The Fresh Loaf

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Active Yeast vs. Instant Yeast

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CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Active Yeast vs. Instant Yeast

The bread bible points out instant yeast as having a greater concentration of live yeast than the active.  Other than that is there any reason to use one as opposed to the other?

sphealey's picture
sphealey

My favourite soapbox topic!

In my opinion, the yeast industry in North America is shooting itself in the foot by having too many types of yeast and by different manufacturers not using the same names (or using the same names for different things).

In the brand I buy there is:

Cake (moist) - the traditional live yeast; needs to be dissolved in water

Active dry - the traditional dry yeast; needs to be dissolved usually with a bit of sugar

Instant - contains a bit of yeast enhancer (citric acid, maybe some other stuff?) and is possibly more concentrated than active dry; does not need to be dissolved

Bread Machine - exactly the same as instant in a different package

Rapid Rise - larger amount of yeast enhancers and other packaging changes to the granules. Does not have to be dissolved. Works very fast and is intended for straight doughs that you want to complete within an hour or so. Generally not used by artisan bakers who seek slower, not faster, rise.

The confusing part is that some manufacturers reverse the meaning of "instant" and "rapid rise", and vary on which they call "bread machine". Thus hurting the entire industry IMHO.

sPh

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I agree!! Labeling is confusing..I have a jar..label says "Bread Machine Yeast also ideal for all Rapid Rise recipes". A newbie baker sees the label and according to your definitions might think Bread Machine = Instant (in a different package) = Rapid Rise. I'm feeling safe with SAF and sourdough!

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

as a retired pro baker the only type of yeast we used is cake. in bread doughs it DOES NOT neet to be disolved we just crumbled it into the floue which is what i still do in my home today.

even in sweet bun dough we crumbled it into the flour. the only time we put it into the water was for danish and other very soft doughs

Cedarglen's picture
Cedarglen

Yup!  I just wish that I knew of a source for reliably fresh cake yeast.  I too would prefer to use it, but unless you have a personal 'in' with a local baker, obtaining fresh cake yeast is just not an option for most home bakers.  Am I jealous?  Yup!  Otherwise, you make excellent points.  From my own, short-lived professional experience, some 40+ years ago, those one pound brcks of cake yeast go into the 125# batch of bread almost whole.  -C. 

dima1's picture
dima1

how do i sudsitute ady with instant yeast

ejm's picture
ejm

In ARTISAN BAKING ACROSS AMERICA, Maggie Glezer says


for every 150gm (5.3oz, 1 cup) of flour in the recipe to use either of:


3 gm compressed fresh yeast (0.1 oz, 1/6 cake)
2 gm active dry yeast (0.05oz, 1/2 tsp)
1 gm instant active dry yeast (0.04oz, 3/8 tsp)


Also see the following chart:


http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/01/12/instant-yeast/#yeast-conversions


Personally, I use active dry measure for measure in place of instant yeast called for in a recipe and scant measures of active dry if the recipe calls active dry yeast.


-Elizabeth


 


edit: Instant yeast can be added directly to the dry ingredients. Active dry yeast has to be rehydrated first. (Use water that is no hotter than what you can comfortably put on the back of your wrist. If the water temperature is higher than 49C(120F), the yeast will start to die.)

Cedarglen's picture
Cedarglen

Um.  I guess those conversion tables are rough guidelines more than anything else.  Yes, the different types of yeast behave differently, but several other factors can also affect yeast's performance.  Consider fluid, dough and environmental temperatures, age of yeast, age of flour, degree of hydration, degree of mixing/kneading and available 'food' for t he yeast - as well as your own experience.  Use the guidelines as such, but experiment a bit.  If you are able to control most of the other variables, trust your results.  Frankly, short of using a bread machine or needing to package dry ingredients well in advance of mixing, why bother changing yeast types.  Active Dry yeast has been t he gold standard for years and attentive bakers know how it should behave.  Unless there is some compelling reason to change yeast types, why do so?  Stick with what you know,  store it properly and please, No little foil packets!  If at the end of the year (or the X-date) you toss 25% of your 4 Oz. jar, so what?  You are still ahead of the game and you'v been using consistent yeast for that entire period.  Happy baking. -C.  

toddlorensinclair's picture
toddlorensinclair

use 25% less instant yeast when substituting for active dry.

johnsankey's picture
johnsankey

Here in Canada, Fleishmanns labels their quick-acting yeast "quick acting" when in packets, "bread machine" when in jars, and "instant" when in bulk packs! They even admit on their website that they are all the same thing :-(


 


That's why I only use yeasts labelled "active dried" here - no matter what the brand, I find them consistent with each other. Except in emergencies, I get mine bulk from a health food store - much cheaper than in glass bottles, and I find it keeps better too since the package can be rolled down tight.


 


John


 

Cedarglen's picture
Cedarglen

Spot-on John, and exactly the point that I and others are trying to make in this endless soapbox debate.  ADY is the way to go.  Idle thought:  rather than rolling down the bag's top, you might transfer the bulk contents to your own glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  I think I'd have some reservations about buying bulk yeast from an open container.  I wold not know how long it has been opened or how it has been stored, etc.  Unless one is producing industrial quantities of yeasted doughs, the cost of the yeast used is +/- insignificant.  And, your mileage may vary.  -C.

