Baking bread is something I've always loved. Maybe I haven't been the greatest baker but it's a great way to take a break when working at home. Stop. Punch some dough. Go back to work.
I once prepared a huge whack of focaccia for a friend's wedding.
As I was proofing the yeast for the umpteenth batch, I noticed a hideous smell coming from the yeast. It stunk. Had this happened in the previous batches? I hadn't noticed.
I called the 1-800 number and asked what to do? I was in the middle of making a ton of bread and now my yeast smelt like an old tennis shoe! The 1-800 lady started talking about the osmotic properties of yeast. What?!
Okay, I have some chemistry in my background and I know the meaning of osmotic properties of yeast.*
*Put quick rising yeast in water and the yeast cells become waterlogged, explode and die. The cell walls are delicate and need flour in order to shore them up. No, this is not scientific explanation of osmosis but this is all you need to know for yeast. Quick rising yeast needs flour.
But that had nothing to do with stinky sock smell emitting from my bubbling live yeast.
There was no explanation and the 1-800 lady assured me that the bread would be fine after I baked it. It was. The smell had been baked right out of the yeast.
She may not have had an explanation but I know.
It was yeast farts ..
... and dead yeast doesn't fart.