My dad was the one who initially suggested going into pastry shops and bread stores to ask where they get their yeast. My mom didn’t completely agree with the tactic, but, well, who else would know better where to get bread yeast than the bread makers? The first bakery said to go to the Mercado to find yeast. It took us a while to do it, but finally my mom and I went on an adventure a few weeks ago when we were craving cinnamon rolls to the Mercado, where we asked around about the yeast. And while I believe fully that there is yeast somewhere in the big maze of tourist knick knacks, basic daily essentials, and mariscos food shops, it’s not the easiest to find.
So onward we went. Since we were going to a class in Embajadoras, my mom and I headed that way and considered the yeast problem on the way, peering into every little bakery that crossed our path in the hope that maybe, just maybe there would be yeast. But there wasn’t. When we arrived at the school where our class was, we realized that we were about 15 minutes early, so we opted to do some wandering and asking in Embajadoras to continue the Mission to Find Yeast. The first bakery we went into didn’t have yeast, but he directed us to another store just a little ways up the street who did have yeast! This was a breakthrough.
Since directions aren’t particularly clear down on the street level of Guanajuato (or arguably even with a map), my mom and I weren’t sure if we’d even find the place with the yeast, let alone the yeast itself. But, we did, and there was yeast! But, it was cake yeast… and neither my mom nor I were sure how to use it. Because the other yeast that the baker had contained some other ingredients we didn’t want, we had to go with the cake yeast in the end.
It turned out well in the end, and although I personally don’t like the smell of the stuff (my parents say it just smells like yeast to them), I’ve never had a better experience with bread-y, yeast-y flavor and bread rising power. Definitely recommended. And, for those of you who are concerned that’s it’s complicated, it’s not. Cut off some yeast, put it in a bowl, mash the sugar in with a fork, add a bit of water to loosen things up (a teaspoon max), and then let it sit until it bubbles up. Done. Add to recipe.
But back to the point. The yeast that we found was in the Embajadoras neighborhood of Guanajuato, which isn’t too far from the Centro. It’s a nice area, quite popular, and very safe. The link below takes you to a street view facing the shop we went into (you can see some bread on the right):
There are a lot of people that ask if there’s a tangible, hand-held map of Guanajuato that they could use to navigate the city, and the truth is that although there might be one somewhere, I haven’t had any success yet. And in reality, even Google Maps is helpful only until a certain point. If you visit the city, take some time to study the map and the area around where you’re staying, and maybe take out a GPS or your smartphone (if you have one) to explore and analyze the streets a bit. It’s a confusing city, but it can be managed (if you work in small tidbits around where you live and work outward from there). Just a side note. 🙂