A Sneak Peek at the Red Star Yeast Test Kitchen!

This is Roberto, one of the luckiest people I have ever met. He and Mark, who run the test kitchen at Red Star Yeast, have what I consider a dream job. They work in this amazing kitchen to come up with all kinds of yeasty treats. The equipment is top notch, the ingredients limitless and the space is massive. I have kitchen envy in a big way. No wonder they are such fantastically nice guys. They were kind enough to invite Jeff and me into their kitchen to play with them. We baked all kinds of breads from our books and did presentations to the rest of the Red Star team.

Now this is what I call a wall oven. Look at all those oven racks. Image how much bread we could all bake if Bongard only made a home version.

The largest pizza peel on planet earth.

Mark resting our brioche buns in his proof box, which creates a warm, humid environment. We civilians can recreate such a box by placing a pan of warm water in a turned off oven. This can be used to slightly speed up the resting time. Mini Brioche Recipe Here!

The brioche was very happy…

after a time in the proof box.

Here is Jeff prepping for our presentations.

more prep and a little yeast advice from Bill, who was our gracious host.

One of the presentations we did with the Red Star Yeast team. I do believe Jeff just flung a pizza crust over his head?

Here is a Danish Braid I made for them to snack on. Danish Braid Recipe here!

Here we are after a happy day of baking. Thank you to John, Kelly, Roberto, Mark and Bill for such a tremendous trip to Milwaukee to bake in the Red Star Yeast kitchens.

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38 thoughts on “A Sneak Peek at the Red Star Yeast Test Kitchen!

    • Ria: This is a traditional Mexican sweet bread (pan dulce); this one I believe is called La Concha (like a seashell, a conch shell). It’s a lightly sweetened dough and then frosted. I’ve been meaning to post about these because they slightly remind me of sweet breads I had in Chile with relatives…

      Roberto, can you send a recipe my way and I’ll adapt it? Jeff

      • I’ve been looking for the roti boy bun recipe in a long time. I tasted it at a local coffee shop and it was devine. Would love to know if it’s easy to prepare. :)

        P.S. today I baked baguette for breakfast and pizza for dinner from the basket of fresh dough in my fridge. DH said he would never dream of such a rich life :p

        Thank you.

      • Hi Rose,

        Can you describe the “roti boy bun” to me? My husband’s family makes roti, but they are a flat bread, so I am having a hard time visualizing it as a bun.

        So glad you are enjoying all the bread!

        Thanks! Zoë

  1. Jeff, what kind of sweet breads from Chile did you make. I also have relatives in Chile and would like to make some. Thanks. Your books and blog are great thank you.

  2. Wow!
    Love the gigantic peel… now only if I had that and an oven to bake that size pizza in I would be set for when my large extended family comes over!

  3. Henry: Can’t remember the specifics, oh no! But the tradition is not to make it so sweet, that’s for sure. So I’m betting that our two enriched doughs (Brioche and Challah), with only 1/2 cup of honey as the sweetener for four 1-lb loaves, might be a decent stand-in for whatever these Pan Dulces are based upon. Jeff

  4. Purchased your second book in which you note your web site has information on purchasing equipment. Where is that located on the site?

    • Hi Randall,

      What kind of equipment are you looking for. On the lefthand side of the page is an Amazon store with lots of the equipment we recommend. We can also lead you to particular posts about equipment.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Hi Jeff and Zoe,

    I envy you guys, getting to bake there!

    Buckwheat bread recipe in HB5, is there an error in the amount of water? The recipe says “add the remaining 3 1/2 cups of water,” but the recipe says 4 1/2 cups of water at the end.

    • Judy: No, it’s right– start with a total of 4 1/2 cups water. Then use the first 1 cup to soak the groats (don’t drain– as it says, “include the soaking water”). Add that in the remaining 3 1/2 cups water as written in Step 3. Jeff

    • Hi Judy,

      The ingredients lists 4 1/2 cups of water.

      Step 1. has you soak in 1 cup water.

      Step 3. has you add 3 1/2 cups more water.

      That equals the 4 1/2 cups of water call for.

      Hope that helps! Zoë

  6. The picture of the Danish Braid inspired me to make it with whole wheat brioche. Thanks so much. It was so good and well received by my family that your Cinnamon Swirl Bread and Honey Pecan Sticky buns soon followed.
    So much for restraint!

