Someone once called yeast “the little dudes working so hard for us to have bread.” Well, there is a lot of truth in that because they also make it possible for puff puff to exist.
Except you are trying to make chin-chin or buns, your batter for puff puff should have yeast. It’s what gives this delicious snack its fluffy look and feel, but the effect of too much yeast in puff puff can be unpleasant.
Note, though, that we are talking about baking yeast. This leavening agent causes the dough to expand, making it lighter and softer.
If you have ever wondered about how yeast was discovered in the making of bread, it will interest you to know that the earliest definite record was traced to ancient Egypt. As with many discoveries, this was stumbled upon.
We believe that the flour and water mixture was likely left for longer than usual on a warm day such that yeasts that naturally occur in contaminants caused the dough to ferment before baking.
Due to advancements in microbiology, we now have yeasts in dry form that can be used in various ways, including baking. But they require specific measurements. So let’s talk about the effect of too much yeast in puff puff.
Effects of Too Much Yeast in Puff Puff
If you have ever tried making puff puff and it turned out flat, too crunchy with little or no fluff, you likely used too much yeast.
Some say, “add a lot of yeast so the puff puff will be plenty.” Unfortunately, that is advice that will potentially cause trouble for you.
Amongst many likely eventualities, your puff puff will lose its taste because it will ferment faster and expand your dough so much that every other ingredient struggles to live. Sugar is digested and exhausted more quickly.
Usually, yeast in dough causes the production of ethanol and gas. With too much yeast, this production increases rapidly, creating a gassy dough that is too hard to work with.
Your dough goes flat, which gives the excessively crunchy ball you get, that’s if it forms a ball at all.
Another thing is that the yeast smell takes over. You won’t be getting any pleasant smell while frying your puff puff. Also, the taste changes. It most likely will taste like alcohol.
The overall quality of your puff puff is reduced: taste, smell, look, and feel.
Best Quantity of Yeast for Puff Puff
2% of the flour you use is the best quantity of yeast for your puff puff, so you don’t have to experience the dire effect of too much yeast in puff puff.
So for 1kg of flour, 20g of yeast is perfect.
Best Recipe to Make Puff Puff with Yeast
Recipe to Make Puff Puff with YeastDifficulty: Medium
To get the best out of your puff puff, avoid unnecessary additions. Keep it simple. Below is the best recipe to make a puff puff with yeast.
1kg of flour
250g of sugar
20g of active, dry yeast
1½ tsp of salt
- Mix all your dry ingredients first. Sieve your all-purpose flour into a deep bowl, and add your salt, ground nutmeg, and sugar. Mix with your hand to evenly distribute the ingredients.
- Dissolve your active yeast in warm water to make a watery mixture, then leave it to proof for about 5 minutes. You will notice it bubbling, indicating that the yeast is alive and well.
- Add the yeast mixture to the other dry ingredients and mix diligently with your hand.
- Add warm water, little by little, in small quantities to form a batter. The batter should neither be too runny nor too thick.
- Cover the bowl with a cling film. If you can’t find a cling film, you can improvise with a clean polythene bag.
- Place the bowl in a warm place and leave it to rise. This should take about 45mins to 1 hour. Do not leave it for longer. If you do, you are giving the yeast more time to act on the batter, resulting in an overly crunchy ball. You could also experience something similar to the earlier mentioned effect of too much yeast on puff puff.
- When the dough has doubled in size, it’s ready for frying. Heat a generous quantity of vegetable oil in a frying pan.
- Scoop your batter in small bits into the heated oil. The easiest way to do this is to use a scoop or batter dispenser.
- Allow to fry until all sides are golden brown. Then take them out, and they are ready to be served.
- As with most African finger foods, puff puff is to be deep fried. The fact that it floats to the top doesn’t mean you can use little oil. If you do, it will soak it up.
Is Yeast Compulsory in Puff Puff?
Asking if yeast is compulsory in puff puff is like asking if electricity is essential for electronics to function. The answer is nothing but yes.
Without yeast, your batter won’t rise. You will end up with big hard balls equivalent to buns or oversized chin-chin.
So, to get that crispy finish with a soft, fluffy interior, yeast is a must in your DIY puff puff.
How Long Does It Take for Yeast to Puff Up?
To proof your yeast, mix it with warm water and wait till it becomes bubbly. This should take about 5 to 7 minutes.
Mixed into the dough, it will take about 45 minutes for its action to be complete, optimally. At most, one hour.
What Do You Do When Puff Puffs Don’t Rise
When your puff puff doesn’t rise, like it turns out flat, you are likely experiencing the effect of too much yeast in puff puff, too much water in the batter, or bad/inactive yeast.
If you find the result awful, you can use the batter for something else, something chapati-like that you can feel with mixed veggies and minced proteins. Some people just discard it.
If it’s the dough not rising, try to add more yeast and less salt. You can also try leaving it for a while longer, depending on the kind of yeast you use.
Yeast loves a warm climate, so turning up the temperatures of wherever you leave it to rise might also help. To do this, you can boil water, put it in a bowl, then place the container with the dough and the hot water in an enclosed place.
Here you will find recipes for dishes that are both familiar and exotic, all designed to tantalize your taste buds and inspire your inner chef. So whether you’re an experienced cook or just starting out, we hope you will find something to excite your palate.