think I quit after four months.

Molly 7:25

Did the smell like linger on you? Like when I worked with Whole Foods and worked with cheese? Like I could not get the smell of cheese off my hand? Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:31

I'm not sure. Maybe I

Molly 7:33

wasn't very good at hand washing or

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:35

Greg was fired for the gene scanner.

Molly 7:40

No, but seriously, oh my god, I remember the day that I had to, you know how like, mass produce cheeses often come in like a big loaf. Right. And then they are cut into smaller bricks and individually wrapped and sold in like a refrigerated case. Well, I had to break down a whole loaf of smoked mozzarella. So you know, I can't remember we cut it into maybe like 16 pieces and then you're though it's important wherever exactly

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:05

how many pieces you cut it into

Molly 8:07

anyway. And the thing is, is like I was wearing gloves, right? Because you can't handle ready food without gloves. But even with the gloves, my hands smelled like I had been smoking meat all day. Wow, it was crazy. It was gross.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:23

Like sometimes do you like wake from a dream and like, feel like the smell is still lingering. No. No weird dream the other day? I don't remember anything. Okay. Okay, so speaking of big loves yeast is is a unicellular fungus, Saccharomyces sanitario.

Molly 8:44

I forgot what that means.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:44

Okay. I would love to explain this in excruciating detail. Okay, so a bacterium is just kind of like a sack with like, all its genetic material, just kind of like, you know how we're the human sack? Well, it's just, it's just like a little bag of fluid with its genetic material. That's just one long chromosome just kind of lurking around in there. Is that a prokaryote? That is a pro carrier. Yes. And a eukaryote, which, like you care about me, it's like true nucleus. It It is a cell that has much more structure than a prokaryote in that it has a nucleus where the genetic material is kept. And then like, all kinds of other parts, okay. I mean, so some of those parts of prokaryotes also have but precarious do not have a nucleus and are generally much smaller cells.

Molly 9:31

Interesting. Okay. This makes sense. All right. And so yeast is a unicellular fungus.

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:36

Yes. And it's, the Latin name is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ca. And that is definitely service A as in cervesa, because it is the same yeast that is used to make ale and historically like when people were starting to use non sourdough yeast.

Molly 9:52

Wait a minute, which came first Sarah v. Say or survey sa. Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:56

I mean, this is a dumb question. No, it's not a dumb question. I think cerveza came first because these Latin names were given by Linnaeus in like the 17th century, mostly greater was much greater than the Absolutely. Okay, so

Molly 10:14

fermented grain,

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:16

right. So I think literally the word is Sarah vitia probably came first because it's Latin, but like this use of it. I

Molly 10:22

wonder if we'll have any sort of like taxonomist. Let us know. I hope

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:25

so. Cuz that's something I'm really into.

Molly 10:29

Tell if you're being serious or not. being

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:31

serious, like, that was my like, pretty much my favorite thing.

Molly 10:34

You are real Sarah the same man. Yeah. Yeah. Better than a clarinet man.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:39

Well, no, I like my, my woodwinds, my leather jacket. My, my, your survey. cervesa. Yeah. Sounds pretty good, actually. So like in the early days of commercial yeast, baking, you know, Baker's would get like this, this cast off unneeded yeast from brewers. And then what happened was the Brewers were like, Hey, you know what, we could make beer in a different style that is, you know, easier to make in quantity. Rather than make ale we can make a lager, which uses a different type of yeast that is less useful for bread baking. And so the bread bakers had a problem. I'm trying to give this some somehow inject some drama into the story, see the narrative unfolding. But last, I mean, last week, we had this whole that whole story about about the downfall of Fannie kradic. And like, nothing I say, no story I tell the rest of my life is ever going to live up to

Molly 11:34

when we talk about the downfall of Fannie kradic it brings to mind our old visitor, Mrs.