Cedarglen's picture
Cedarglen

I must agree with t he original poster and the replies:  Too many names and frankly, too many types.  Some idle thoughts:

Fresh Cake Yeast: has always been my favorite.  Sadly, it is virtually impossible to find at retail and, as a fresh product it does not store well.  A few times I've bought a 1 pound brick and divided it for frozen storage, but with mixed results.  I wish that  it was more easily available, but maybe I still believe in Santa Claus.

Active Dry Yeast: As noted, t his is he gold standard for home  bakers.  It must be dissolved in warm water with some 'food', but so what.  My advice is to select a brand that is easily available to you, buy it in 4 oz. jars and store in the freezer.  I use Red Star brand simply because I know that I can find it.  I recently discovered an unopened jar that had expired FIVE years ago.  I tried it.  It proofed well and I'd be hard pressed to fine any fault with the expired yeast.  (Yes, I usually use in-date yeast!)  This is my go-to for virtually all yeast needs.  Jars and freezer storage, please.  No foil packets for me, ever!

Instant/Rapid Rise/Bread Machine Yeast: I understand what this stuff is, but the original poster got it quite right in that there is n o inter-brand consistency.  In some cases, adding the words "Bread Machine" to the label commands a higher price, which I f ind a bit silly.  While a yeast that can be added to the dry ingredients is necessary for most bread machines, I think that is   legitimate use for this product.  It certainly can be used in place of Active Dry for hand-made doughs, but why stock two types.  I don't own a bread machine, other than the ten little ones that I was born with, so I don't bother with  this yeast style.  If you are a bread machine user, it is probably essential, so apply the noted above (jars, not packets, keep frozen a stick with the same brand etc.)  and over time, learn how the  yeast behaves with your own bread making routines.  Yes, this 'modern' yeast preparation will or can eliminate the re-hydration and proofing step, but so what? 

Active dry yeast seems to be a consistent product across the several brands, where this instant/bread machine/rapid rise and now even "Pizza Yeast" stuff is far too variable.  I'll stick with the go-to know performance yeast every time. -C. 

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

It looks more complicated than I thought. Thanks.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Don't stress about yeast types; they all pretty much work for home baking. Just avoid the "rapid rise"; otherwise use whatever looks good. I use Fleishman's Bread Machine myself.

sPh

browndog's picture
browndog

Ditto not to worry, CountryBoy. It's good to know the technicalities but, I've been using active dry yeast purchased bulk from the co-op for years, and rising is generally the least of my concerns- it all works, instant and active dry are the easiest to store and use, and the discernible differences to me as a home baker are non-existent.

RiverWalker's picture
RiverWalker

Do you proof your yeast every time? or mix it into the flour?  I get active dry yeast from a bulk whole foods type store,  and I've done both, and I am not sure if its safer/more reliable/ect to proof it, or if it really should be, or if thats unneccessary.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

unless you think it may be too old and you want to check whether the yeast are still alive.


I've been using up a 2 lb bag of active dry, and I do take the precaution of adding it with the liquid to make sure that it gets hydrated, but I'm not even sure that is necessary.  I certainly don't wait around to make sure it's working--it's extremely reliable. 


My next bag of bulk yeast is SAF instant, and I'm told it's better to add that with the dry ingredients (can't remember the reasoning, though ;o).  I'm eager to use it and see if there's any difference (not expecting much to be different). 

ejm's picture
ejm

I don't actually proof active dry yeast every time but I do rehydrate it before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. However, my husband just throws dry active dry yeast into the flour when he makes bread. It doesn't seem to make any difference.


I suspect it's only necessary to proof the yeast first if there is any doubt at all about its viability.


-Elizabeth


 

Sleepyg's picture
Sleepyg

So using a bread machine do you have to activate/rehydrate this"active dry yeast?" My machine says dry yeast as last ingredient. if I activate it is it still that last ingredient ?? or would it go in with liquids?? i just bought my bread maker and im afraid to use it not sure and i dont want to break it LOL.... Any information would help :)


 


 

ejm's picture
ejm

I don't have a bread machine so don't really know how they work. However, from what I understand, the "dry yeast" in bread machine recipes is "instant yeast". This is also labelled "bread machine yeast".


BUT, my husband claims that he never rehydrates our active dry yeast before handmixing bread dough. So, it's my guess that if you know for certain that the yeast is viable (by the date on the yeast container), you can add active dry yeast without rehydrating it first - so add it in the order that the bread machine tells you. But, you may have to add a little more active dry yeast than instant yeast called for in a recipe.


wildyeastblog.com: conversion factors for the different types of yeast:




  • 1 g fresh = 0.5 g active dry = 0.4 g instant

  • 1 cake fresh = 3 tsp active dry = 2.25 tsp instant



realbakingwithrose.com: Yeast Conversion information on converting different types of yeast



1 teaspoon instant (aka instant active dry)=1-1/4 teaspoons active dry or 1-1/2 packed teaspoons [0.75 ounce] fresh cake yeast


1 teaspoon of instant yeast or active dry yeast=3.2 grams



Hope that helps!


-Elizabeth


 


edit: I see on re-reading Rose Levy Beranbaum's post that instant yeast is sometimes called "instant active dry" yeast. (!!! Way to confuse people, yeast companies....) So check the complete wording on the yeast container. It should have instructions for how to use it as well.

Cedarglen's picture
Cedarglen

Well, um, I guess I do proof my yeast.  That said, dissolving it in warm water with some food is not really to test the yeast, but to dissolve the stuff and get it going.  Just guessing here, but in the early days of dry yeast there probably were some batches that were not viable, thus, 'proofing' was necessary.  I've been baking with ADY since ~1959 and I've yet to encounter a dead batch.  Today, the term 'proofing' is more commonly associated with the final rising period, just before baking, as in "... a final 30 minute proof..."  ADY (if stored properly) is a highly reliable product.  -C.  (And no, I don't sell yeast.  I just use a lot of it.)

