Passionate bakers agree: if you want to make the best dough, you can’t beat fresh yeast. And L’Hirondelle’s fresh yeast can take your breads, brioches and buns to a whole new level. Read on to find out more about this French classic.
L’Hirondelle yeast is manufactured by Lesaffre, a true French institution. Lesaffre is based in Marcq-en-Barœul, a suburb of the northern city of Lille. The company was founded in 1853 by Louis Lesaffre, who co-founded the famous Bonduelle tinned food company. The L’Hirondelle brand with its iconic blue bird logo (hirondelle is French for swallow) was created in 1895. It’s still a best-seller among amateur and professional bakers, both in France and abroad.
Lesaffre’s pioneering role in yeast production is founded in the work of a great French innovator, Louis Pasteur. Pasteur was working at the University of Lille when he discovered the role yeast plays in fermentation, a fundamental process for the production of bread, wine and beer. This prompted Louis Lesaffre to develop a method of extracting fresh yeast from the traditional sourdough starter bakers used for making bread. By the 1870s, the Lesaffre company was able to produce and sell yeast on an industrial scale, changing the lives of bakers everywhere.
Performance at home
What makes L’Hirondelle so special? This slow-acting yeast is a global favourite because it’s versatile. Whether your dough is sweet, acidic or in-between, L’Hirondelle delivers the same outstanding performance. This makes it a favourite with professional bakers, who prize consistency. But it’s also a great choice for the many people who enjoy baking at home. Of course, some love their old-fashioned sourdough starters, which require considerable time, care and attention. But it can’t be denied that fresh yeast is a far easier and more convenient option.
Using fresh yeast is simple. All you need to do is stir it together with warm water and a little sugar and wait for it to start foaming. Then you can mix it into your dough and let it work its magic! Your recipe should tell you how much to use, but this article provides a handy set of guidelines.
Because L’Hirondelle fresh yeast is so versatile, you can use it in a wide range of recipes. Maybe you want to make a classic French brioche, one you can use for both sweet and savoury dishes. Maybe you have a sweet tooth, and you’d like to try your hand at pain au chocolat. Or maybe your mind is elsewhere in Europe: fresh yeast is key to a really great pizza dough, after all.
Whatever your plans, L’Hirondelle’s fresh yeast is easy to use and easy to keep. Each individually wrapped block lasts 28 days from the date of manufacture at fridge temperatures (between 1 and 4ºC). The yeast is compressed, which keeps contact with the air to a minimum and helps prolong freshness. Fresh yeast is also suitable for freezing at home for up to 3 months.
If all this sounds tempting, you can buy L’Hirondelle fresh yeast from us here at BonneBouffe in 12 mini-blocks of 42 grams each. Happy baking!