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:40

Yes. When when we watched the Fannie kradic video like I I could see like she could she could have been

Molly 11:48

like her like sweet like half sister. I think it could be like a Jekyll and Hyde situation. Oh, Mrs. kradic. and Mrs. Covers like

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:58

this It comes in is is like the sweet gentle wind but like, you know, don't provoke her or or right Fanny kradic will come out and like tell you that your pudding is no good. Okay, so so the bread bakers, they got a problem like their their yeast sources drying up. And this is particularly this is happening in Germany, where where there was, that's where the beer industry was undergoing this transformation. And so they developed and boy, is this going to be anti climactic? what is called the Vienna process. Okay, it's ready by Robert Ludlum PD. It's not a treaty, okay. It's just a way of like basically baking beer like up to a certain point and then stopping so you just produce a bunch of yeast. And then and like, is this still how it's done? No, it's not. Okay. So this was this was like an early process for mass producing yeast. But now the way it's done is in like big tanks where where the yeast is like, they've got it right temperature, they've got a nutritious broth there and the yeast is dividing and dividing in this in this tank, and then they centrifuge the shit out of it.

Molly 13:05

I got to use a centrifuge in the lab.

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:06

I also got to use a centrifuge in the lab when I was reading about this I was like it's been so long since I've centrifuge I want a centrifuge and started browsing centrifuges on Amazon for no reason

Molly 13:16

or they're like inexpensive centrifuges for like, I mean, well, I feel like a lot of the stuff in that the modernist cuisine cookbooks like yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:25

that's like all sent like centrifuge, like

Molly 13:28

pea puree, and stay centrifuge P. I bet that would be really cool to see like the minerals like what do you call it when they when they come out of solution? precipitate?

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:41

Yes. precipitate? Yes. Yeah, I would love to see p precipitate. So anyway, so it's back to Germany. In the in the 1840s. ish. Yeah. So the first bread product that was widely available made with commercial yeast, rather than sourdough, apparently, was the Kaiser roll in Vienna at around the 1840s. So like, that's, that's not when Kaiser rolls originated, but it's when Kaiser rolls started being made with commercial yeast. And like to, to the average consumer, it was a revelation because it was so much like sweeter and less, you know, it didn't taste like sourdough. And like, so it was like, it was like the first glimmer of like, like, you know, modern like Wonder Bread style baked goods and people couldn't get enough of it.

Molly 14:26

Little did they know we would be saturated with it later. We'd get all excited about about sour now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:32

Yeah, so then I was like, why were people buying all these Kaiser rolls? Were they for sandwiches? Or were like, I had kind of like a like a little philosophical crisis about like, what is a role? Or roles eaten as like a staple food? Because like, I think of roles as something that you always eat like, like as a side dish or to make a sandwich with but it seemed like people are eating a lot of these Kaiser rolls and maybe just like as a staple. I don't know, I couldn't figure out the answer. So chew on that. You were asking, like, Can we get a centrifuge? Yeah. So what I what I found was like, it seems like you can get like a shitty centrifuge for like 60 bucks, but if you want like a pretty good one that's gonna be like 250 or 300.

Molly 15:14

Okay, well, let's see how the show does. Okay, over the next few months. All right, yeah, we'll see.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:19

Yeah, and let's, let's start making a list of recipes that would be best made in a centrifuge. Okay. And like to be clear, like the kind of tabletop centrifuge that I'm talking about, you have to like, put the stuff in like tiny little vials.

Molly 15:31

Yeah, no, I know. We're gonna write pipette.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:32

Yeah. Oh, you're right. We Oh, wow. If I never see a pipette again.

Molly 15:37

Did you ever get pipetman? thumb?

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:39

No, but I think we've talked about on the show before I'm talking about pipetman. I think I quit before it could get me.

Molly 15:44

Yeah. Okay. So hold on. Let's talk about you know, how to buy yeast. What commercial yeast is and the different types of it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:52

Yeah, so there's pretty much three different kinds you'll find with some with some slight variations. So there is fresh cake East which you mentioned. This is the kind that is most widely used in commercial, like big, big bread bakeries.

Molly 16:08

Oh, like, you know, like France bakery here in Seattle. Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:12

no, sorry. I was thinking more like like RTS and all bakeries. I don't know what they use it like like an industrial bread bakery.

Molly 16:19

Well, for instance, um, are you familiar with the book classic German baking by Louisa Weiss? Yes.