Cedarglen's picture
Cedarglen

Ah yes!  This man gets to the real heart of the issue and it could not be said any better! -C.

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

it might be interesting to note that  Hamelman in his Bread book mentions that he uses Instant yeast almost exclusively due to its dependability.

browndog's picture
browndog

if you're pregnant, you really don't need to worry about sperm count.

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

I was a bit slow there but I think I get your gist now. You mean you don't need more than is enough to do the job?  

Sourdough-guy

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

thanks for the clarification.  I think I found the phrasing too sublime also.  However, it might possibly be incorrect as well.  After all, if there is greater potency with the Instant Yeast then it is necessary to measure less of it than with the Active Yeast.  After all, one does not want to put more than the required amount of yeast into a recipe. Yes?

countryboy

JMonkey's picture
JMonkey

If you're converting from active dry to instant, you'll want to use about 75-80% of the yeast called for in the recipe. But I don't often bother, myself. The bread rises a bit faster than the recipe calls for, sometimes, but not much.

browndog's picture
browndog

men...! ;-} --What I mean is, and I do not stand behind the science, lads, is that if you want a baby, you're in the process of making a baby, what difference does it make if there were 10,000 little buggers or 100,000, because you will have the desired result in the end, n'est pas? (Pardon my French...) Essentially yes SDG, one does not need more than enough. Gold star for you.:-) So. If your bread is rising...and you like how it bakes up...does it matter if on some uber-microscopic scale one type of yeast gives you more, er, sperm, than another? I don't believe that the standard yeasts available will give you too much, as such, by virtue of type alone. I can't believe this. You guys. But I did LOVE the part about sublime.

bwraith's picture
bwraith

Or, if you have 10,000 little buggers, wait a while and you'll have 100,000. The bread will still rise by double with only a little more patience and all will be well in the end. You'll have buns in the oven as long as some buggers make it into the dough. Something like that...

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

One advantage to my low protein flour is that I don't have to knead as long as y'all do!  Yesterday, after mixing my dough with both kinds of yeasties, I fell asleep and took a long extended nap.  Upon awakening, discovered my long overproofed sticky liquidy dough waiting to be kneaded.   Bubbly Goo.   I sprinkled it with lots of flour and proceeded to remove my spoon and plop eveything onto the counter top.  Had to use my bench scraper to knead in the beginning and eventually got enough flour into it.  When I thought I was finished kneading, I rolled it into "teflon" flour and put it into my warm glass casserole and let it proof.  Since I had left it 8 hours, liquid, I decided to skip the bulk rise (though I had added a lot of flour) and hoped for a good second rise. 
Low and behold the little buggers were still working (they must have partied when I worked in more flour) and lifted my dough and I came out with a nice loaf.  I could almost hear them cheering when I came back to the kitchen to check on 'em before baking.     :)Mini Oven

Cedarglen's picture
Cedarglen

That's hilarious, Mini Oven.  Who among us has not been there?  Truth be told, almost any yeasted dough  screw up can be fixed if done before the final shaping.  I'm not a pro or an expert, but I've fixed more than my share of mistakes.  Thanks for the really fun reply.  -C.

Paddyscake's picture
Paddyscake

I sighed about the same time  ;-) I totally understood what you were saying!

sourdough-guy's picture
sourdough-guy

 Yeah that cheered me up. Been a long time since I got a gold star. lol.

 

Sourdough-guy

redivyfarm's picture
redivyfarm

Very interesting topic and questions I've asked myself often. Now, how 'bout this?

This week I picked up a few things for the kitchen and thought it would be handy to have another set of stainless measuring spoons. When I compared the new to the old I saw that these can't possibly be the same measure!

Weight vs Measure

Weight vs Measure

Sure enough, tested using sugar and the digital scale, the new 1/4 tsp holds 1 gram; the old weighs 3 grams!  That means that we are all over the board if we are trusting volume measurements rather than weights. That would affect the action of your yeast a lot more than the small percentage of difference between types of yeast.

So that's why I could taste the baking powder in those dumplings!

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

I checked my measuring spoons, too.  Sure enough, the one that looks smaller holds much less.  The interesting thing about the smaller set is the quantities that are stamped in the handles.  The smallest says 1 ml., 1/4 tsp.  According to the conversion table I checked, that's not right for teaspoon (metric), teaspoon (UK) or teaspoon (US).  If anyone's curious, the teaspoons rank in size from metric, the smallest, to US, to UK, the largest.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

you pay more, get less. has anyone else noticed shrinking package sizes and rising prices? i remember wnen supermarket ice cream came in 1/2 gallon containers; try finding one now!


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

tigressbakes's picture
tigressbakes

I've been wanting to try fresh or 'cake' yeast - but it seems to be obsolete for home bakers. Does anyone know a source?

Trishinomaha's picture
Trishinomaha

I think I've seen it at our Whole Foods Market here in Omaha. You might also be able to find it in health food stores?

Happy week-end all - bet there's some baking going on today!!

 Trish

Aetheling's picture
Aetheling

 I have always used fresh yeast (for about 25 years) for all my baking and it always works well. I dissolve it it a little water then add it to the flour. I was interested to read in this thread that you can crumble into the flour without dissolving it. I'll try that next bake. I have even used fresh yeast from frozen. Once it has dissolved in warm water, it can be used as if it were fresh.

