Yeast can activate in a metal bowl, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. Yeast is a microorganism that ferments and produces carbon dioxide gas when it consumes sugars.
This process is crucial for leavening bread and other baked goods. When activating yeast, you typically mix it with warm water and a small amount of sugar to provide the yeast with a food source.
Can I Let My Bread Dough Rise In The Mixer Bowl?
It is fine to use a stainless-steel bowl. You should avoid aluminum (and copper, if someone makes such a mixer) because they’re reactive, especially if you’re making sourdough. It is very sensitive to metal ions when it comes to yeast.
When a metal bowl sits in a 70°F room, it is 70°F (at least if it has been sitting there for a while). It’s also 70°F in any other bowl sitting in the same room, whether it’s plastic, glass, ceramic, or anything else. There is no difference in temperature between them.
You can tell that the metal bowl feels cooler when you touch it than the plastic bowl. Your finger isn’t 70°F, and metal transfers body heat away faster than plastic (for instance).
Regardless of the dough’s temperature, it won’t matter because it won’t lose heat. Dough does not generate much heat by itself.
Using a metal bowl would help your dough cool more quickly if it started at above room temperature. You would be better off keeping it in a warm place if you wanted to prevent it from cooling.
How I Use A Stainless-Steel Bowl To Let Dough Rise
When I use my mixer bowl, I always use stainless steel. Moisture and warmth are the keys, in my experience. To any bread recipe I prepare, I add the following steps:
- When my yeast is blooming, I prewarm the mixer bowl in the oven for a few minutes.
- To make sure the dough and the bowl are both coated with oil, I turn the dough out after I have kneaded it. I then wipe the bowl out, add oil, and coat the dough.
- The bowl and pan of hot water were then placed in the oven.
- Open the oven door and set the oven to “warm.” You now have a lovely, moist womb in which the dough can rise.
I’ve never had a problem with this method. Try it 🙂
Tips for Yeast Doughs
Making things with yeast can be frightening for a lot of people. There will be moments when they’re scary, but they’ll also be times when they’ll be very rewarding. Everyone needs to know the following tips about yeast dough:
- The use of shortening can result in lighter, fluffier breads, but the taste of butter is unsurpassed. It’s almost always better to go with butter.
- The dough will be soft if you brush it with butter; it will be crispy if you brush it with olive oil.
- It is important not to add too much flour to a soft dough when it rises the first time. You can always add more flour, but once the flour is in the dough, you can’t take it out. Err on the side of not adding enough flour rather than adding too much.
- When you use your hands to knead, you use more flour than if you use a Bosch or Kitchenaid.
- Patience is key. There is a long waiting period for yeast breads.
- Make sure the dough is rising in a metal or glass bowl. Heat is retained better in them than in plastic bowls, and the batter will rise more quickly.
- Before adding the dough, make sure your bowl is warm by running it under some hot water (and then drying it, then spraying it with nonstick cooking spray for easy cleanup).
- Salt kills yeast, sugar feeds it. Adding yeast to other ingredients after it dissolves and rises activates it enough to keep the salt from killing it. You can add sugar to your yeast if it’s not bubbling.
- Keeping your kitchen warmer than usual is a good idea. You can extend the life of your yeast by keeping it in the freezer.
- You’ll want to make sure the liquid you use to dissolve the yeast is warm enough (between 100-115) to allow the yeast to grow, but not too hot, since that will kill the yeast.
- The temperature should be high enough to take a hot shower, but not so hot that you cannot wash your hair or face.
- Even if you don’t have a bread machine, use bread machine yeast (such as Red Star brand). It’s more forgiving and temperamental.
Does The Material Of A Bowl Affect Yeast Growth?
The answer is yes, but not at that stage. Reconstitution of the yeast is not important but fermenting in a reactive metal bowl (non-stainless) is not recommended.
The short answer is no, in most kitchen scenarios.
The longer, more accurate (but useless) answer is: Yes, but only if you take it too far. For example, a silver bowl or a bowl made of microban plastic have antimicrobial properties.
If a small amount of bamboo contacts yeast, it can kill it. Your yeast’s day (and anyone who eats anything from that bowl) will really be ruined by a bowl made of potassium cyanide and an inert bonding agent.
If you keep your mixer bowl in a dry, warm place, your dough will rise faster if you let it rise in it. In general, yeast does not mind the material of your bowl as long as it is not poisonous.