So you know, in that, I mean, she covers this wide range of German baking and there's a whole there's a lot of yeast baking in Germany right. I remember Louisa even before she wrote that book, always like singing the praises of cake yeast, right. So I think from her, you know, her connection to Berlin and German baking, but whenever I've tried using cake keys, it doesn't work for right. So

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:49

here's the problem with K keys. It is highly perishable.

Molly 16:53

So but but it can't be I mean, there are other things that are highly perishable and we eat them and use them all the time. Meat.

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:59

Yeah, but the thing with the thing with meat is like it's already dead, whereas yeast only works if it's alive. Right so so like UK if you're if you're meat as a couple days past date, like you can like right

Molly 17:11

it's not losing its ability to nourish you exactly where is it guess when yeast dies, it loses its ability to do its job

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:18

right so so fresh cake East like you got like a two week window pretty much what but

Molly 17:24

I bought it the day before making some sort of like yeasted pastry, and it still didn't rise properly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:31

Right. So I think I don't know why like commercial artists and bakers are so into cake ease. I think partly it's like a tradition thing and like seems like a more natural product. I think

Molly 17:42

we're gonna have a lot of listeners who, who are going to tell us about this and yeah, big ad, and they're gonna think we are

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:47

dumb. And you're not wrong. Except, like, I would be so skeptical that you could possibly tell the difference in the end product. Like I understand the importance of the journey. And like, you know, wanting to use like ingredients that smells better is all about the journey. It's all about the journey. Like the end point, like I bake bread every day, whether it takes the same result is inedible and, and I throw it into a fire,

Molly 18:11

but it's part of your process.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:13

Yeah, but it's very meditative. So what you will find for for home use in the average supermarket has two kinds of dry yeast. And there's active dry yeast, which is like the most that's the older kind mediums of when it was in terms of what it was developed and many recipes still call for it. The other kind is instant yeast which is sometimes called rapid rise or bread machine yeast. And that kind of in my opinion, like does everything active dry can do but also is better because you don't have to prove it. Okay. And proving it is when you put the yeast in water to make sure it bubbles and is still alive and starts to dissolve. The yeast is just it's just like basically finer granules. Okay, okay. Yeah, and like more and more and more recipes are written with instant yeast in mind. So you can you can mix it with the dry ingredients and it's it's more convenient and the you know, works just just as well or better.

Molly 19:06

So, you know, I find the tricky thing about this is that there are still a lot of recipes out there that do call for active dry. Yeah, so joined up keeping both around

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:15

just substitute instant yeast for active dry in any recipe. It'll work fine. Like Sam quickly, technically, you should reduce the quantity by like a quarter or a third or something, but it doesn't really matter.

Molly 19:26

Okay, yeah. Okay. All right. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 19:28

know I I'm like really like stepping out out there. Like, you know, I'm putting I'm putting my reputation on the line on this episode. Yeah, you really are man. Right? Because people people, like get in touch with me all the time. Like, you know, how dare you say the things you say about active dry yeast. And like, you can't you can't silence me. Okay. Also, like I found that, like, it's very easy to find people who claim that the best bread is always made with sourdough rather than commercial yeast with twitch I say police

Molly 19:58

police. Yeah. You know, it's in Just saying. I do think most of the Brit like the crusty breads that I buy and that I really enjoy are made with sourdough or natural leavening,

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:08

right. That's it. You're off this episode, but no, I think I like them both.

Molly 20:11

But what I wanted to say is that, you know, I think about pizza and things like that, like when I have had I've only had I think sourdough pizza once, and it was very nice. But like, I think of pizza crust as like the flavor like a commercial. Yes. We all love that. And we can agree that commercial that a pizza crust can be extremely flavorful.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:32

Yeah, but also you can make really great like rustic artisan breads with purely commercial yeast.

Molly 20:38

Okay. Do you realize what you're saying here? You are trashing by implication, our friend Sylvia?

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:46

No, no, it's like,

Molly 20:48

I say I say to ash the other day. I was like, I'm getting tired of keeping Sylvia alive. And I think soon I may have to let her die.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:55

I mean, you can you could dry her.