I have a good local source of fresh yeast, but as I live in Australia, it won't be of use to most of you. 

 

 

Heather

zolablue's picture
zolablue

I bought some cake yeast for the first time just before Thanksgiving.  I finally found it at our Whole Foods store and was anxious to test it. I really loved using it and, wow, did it do a great job of raising dough.  All I did was crumble it into the flour and mix away as normal.  It worked great and was just fun to experiment with.  If you have ever watched Danielle Forestier's video on making French bread at Julia Child's site you will see she also just crumbled the yeast and kneaded it into her dough.

Robin Spock's picture
Robin Spock

Many commercial bakers who bake bread will supply yeast by the pound.  I buy mine from a local source one pound at a time for $1.75 which is a lot cheaper than supermarkets sell it.  break-maker.net provides a table of the equivalents of active dry yeast to compressed yeast in ounces.  An excellent scale for baking up to about seven pounds by very small increments (1/8 ounce) is the Salton scale.  What is most frustrating in the recipes is the lack of qualification of the type of yeast used,  whether it is compressed/dissolving or  active dry, there is a major difference in the result. 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I normally find it wrapped in foil, 1 1/2" cubes between the eggs and the milk.  Mini Oven

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Does anyone have any experience with saving of unused portions of Fleischmans Yeast packets in the frig?  Since I don't use all the packet at one time I am wondering if anyone has any experience with saving of the unused portions in the frig?  My guess is that once I open the packet the rest of it will not be that useful for the next week's baking. Also do you ever buy Fleischman yeast in bulk from KA? Thank you.

countryboy

bwraith's picture
bwraith

CountryBoy,

I have bought a bag of SAF Instant from KA, and I put it in a canister they also sell there. I keep it in the refrigerator. It seems to work fine for very long periods of time, like a year or more. I believe you can freeze it, as well, although I have not tried that.

I have also used part of a Fleishman's packet, tightly rolled up the packet, and stored it in the refrigerator for weeks without any trouble, as MiniOven says.

Just to add a little to the ideas mentioned above, I don't know what the disadvantages of Rapid Rise would be in terms of any enhancers and such, but I have used it interchangeably with instant yeast or active yeast without much noticeable difference in practice. I agree that you shouldn't stress about yeast. If you put in too much, it may rise more quickly than you intended. If you use too little, it might take a few hours longer to get the rise you want. However, once you use the same kind of yeast repeatedly, you'll zero in on how much is needed for the rise you want.

I've read that the packaging and enhancers may change how quickly yeast will wake up, which can result in some differences in the bread making routine. However, you could easily account for that difference too, by just introducing the yeast earlier or later to the dough or proofing it first. In other words, if one yeast takes 1/2 hour to wake up and another wakes up the minute it hits the dough, you could substitute one for the other by mixing the yeast with the dough immediately for the first and doing a 1/2 hour autolyse with the second. Or, you could proof the yeast in warm water and flour for the first, then introduce it to the dough, so that it's all ready to go when it goes in the flour.

All of that is just a long way of saying that it's the same organism in all of them, so you should be able to get the same results by adjusting the amount used and by adjusting whether you do a proof or maybe an autolyse to adjust for how fast they become active. And, you can vary the recipe rise times if the amounts you used aren't comparable, which might change the bread flavor or texture somewhat but would result in similar bread, as long as the effective amount of organisms is not different by a big factor like 10 or more.

Many recipe books give estimates of the weight ratio to substitute between the various types of yeast. From what I can gather, 18 grams of fresh yeast = 7-10 grams of active dry yeast = about 4-6 grams of instant yeast. However, I've seen variations in the recommended substitution ratios from one book to another.

Bill

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

The only time I ever had an open package of yeast not work was when it got above 38°c or got wet.  I crimp the tops and put a mini clothes pin on them and mine stand in the cupboard.  You can stand them in the fridge as well.  They seem to keep forever.  


I give them the sniff test too just to make sure, they should smell nutty and fresh yeasty,  If a package smells like ammonia or you can't stand the smell, dump it.  Same goes for cake yeast. (Cake yeast when old starts to run out of the package.) Mini Oven

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Appreciate the quick and thorough answer on the question. 

countryboy

tattooedtonka's picture
tattooedtonka

I use Fleischmans Instant yeast in 1lb. bulk bags.  Once I'm done baking I just fold the top over and place a "Chip Clip" on the seam to seal.  Then I toss in the fridge in back on the top shelf.

TT

 

KipperCat's picture
KipperCat

" ...I just fold the top over and place a "Chip Clip" on the seam to seal.  Then I toss in the fridge.. "

 

tattoedtonka, I did a search on seam, looking for help with my dough seams.  The above portion of your statement came up on the search page.  I had to read about the person who sealed their dough with a chip clip!

I did find other posts that helped me, but yours really brought a smile to my face.

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

To everyone for their time, patience, and comprehensive answers.  Very much appreciated.

countryboy

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I use Active Dry yeast.  I'm under the impression that Instant is now preferred, but I bought in bulk and still have lots left.  I keep it in the freezer, not trusting the cupboard or the fridge, and it's lasting for years.

Also, I don't always dissolve the yeast ahead of time.  Sometimes I just throw it in the dry ingredients, like instant.  It hasn't caused me any problems.

