Respiration is a biological process that is fundamental to any living things. It is the process by which energy is made, so that all the chemical reactions can occur in your body.
Respiration is the reaction between glucose (your food) and oxygen in the air you breathe, to produce carbon dioxide and water (waste products) and the all important ENERGY!
We can see this process occurring in yeast when we make bread or pizza dough.
Note – respiration in yeast is anaerobic respiration
Pizza dough ingredients
500g Strong White Flour (I used Canadian)
7g Yeast (Fast)
1tbsp caster sugar
330ml Luke warm water
1 tsp salt
1tbsp olive oil
How to make pizza dough
- Mix the yeast, sugar and water in a jug and put to one side.
- Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl and add a pinch of salt.
- Gradually add the water until a nice elastic dough is formed.
- Knead the dough well, strong flour will take a lot of effort to get nice and elastic, so work it hard.
Leave it somewhere warm, we left ours in the airing cupboard for about an hour. Look how much it increases in size.
Once risen, knead the air out of the dough again and split it up to make your pizzas.
What is Yeast?
Yeast is a living single celled organism commonly used in baking. Yeast is a type of leavener ( baking soda and baking powder can also be used as leaveners ). Yeast converts sugar and starch ( from the sugar and flour ) into carbon dioxide and alcohol. The carbon dioxide gas makes the dough rise. Yeast works best in a warm, moist environment, which is why you leave the dough somewhere warm to rise.
More Yeast Experiments
Did you know you can use the power of yeast to blow up a balloon. First blow up the balloon and let the air out. Pour a packet of yeast, warm water and a tablespoon of sugar into a small bottle and quickly pop the balloon on top. Give the mixture a shake and you should find the balloon blows up thanks to the carbon dioxide gas produced by the yeast.