Molly 20:57

has so far. I've just been keeping her in the fridge and feeding her like every three weeks. And she's been fine. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:03

No, I mean, it's it doesn't have to be one or the other, is what I'm saying. Like, like sourdough bread and commercial use bread aren't the same. And like, one one isn't like, you don't have to take sides here. Okay, it can be there can be Silvia and like, what would you name a commercial yeast? I think I think fleischman fleischman. Exactly. Like Sylvia. And in fact, Sylvia and Fleischmann can work together in the same way. Yeah. Okay, this I'm so glad you brought this up. Because like, among the best spreads that I've made at home, were from Ken fork is his book flour, water, salt, yeast, which has a bunch of recipes in it for hybrid loaves that use sourdough and commercial yeast.

Molly 21:42

That makes a lot of sense to me.

Matthew Amster-Burton 21:43

So you're getting the the flavor of sourdough with like a little, just a little bit of kick to the rise from commercial yeast.

Molly 21:50

That's really smart. can forecast what a guy that book is great.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:00

I recommend if you're gonna if you're going to do some yeast baking by the little jar, rather than the packets. Yeah, because it is way way cheaper. And like if you use it more than about six times in a year, you're gonna come out ahead even though the jar is like $7 and feels expensive.

Molly 22:14

Yeah, no, totally. That makes sense. The I mean, the other thing I would say is that people feel that yeast baking is scary. Yeah, right here is my feeling about yeast making the times that it has failed me are pretty much only when I'm using sourdough. Or when I'm using cake keys. I have never had a problem with you know, active dry or instant.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:39

Yes. Do not Do not try and use it after the freshness date because like that's a pretty serious freshness date, unlike some Okay, we were talking earlier about how Molly and I both that will leave buttermilk in the fridge literally forever. Yes. But yeast it will die eventually. Okay, so yeah, yeast is not scary. If you use instead use you don't have to prove it, which feels like a big imposition sometimes,

Molly 23:05

and you keep yours in the freezer. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:06

keep mine in the freezer and lasts about a year. Oh, okay. All right. So what are some things that you like to make?

Molly 23:12

Oh, man. Okay, Marian Cunningham's yeasted waffles originally published in the breakfast book now available all over the interweb we'll link to the rest of Yeah, for sure. You start it overnight, super easy. And the next the next morning you add I think like melted butter and an egg or something. And it's really easy, so

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:31


Molly 23:33

The only thing that I that I don't love about that recipe and maybe this is just my waffle iron I have a Belgian waffle style and while that the outer edges get really wonderfully crisp with that like yeasted batter it tends to make the whole waffle crisp all the way through it doesn't stay middle whereas like you know a baking soda or baking powder 11 waffle tends to stay chewy inside

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:01

but you know you do then you put tons of syrup on it and it gets and it's off to get off again yeah exactly video

Molly 24:08

I think I don't love having a Belgian style plates in

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:11

my waffle iron it was If only there was some alternative I wait Can you but I don't know I have like interchange plates now

Molly 24:19

my childhood one day. Yeah. My childhood one had like either, you know, regular waffle irons on one side or like griddle on the other side. So my dad would make grilled cheese sandwiches in there like almost like Panini press style. Could

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:32

you like have one waffle and one griddle and we have a grilled cheese sandwich. It's like a waffle on one side and a sandwich on the other side. Never

Molly 24:39

tried that. But anyway, no mine is only Belgian waffle style and I don't like it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:45

Okay, well for we first we need to get this centrifuge and then once once we once you got that,

Molly 24:52

oh we're gonna have precipitate some urine. We're gonna and that's gonna get us closer to My having an American style offer waffle iron.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:03

Yeah, well that will sell we'll sell the uric acid to some like health nuts or something. I think that's good for you. Okay, okay. All right. Okay, so say you have tried making bread at home with commercial yeast and I've had mediocre results. I have some ideas.

Molly 25:19

Okay, talk to me about mediocre results. Okay, here's some things I can think of. Do you number one, sort of lackluster depth of flavor? Yeah. Number two, not very good crust development.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:32

Yes. That's my two. Okay, so I have ideas for both of those things. Great. So, I think so first of all, I'm talking about Lean breads. I'm lean and mean.

