All Those Little Yeasties!
March 5, 2012 in Uncategorized
I’m so excited to write this post for you guys! I, as well as many of the other readers on my site, have a strange obsession with making bread. We will spend hours, from the planning to the rising to the baking, to get the perfect loaf of bread. While many techniques, opinions, and palates vary, one thing always remains constant: we all depend on yeast. The yeast we use, whether it be wild (as in your sourdough) or commercial ( as in your sandwich breads), is the hinge that opens all doors to the land of bread that we all so actively pursue.
Though we so heavily depend on it (even if you don’t make your own bread), it is rare that you actually get the chance to see the little guys. The brown-ish stuff that you add to your recipes is yeast, but that’s not what it really looks like. Yeast in its wild form is a tiny fungi with the name Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is usually 20-30 micrometers (0.02-0.03 mm) in diameter, and is possible to see only when highly magnified. For most people, this kind of machinery and opportunity is impossible to get a hold of.
However, I have the amazing opportunity of studying Biology at Cal Poly, and I am frequently in contact with these kinds of tools! I am in a microbiology class right now, and today we looked at the yeast that makes all of our lives so much better :)
It is not much to look at, and the picture I took is through the microscope lens and therefore pretty crappy. I also happened to cut off half of the little guy. BUT! You can all tell your friends that you have now actually seen the little beasties that put all those air bubbles in your bread. And after all the hoopla, here’s the horrible picture:
The yeast itself is the bubble-looking thing at the left of the picture. Everything else is just noise in the picture from going through so many lenses. Sorry If I disappointed you, but I was so excited! And I thought I got a better picture, but I didn’t double-check. It’s very difficult to get any shots through the scope!
Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed seeing this, because I definitely did :)
Do you have any cool information to share? I love learning things that I can share with others. It’s one thing I love about being a bio major – almost everyone is interested in how the world works!
Look for a tutorial on Reviving Your Starter coming up soon. I’m unfortunately working on reviving mine just now… See you later!