And, since I like long ferments, I usually use less yeast than the recipe calls for (unless the recipe is already for long fermentation).  So imprecise measuring spoons don't matter too much to me as far as yeast goes.

But I've often looked at the spoons that also have ml markings and wondered about the "coincidence" that that spoon size should be exactly so many ml, and not a fraction thereof.

Rosalie

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

to water and ml is volume (as opposed to mg, weight)  If you start getting into drops, you will drive yourself nuts so using a teaspoon which is a rounded off measurement is just a practical way to rapidly measure small units of volume.   If you want to be precise, use a scale.  Hope that helps you out.  -- Mini Oven

kjknits's picture
kjknits

Interesting topic, here...I have been pondering the same things lately.  Mainly because there is so much misinformation out there.  I recently took a few books out from the library.  Amy's Bread says that instant yeast has to be "activated" by warm water, which we know isn't true (pain a l'ancienne, anyone?).  And then another book I checked out (I think Ultimate Bread?) said that instant yeast is the same as rapid rise.  However, I know from practice that this, too, is wrong.  Rapid rise yeast raises a straight dough in about half the time of active dry or instant yeast.  Conversely, my own experience has been that instant yeast and active dry act the same in dough, when you're looking at rise times and whatnot.  I do, however, believe that it takes less instant yeast than active dry to raise dough, all other variables being equal.  Of course, I read that in a book (probably BBA), and obviously we can't take the books as gospel, but I just remember to consider the source.

It's annoying that there are so many differing "facts" about yeast, isn't it?

Katie in SC 

tortoise-chelle's picture
tortoise-chelle

Another angle... does anyone have experience with making sourdough starter with active dry vs. rapid yeast?  I just mixed up my first batch ever (yeah!), and after mixing it up, I realized that the recipe called for rapid rise yeast instead of the active dry yeast I used.  My guess is that it won't matter since I won't be using it right away.  Thoughts?

CountryBoy's picture
CountryBoy

Some people have suggested that Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast may be kept in the fridge for a whole long time.

My suggestion is that people would be wise to Check carefully on the back for the very fine print that suggests an EXP   date.  I used one just now with an EXP date of Nov 24 and it was very active.  Whereas the one I had in the fridge was a month over the EXP date and v   e    r   y   s  l  o  w   to go off.

ejm's picture
ejm

Active Dry Yeast does not require sugar to be activated

I use Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast and have done for many years. I always activate it in water (baby bottle temperature) but don't usually wait til it starts bubbling to check to make sure it's viable. I add a little sugar only if the bread recipe calls for sugar. I would only check for viability if the jar was near the end and the date was close to expiry. Once the jar is opened, I keep the yeast in the fridge.

Generally, I activate the yeast in a small bowl with quarter cup of the babybottle temperature water. I then mix all the other ingredients together in the big mixing bowl and finally add the yeasted water at the end. (Sometimes I withhold the salt until kneading time....)

I have read (but of course, one can't believe everything one reads) that instant yeast is not so good for long slow cool rises - which is what I favour for all our bread. 

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

This thread, Yeast: Dry vs Rapid Rise, begun Nov 4, 2007 and having many replies, covers many of the same points. Check it out.

dobrinov's picture
dobrinov

Thank you all for the valuable information. I am under the impression that most of you do not care whether they use Active or Instant. I am new to baking and have been using Fleischmann's Bread Machine Yeast (also for Rapid Rise recepies) from Albertson's. I got used to it and was having very good results, when I decided to buy a 1lb. pack of Red Star Active Dry from Costco. Since I started using the active dry my bread has not risen enough even once. With the Fleischmann my bread is ready to bake after about 75min of rising. With the active dry I wait more than 2 hours and still the bread is too dense. How long should I wait with active dry yeast? More then 2 and 1/2 hours? Please share your experience. I also use about 30-50% more of the active dry compared to rapid rise, and initially proof it in warm water for 10 minutes. It seems the yeast takes long to kick in, as the first 15 minutes after the kneading it almost does not rise at all. Then around after 2 hours it stops rising and that's it. I am almost 100% of the time baking pure whole wheat and adding glutten to bond with the yeast. BUt the dry yeast is killing me. Please help. Otherwise I have to discard a pound of active dry yeast. Thanks

 

ejm's picture
ejm

If you are using the same recipes that you were using with your instant yeast, you may have better luck if you use more active dry than instant called for in your recipe.

 

Susan (Wild Yeast) recently posted a yeast conversion chart:

http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/01/12/instant-yeast/#yeast-conversions

 

Also,  are you certain that your active dry yeast is viable? Does it start to bubble a little before you add it to the rest of the ingredients? If you are adding any sugar or honey to your bread, try adding a little of that to the warm water when you rehydrate the yeast. (Check the temperature of the water by doing the baby bottle test on the inside of your wrist) 

 

Hope that helps!

 

Elizabeth 

charbono's picture
charbono

dobrinov,

ADY is best activated in water at 105-110°F.  Are you using an instant-read thermometer?

cb

dobrinov's picture
dobrinov

Elizabeth, CB, thank you for the quick reply. I activate the ADY in warm water, but not sure how warm exactly. Have not measured it. BUT the yeast starts bubbling before I add it to the rest of the ingredients. I never add it before it starts bubbling. I also add the salt a little later in the kneading process as somewhere I read that salt slows down the activation process. Following the same procedure I have been making very good loafs with Instant, but with ADY my loafs just do not expand enough, air bubbles just do not form.