Molly 25:42

So we're not talking about brioche holla

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:45

right for brioche haul like like so much of the flavor and texture is coming from like the butter, eggs or other fat that you're putting in there and that you don't need to take these steps that are a bad outline, but for making like, you know, a crusty love. There are a few things I think you should always do when you're using commercial yeast. One is to use less yeast and more time, okay, because you just get more flavor development that way.

Molly 26:09

This is a lesson I learned from working alongside Brandon as we developed the dough for Delancey, it uses a tiny amount of yeast, but it ferments for, like 24 hours. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:20

Second thing is to use a pre format such as a poolish or poolish. I'm not sure how you say it.

Molly 26:25

What how's that different from a starter?

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:27

It is a type of starter. Okay, it's not a sourdough starter. But it is a type of starter in the sense that you make you sort of make a runny dough, and you and you leave it and then you mix all of that into your actual dough. And it's just a way of like further developing flavors and making sure that

Molly 26:47

it sounds like too much work to me, man.

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:48

It's not that I know, I knew you're gonna say that. When I do that.

Molly 26:52

I'm just gonna keep buying my bread, I guess. $47 of low

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:57

you could or you could come over here and I'll make yourself

Molly 27:00

well, but so if you if you're working with well, so I guess what you're doing then is you're starting, you're using a recipe that calls for a poolish or a poolish.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:09

Yes, or a biega. Okay, I think there's one other one with a fun name. But yeah, but it's it's not a big deal because it takes like two minutes to mix this thing up. And then like the next day, you form it into you build the the full dough.

Molly 27:25

That makes that makes sense.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:26

None of these things are things you're gonna do if you're not into baking bread don't bake bread.

Molly 27:31

Like my problem is I'm into baking bread very inconsistently. And, and that's not sustainable. You

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:37

know what actually is? is a good book is the artisan bread on fire in five minutes a day. Yeah. Like, that's what you should do.

Molly 27:45

No, it's it. That book is legit.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:47

And it uses less yeast and more time. And that's a big part of how it works. Okay,

Molly 27:51

yeah, going through a bread baking phase is like a part of the human lifespan, right? Like, it's like a developmental stage.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:00

Yeah, like some some and like any time it hits you, it's okay. Like, you may you may like be like putting loaves in and out of the oven at age two, or it might take you till you're 80. I've gone through it twice. Yeah, I have to Yeah, I had I had a commercial yeast phase and a sourdough phase.

Molly 28:16

I had a sourdough phase, and then a sourdough phase. And so far, both of them have ended pretty quickly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:23


Unknown Speaker 28:25

All right. Yeah. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:26

mean, cuz I don't know, I was gonna say something critical about bread.

Molly 28:30

It's a lot of work. I think I told you that I recently did. So the New York Times sometime in the last year published a guide, like, you know, sort of a comprehensive guide to making sourdough. Oh,

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:40

I thought you're gonna say the New York Times Post published The thing about the best podcasts of the year. Oh, they did. Yeah. That's which is so weird to say.

Molly 28:49

Anyway, but what I was gonna say is that I followed this recipe, it's beautifully, you know, fleshed out with pictures. It's broken down into steps. It was so labor intensive,

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:01

right. Oh, this was a recipe from the New York Times.

Molly 29:03

Yeah, it was really good. It was so labor intensive multiple times. I was like, never again. And even though it was really good, I will never ever make it again. It was ridiculous that you like fold and turn the dough every one hour for like eight hours.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:19

Oh, that's and on and on and on. And he folds and turns. It's more than necessary. But I love that process of like when you when you like lift the edge of the dough and slap it over the top.

Molly 29:29

I was just like, I know, in theory, it sounds fine. Like I work from home. I could just get up every hour and go do this, but I found it infuriating. Yeah, no, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:39

hear what you say. I guess the point of this yeast episode is don't just just like I mean, like, there's bread out there like, but it's so expensive.