    • Hi Brian,

      The braid can be made with any of the doughs, even for savory fillings. So glad you gave it a try!

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. HI!
    I have a question about measurements for the master recipe. I am going to Europe for 2 months and would love to make bread there. Do you happen to know what the measurements would be equivalent to in European terms?
    Thank you SO much!!

  8. Have you looked at adapting the five minutes a day technique to use prepared low-carb baking mixes? I’m on a restricted carbohydrate diet…

    Thanks

    • Opher: Our focus is to get people using natural ingredients, from scratch. If you’re looking for a lower-carb version of our stuff, try the recipes, esp the 100% whole grain ones, from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

      We can’t print your link or other promotional material for mixes, etc. See our policy on that on our FAQs page (“I posted a comment…”). Jeff

  9. Hi. I have enjoyed baking your artisan bread recipes for a year now and love them. I have one question: can any and all recipes be allowed to rest longer (say, overnight) than the recommended rest time in the directions? Thanks so much.

    • Hi Kristina,

      Are you referring to the initial rise or the rest before baking? Are you wanting to do the overnight refrigerator rise? Give us more details about the book you are working from. Are you working with the full amount of yeast?

      Thanks, Zoë

  10. Thanks for your response Jeff!
    I would love to buy that book for my mom but she is french and cannot read english. Oh well! Maybe I could try to translate the measurements and give her that. Let us know if you ever publish it in french! Thanks.

  11. Hi Zoe,

    I ran for my book after I read your post, with a big “OOOOHHHH!”

    I think all my test batches of cornbread and muffins have gotten me thinking along non-bread focus!

    What I did was pick up the one cup from the buckwheat flour and read that as water. I get into problems when I try to do 1/2 batches!!

    My bad. Thanks for pointing this out.

    I do have another question and comment. Can I bake the gluteen free pizza crust blind? I want to use up my gluten free flours and it did make a good pizza. I want to give some crusts to a friend, too.
    Also, can I bake the gluten free breads in a loaf pan? I figure they didn’t rise very much on the stone, and this might give it some height.

    My comment is that I love seeing your smiling faces looking back at me whenever I take your HB5 book out to bake! It starts off my baking session in a great mood.

    You guys are welcome to come by someday for cranberry orange muffins and coffee.

    Thanks,

    Judy

    • Hi Judy,

      Glad we figured it out!

      Yes, you can bake the crust blind and the g-f dough can be done in a loaf pan as well as free form.

      Thanks, Zoë

  12. Thanks, Zoe. I am sorry about that.

    After reading your post, I put together a half batch of the gluten free olive oil loaf. I wrote out the ingredient list and 1/2 batch amounts on a separate sheet of paper this time. I used the same amount of guar gum instead of xanathan gum.

    However, I put in 1 TBSP cider vinegar instead of 1 tsp cider vinegar. OOPs.

    The batter was really runny, like pancake batter, and I had to add (slowly) 1/4 cup brown rice flour to thicken it up.

    Is this supposed to be a thick batter, and not a dough, that will thicken up under overnight refrigeration?

    Did I use the “right” flour to thicken it up, or should I have used cornstarch?

    Our baking group did some gluten free awhile back but I forgot. I do remember that the pizza we made with the dough was GREAT!

    Thanks SO MUCH (and my g-f friend Lisa thanks you also),

    Judy

    • Hi Judy,

      This dough is actually a softer dough than the g-f crusty boule. You can tighten it up slightly with the rice flour, or a combination of the rice and cornstarch.

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. Zoe, I was able to find a way to use the loose consistency to my advantage. I made 3 flatbreads (for mini pizza crusts) and 2 mini loaves from 1/2 batch.

    Thanks so much!!!

    Judy

  14. I worked at Red Star as a temp one summer, and you’re so right–they’re lovely folks to work for & with. They kept me in yeast & recipes all summer long!

  15. I found some old “recipes of all nations” from red star yeast co. They are from different countries, written in english and the nations its from. Would the company be interested in this memoribalia. They were from my aunt. Thanks

  16. Hello! I’ve been following your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from
    New Caney Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

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