 Could it be that I have a problem with the flour? At the same time I switched yeast I opened a pack of Hungarian Stoneground Wholewheat. I have not used it before. I wonder why I made two changes simultaneously. It's scientifically illogical to do it.

 Thanks again

nick 

 

 

ejm's picture
ejm

It is possible that the different flour is to blame, Nick. Does it have a lower protein content than the flour you used before? (And I suppose the age of the flour might also have some effect.)

 

I was having a devil of a time with flattish and sluggish wholewheat bread when I was using wholewheat with only about 11% protein. Switching to 13-14% made a huge difference and the bread started rising properly.

 

-Elizabeth 

dobrinov's picture
dobrinov

Thank You Elizabeth

I know about the wholewheat lack of gluten problem, so I add 1 & 1/2 tbsp of gluten to each cup of flower.

 before I used the following ratios

3cups wholewheat

1&1/2-2 tsp Instant

4&1/2 tbsp gluten

 

Now I tried with active dry using more and more yeast. Last time I used 4&1/2 tsp. Crazy..., but no improvement.

As I am typing though I am making bread with Instant with the old technology, and the bread seems to not be rising even with the Instant. At least not like before. Already 75min rising and I do not like how it looks. 

This current flour is 4/30g protein. This is less than 8%. Is it too bad? Plus I bought the flour on sale for $1 per 5lbs. I wonder what that means...

 

well I never thought making bread would be easy, and I am fine with the thought that I need time to get it all right and consistent.

 

BTW, baking the bread through a BREADMACHINE cycle seems to be fine. Bread rises and so, but taste is not like baking on the stone... 

ejm's picture
ejm

8% protein seems very low. That's roughly the protein percentage for cake flour, isn't it?

 

Have you tried using the original amount of active dry with some of your previous brand of flour? It's sounding more and more as if it is the "new" sale priced flour that is the problem. (Any idea how old the flour is? If it came in a bag, there may be a bar code number. The first number on the bar code is apparently the year - "7" indicates "2007" - and the next three numbers are the day of the year "032" day 32 of the year: February 1.)

 

4&1/2 tsp of yeast for 3 cups of flour does seem excessive. I use 2 tsp active dry for 6 cups allpurpose flour and 3 cups wholewheat flour....
 

Have you read Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book - A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking? It has some great tips on how to work with whole wheat. The basic loaf recipe is also very good. Here is my take on her <a href="http://www.thefreshloaf.com/http://etherwork.net/recipes/wholewheat.html#wholewheat">100% whole wheat bread recipe</a>.

-Elizabeth 

dobrinov's picture
dobrinov

I am almost certain now it is the flour. In the afternoon I used instant yeast and waited for 4 hours to rise. This loaf came fine, but still not as bubbly and expanded as it should be...after 4h rising. With the flour I have been using before (now I do not remember which one it was) in hour and a half my bread was already overproof and could not support itself in the oven.

 

ok, I'll get some other flour and see how it behaves. 

 Laurel's recipe looks good, but I will probably not try it now. I am very busy for now and try to figure out a faster proc4edure that will give me consistent and delicious results. Plus me and my wife eat about 1 loaf (3c flour) per weak, so it does not make sense for now to use the long procedure.

 Thanks again, you help me learn 

sphealey's picture
sphealey

I mostly use Fleischmann's Bread Machine yeast. Since I started buying it in large quantities I do notice that every once in a while I get a bottle that seems less active than usual, and I either have to use a little more or allow a longer primary fermentation. One bottle I finally dumped in the garden but that was unusual. So there may be some manufacturing batch variance.

In general I have been using less and less yeast over the last year; I am now at the point of using 3/4 tsp in most recipes calling for 2 tsp. Primary fermentation is a little longer (but I often retard anyway) but the law of exponential growth takes over at a certain point and the rise completes no matter how much yeast you added to start.

sPh

ejm's picture
ejm

We are only two as well. I generally make two or three loaves at a time and freeze (double bag) the extra loaves until we need them. This too saves time. I know it might seem like the 100% whole wheat bread recipe based on Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book basic recipe will take longer, it doesn't really. And because of using a starter dough, it helps to keep the bread longer.

 

Don't forget that bread dough can be left to rise on its own so adding that extra second step doesn't really add that much more of your valuable time to the procedure. As the inimitable Julia Child said about bread dough, 

Ye gods! But you're not standing around holding it by the hand all this time. No.

(excerpt from the section on French Bread in "From Julia Child's Kitchen" publisher: Alfred A Knopf 1979)

 

You can use the starter method with any bread recipe. Just mix half of the yeast, most of the water and about half the flour. You don't have to knead it. Let that rise overnight. Then mix the rest of the ingredients the next morning (remember to add the starter!) and proceed as usual. I hope that makes sense!

 

-Elizabeth

dobrinov's picture
dobrinov

yes, this makes sense. I can freeze it. I will try to do it this way. I also want to try a similar method with sourdough. I saw a nice movie on youtube

 

"http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=l-KRstswHl0" 

 

I will also start using less yeast. See how it goes. Need to do lots of experimenting.