Molly 29:49

Once you've baked bread, it's like writing. When you're in the middle of it. You're like,

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:55


Molly 29:56

and then when you're done with it, you're like, God, I can't wait to do that again. Oh, I was born

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:00

for that. Oh, and then the other thing that I forgot to mention is like bake your loaf in a Dutch oven. Yes. With the lid on the lid on. Yeah, that that's how you get the good crust formation

Molly 30:10

it because of the steam. Steamy, steamy steam room steam is great. Okay, so what do you recommend for those of us who maybe get a little frustrated with like trying to make a restaurant

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:21

deserting, everyone wants to make like a rustic loaf that's like, as good as you get at your favorite bakery. And maybe you can do that. But like Molly said, it's gonna take a pound of flesh to make that pound of love. So, other yeast did things that are a lot less challenging, that we like to make our like dinner rolls from when we made Parker house rolls. That was so easy, and we were shocked and how good they were.

Molly 30:45

Oh, God, I'd almost forgotten about that. They were really good.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:49

Yeah, no, or to make her

Molly 30:51

post the recipe for that again,

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:52

I think so. I don't remember what episode it was. What would we do an episode on episode on roles? And yet I still don't know what roles are. Yeah. Okay.

Molly 31:02

Okay. cinnamon rolls. Now this is something that I've made with yeast many times foolproof. Easy. What's not to love?

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:09

Yeah. And like there are non yeasted cinnamon roll recipes. But not only are the yeasted ones tastier, but they're easier because you do the whole thing the night before and then you just bake them in the morning. Totally. Yeah. And you slather on tons gallons of cream cheese frosting, flat breads, flat breads. There's this kind of simplified non recipe from like an A and like Indian flatbread recipe from from cooks illustrated I don't know if it's online but it is in a number of their books like baking illustrated. And and others that is a very simple quick like, you know, the whole thing comes together in a couple hours. yeasted flat bread dough that you then cook in a in a skillet. It's great.

Molly 31:49

Okay, that sounds great. And

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:51

like pizza dough is so easy to make. Yeah. There There are many great pizza dough recipes on serious eats mostly most, if not all of them from our friend Kenji Lopez alt. There's a pan pizza dough that I make all the time. There's like New York style pizza dough. Really? Right? There's Detroit pizza. Yeah, like use instant yeast. You're not going to have a problem.

Molly 32:12

Wow. Okay. Well, this has been a both empowering and

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:16

demoralizing. Like, I think that's usually like kind of the balance that we find by the end of the episode.

Molly 32:22

I mean, that's kind of what our friendship is, like,

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:24

empowering and demoralizing. Hey,

Molly 32:27

well, I don't know how you experience it. But I experienced it as mostly empowering me to Okay, good. The other day I was I was looking up something about any grams. And I remember that you're in enneagram. One. Yeah. Like You are such an enneagram one. And it was it's been helpful for me to know that. Oh, you because sometimes like you're so helpful,

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:48

sometimes super annoying, right? Oh, no, it's, it's exciting. Sometimes it is.

Molly 32:54

And sometimes I feel like I am getting too much from Matthew and not giving anything in return. And I think I actually am. But also, it's helpful for me to know that this is part of where you get your self worth.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:09

It's where I get my kicks

Molly 33:10

on Route 66. Yes, let's break into song.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:13

The thing is, the bill is going to come due for all of the things for you. What am

Molly 33:19

I? What am I what what kinds of things can I do for you? What skills

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:23

do you bring to the table? I mean, I guess I guess what what I'm gonna want is like, you know, like every we've just talked about is like every author, like my ultimate fantasy, sex is good and all but my ultimate fantasy is to have like a great book out there with my name on it that's on the bestseller list, and I didn't have to write it. So

Molly 33:47

it's got you're gonna have to ghost write your

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:49

ghost write this shit out of a book for me, and it's gonna be okay, great.

Molly 33:53

Oh, God, that does sound really good. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:55

right. Yeah.

Molly 33:57

Do I get part of the advance?

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:59

Okay, yeah, no, I don't care about the money. I just want I just want the satisfaction. Oh, I care about the fans. Okay, okay, I need the money. Is this book gonna be like just another memoir of like, all things about your life, but it's we're gonna exchange your data my name, because I don't know if that's gonna be believable.

Molly 34:17

Um, we'll keep working on this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:19

Speaking of another memoir with things, nothing, never no reason.

Molly 34:24

They started hearing on April 2, and my book is coming out on May 12.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:29

Yes. And sometimes it starts like, like when a book comes out, it like arrives a little early. could that happen?