 

thanks

nick 

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

cake yeast is the best to use for the following reasions]

1-most breads need to come out of the mixer between 75 and 80 degrees F

a colder ferment will uesult in the best flavor as a hoter ferment will cause the yeast to ferment faster and leave behind more ETOH resulting in a sour old tastiog bread or even a runned dough

when making danish or other sweet products the dough must not ferment on the bench while the fat is being folded in to the dough also it allows for long frezer life

i made about 4 pounds of danish let the dough set in the frdge ofer night then made the dough up into cheese and other types of indvidual pieces and put them in to the frezzer UNBAKED

THEY WILL LIVE ABOUT TWO MONTHS IN THE FREZZER

you can take out as much as you want and leave them out at a hot room temp about 80 degress for between 2 and 3 hours then bake them and they will be as good as the day them were made

dry yeast does not hold up as well in the frezzer and since it needs hot water to get started your dough comes out of the mixer to hot

also remember that you need 2 times the amount of cake yeast then powderd 1 ounce of dry means 2 ounces of cake

lastly cake yeast is the cheapest thing around.  forget about buying it a the suppermarket.  find a bakery supplyer and most will sell you one block which is 2 pounds of fresh cake yeast for about 2 dollers and if will live in your fridge for about 2 months or so just don't freez it

ejm's picture
ejm

Chacun à son goût...

Just two comments:

  1. Active dry yeast does not require hot (or even warm) water to get started. It just needs to be rehydrated.
  2. Not everyone uses an electric mixer to make bread dough.
Having said that, when I can get it (it's difficult to find and MORE expensive to buy in my neighbourhood) it is nice to use cake yeast for sweet rolls.
nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

i am sure i could give you an address of a bakerie supply house where you could get a block of cake yeast cheap

here in new york i can get it for about 1.25 per pound

zhi.ann's picture
zhi.ann

I'm sorry if this is redundant... I'm new to baking-bread-from-scratch but trying to learn...

I just moved to a rural area in China where they don't sell bread. My husband misses it a lot, so I'm trying to learn to make it. However, what I'm reading on here sounds a bit intimidating. I've baked yeast breads in the states, but I had any ingredient I could want and just did step by step recipe instructions, without trouble. Here, I just have the basics.

 I'm posting some questions in other, more relevant forums, but mine for here is: when I buy yeast here, it comes in a small packet. What kind of yeast is that? And if it's one particular kind (active dry yeast, perhaps?) then do I need to do something special if a recipe calls for a different kind of yeast? I'm pretty sure this is all they sell here - it's meant for steamed buns, "bao zi".

Thanks! 

ejm's picture
ejm

If the yeast is like little granules, it's either active dry or instant.

Instant yeast can be added directly to a recipe but active dry has to be rehydrated. Just to be sure, all you have to do is stir the yeast into a bit of water (not hotter than "baby bottle" temperature) to rehydrate it. Stir it until it looks like cream and the yeast has dissolved. Then add the yeasted water to whatever recipe you are using. This way, if it's active dry, it will work and if it's instant, it will work just as well.

Some people say to use a little less instant yeast than active dry but you can exchange them in recipes measure for measure.

Hope that helps!

-Elizabeth

zhi.ann's picture
zhi.ann

Thank you - this does help - I did what you said (in the process of my first real loaf of bread) and it reacted just the way you described, looking like cream and dissolving.

ejm's picture
ejm

Glad to be of service. I do hope your bread turns out the way you want it to!

-Elizabeth

RiverWalker's picture
RiverWalker

should one be concerned if it doesn't bubble or froth much?


when I first got some yeast where I get it, experimenting and all, it seemed to get really enthusiastically frothy and foamy.  .... nowadays, not so much.  it still seems to work, but I am not sure if I'm being paranoid or not.

ejm's picture
ejm

If your bread is still rising, then there's no need to worry that your rehydrated yeast doesn't bubble and foam before being added to the dough.


-Elizabeth

swtgran's picture
swtgran

I guess I didn't realize that active dry yeast was always supposed to be hydrated, until reading it hear.  I have never used instant yeast until a month ago.  I have been baking bread since I was a teenager. 

If a recipe calls for hydrating, and I mix by hand, I do.  If I am mixing bread in a machine, I just dump my active dry yeast on top of the flour.  During the past month I have used instant the same way and I have noticed absolutely NO difference in the breads, whether I hydrate first or not, whether I use instant or active or not. 

I really think bread dough is USUALLY more forgiving than we give it credit for being. 

ejm's picture
ejm

I gather that active dry yeast will work  if it hasn't been rehydrated before being added to the bread dough. But it's such a short step that isn't that difficult to do.

I really think bread dough is USUALLY more forgiving than we give it credit for being.

Absolutely! I'm learning this over and over as I flagrantly measure by volume rather than weight (via expensive digital scale), add more or less yeast to a recipe, add more or less or different kinds of flour. Sometimes I think that bread WANTS to be bread.

(Having said that, I have had my major failures with home captured yeast. I'm just about to go an make focaccia dough with it. Wish me luck....)

-Elizabeth

P.S. I have zero experience with bread machines.

Bhoodies_B's picture
Bhoodies_B

Why does Instant Yeast have to be mixed with the dry ingredients first before adding the liquid/wet ingredients? Does it always have to be this way? Or can we dissolve the Instant Yeast in water first before mixing with the flour, just like when using Active Dry Yeast?


Thanks.

Yumarma's picture
Yumarma

You don't need to dissolve the Instant yeast but by mixing it in with the dry flour it gets dispersed well throughout. If you drop it into the wet stuff, you might get large clumps of it, since it floats and will be more likely to stick together. By stirring it into the flour, it gets spread around more evenly before it all gets mixed with the wet stuff.


I'm assuming it's simply a way to help avoid the small chance of excess yeats clumpage. And it just removes that whole "hydrate first" step.