Molly 34:34

I have no time where you pre ordered your book. And this is another good time for us to talk about like this is something that is baffling about the publishing industry if you're not in it, but just that so you know how books wind up on the bestseller list most

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:47

not personally. But yes, most

Molly 34:49

of the time books wind up on the bestseller list these days because of pre orders. It can also happen if like Oprah likes your book or something.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:58

So for like your I really hope Oprah like I

Molly 35:00

think Oprah cares about my book. But here's the deal, like pre orders are really important. And yeah, so dumb, but they're really important. Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:08

we tell we tell a lot of jokes and an outright lies on this show, but that's true. And so please preorder Molly's book, the fixed stars. It's a wonderful book.

Molly 35:16

Thanks. Oh, God, this got to Ernest. Let's move on. So you can find us@facebook.com slash spilled milk podcast? Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:24

What do you like to yeast?

Molly 35:26

Yeah. What do you like to yeast? And I don't know. Like, what

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:30

is yeast mean? That's the thing that kids are saying. Really? Yeah.

Molly 35:34

I thought that was easy. No, no, no,

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:36

that's, that's that's the thing that like 38 year olds are.

Molly 35:42

All right. Tell us about what kind of yeasted baked goods are you making these days? Anything that we should know about? That won't be totally demoralizing?

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:51

Yeah, I seriously, I think if you ask a kid, like, like, what do you think of Kanye? They'll be like, oh, like that old man that my dad was a crazy old man that that my parents are.

Molly 36:03

You know, I'm also curious. You notice something that I have not thought about in ages, bread machines?

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:09

I was thinking about,

Molly 36:10

like, you mentioned bread machine yeast.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:13

Yes. No. fries are actually sold that letter that name anymore. But

Molly 36:18

yeah, I'm curious to see if any of our listeners I think if you know, a lot of our listeners are about our age. So it means that bread machines probably came out when we were all like teenagers, right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:28

teens, like going to those like bread machine sleep overs?

Molly 36:32

Totally. Yeah. Where you all cram in the bread machine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:36

It's Seven Minutes in Heaven in the bread machine. Come out with a with a golden brown crust. Anyway,

Molly 36:45

God, you know, I could never do it because my skin's too fair. Anyway, but does anybody still use those things?

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:55

I think probably some people do.

Molly 36:57

Yeah. I mean, it makes so much sense. Right?

Matthew Amster-Burton 36:59

Like it does. So I think I think the thing with bread machines, I think we've talked about this before is like they're good at every part of the process, except the actual baking part is not ideal. And and I remember I know, I've mentioned this before, but like when King Arthur flour first started selling bread machines in their catalog. And this is absolutely true. They suggested that you buy the bread machine, use it for like the kneading and rising of the dough and then take it out of the bread machine and bake it in the oven.

Molly 37:28

I think I would actually yeah, it seems pretty good. Right? Because that would get rid of all the parts that I don't like. Yes. Okay. All right. What else do we want people to do? So you know, we recently went on our our annual corporate retreat.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:42

Yeah, I hope it went well.

Molly 37:43

And you can we actually haven't gotten on it yet when we're taping this episode, anyway. But you can find pictures of it for sure on Instagram, because

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:52

it's coming along and will force us to Instagram. Yeah.

Molly 37:54

What else do we want people to do?

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:57

Oh, that's at spilled milk podcast on Instagram. Yeah. I don't think we really have the power to make people do anything. Like we already asked him to preorder your book and like, I think that's enough. I think that's more you're already listening to the show. And we can't really ask more than that, except for pre ordering Molly's book, and also pre ordering the book that Molly's gonna write and put my name on.

Molly 38:17

Yeah, our producer is Abby circuit tele.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:20

And until next time, thank you for listening to spilled milk. stay active, stay dry. Or

Unknown Speaker 38:28

what about

Molly 38:30

either of those is fine.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:31

Yeah. Eisenberg and i Matthew Amster-Burton.

Unknown Speaker 38:40

Maybe I'll do it anyway.

Matthew Amster-Burton 38:42

Yeah, I mean, it's it's your mom. She'll still love you promptly.