Bhoodies_B's picture
Bhoodies_B

Rainbowz, big help indeed. Thanks.

ejm's picture
ejm

I can't say I've ever had a problem with yeast clumpage (I use active dry yeast that I always rehydrate in about 1/4 c water first). As long as the bread is kneaded enough, everything gets interspersed evenly. I've even kneaded in salt after everything else is mixed in and have not had any clumps of salt in the final bread.


Offhand, I can't imagine that anything bad would happen if instant yeast were rehydrated first. In fact, as I recall, Maggie Glezer calls for doing just that in her recipe for Acme's baguettes in "Artisan Baking" in order to reduce the amount of yeast actually going into the preferment.


-Elizabeth


P.S. I have heard that there are people who don't bother rehydrating active dry yeast though and I would be wary of doing that. I would worry about yeast clumps in THAT situation.

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

Elizabeth, you said that you'd worry about yeast clumps if you don't re-hydrate ADY before adding it to a recipe.  I'm one of those people who don't bother with that step.  I add my yeast directly to the dry ingredients, just like with instant.  There's no danger of clumping because I whisk it into the flour.


(But please note that I also like long refrigerator rises, and that may be why I have success with that approach.)


Rosalie

ejm's picture
ejm

Well, there you go! The rises in our kitchen are pretty long too because of the temperature of the kitchen (around 15C in winter). I should try skipping the rehydration step too, Rosalie. Although... it might be a hard habit to break.


But I'll still rehydrate when making Glezer's Acme bread or Beranbaum's baguettes. I have no idea exactly how much yeast actually goes into the preferments. For Beranbaum's baguettes: 1/8 tsp dry yeast whisked into 1/4c (60gm) water first and then add a scant 3Tbsp (~40gm) yeasted mixture along with 58gm flour (~1/3c) to one of the preferments and 1/2Tbsp (~8gm) yeasted mixture along with 68gm (~1/4c) water and 75gm (~1/2c) flour to the other. (Any extra yeasted water is discarded.)


-Elizabeth



 

jc's picture
jc

What sort of brand of yeast is more quality? Does different brand's yeast effect the taste of breads? It is hard to find fresh or cake yeast. Some people have suggested me to use dry active yeast or instant yeast to subsitute fresh yeast. Which one is better instant yeast better or dry active yeast? If I would see fresh yeast in a recipe, I was told to do a conversion of cake yeast to dry active yeast. I have noticed the portion of dry active yeast is almost half of fresh yeast. I was wondering if the fermented time for dough should be cut down to half as well.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

There are really only two major yeast manufacturers supplying the US market, Fleischmann's and LeSaffre, which produces both Red Star and SAF. A third company, Fermipan, also supplies the US market, but with limited distribution.

Generally, it's less the brand or type of yeast than the quantity of yeast you add that affects taste, largely because of the growing medium that contains the yeast cells. Obviously, there's a greater percentage of growing medium and moisture in fresh yeast because the colony is active, whereas it's dormant in the dry types. When yeast grows naturally in dough, it uses the nutrients provided by the flour and other carbohydrate/sugar containing ingredients, so you're not going to get any non-native tastes.

There's an ongoing argument about whether fresh yeast performs better than dry. I myself use fresh almost exclusively because it seems far more active than either active dry or instant. I understand that's because there's a higher concentration of live cells in fresh than in dry, but again, the debate is ongoing.

As for proportions, rule of thumb is that 33% of instant yeast and 50% of active dry yeast equal 100% of fresh yeast. A good rule of thumb is 2% fresh yeast equivalent of flour weight for direct lean doughs, 1/3 to 1/2% for retarded doughs and/or preferments, and 5% for heavily enriched doughs (>10% fat). Incidentally, SAF Instant Gold is a special formulation for highly enriched doughs.

Store any and all of them in the refrigerator at between 30-40F -- dry in an airtight container and fresh compressed loosely wrapped so the colony can breathe and get rid of excess moisture without drying out.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

Thomas Mc's picture
Thomas Mc

I have never worried about which type of yeast I buy, just so it is in a large bag. If I find it rises faster, I use less, and vice versa. Always remember that recipes are relative, they only indicate what worked for that person, using their ingredients, under their conditions.


Your yeast might be fresher or older, work faster or slower. Your flour might have more or less gluten, it might have a higher or lower moisture content, etc. If your flour sits in a paper bag in the store at 90% humidity, it will have a lot more moisture than here at 7,000 feet, where the RH is 20-30%. When I started milling my own flour, I had to drop my hydration levels from 67% down to 64% just to get the same dough consistency as the dried out store bought flour. I got a chuckle the other day, when I read a post that said you can tell when a loaf of bread is done by sticking a thermometer in it, declaring it is done when it hits 205 degrees. At this altitude water boils at 200 degrees, the only way the bread could ever get to 205 is if you cooked every last drop of water out of it first, leaving a giant dried out crouton. A more accurate description would have been "5-10 degrees under the boiling point at your altitude." Just remember, a recipe only means what worked for them, not necessarily what will work for you.


 


 

dollhead's picture
dollhead

Ok, here's my measly 2 cents.....if a recipe calls for instant AND has just a little sweetener in it (tbsp or so or even less) I use the same amount of active dry measure for measure and it all works out well.  If the recipe calls for instant AND has a lot of sweetener(s) in it-I will use more active dry.  An example would be if recipe calls for 2 tsp. instant AND has 1/4 cup of sugar or honey or whatever-I will use 2  & 1/2 tsp active dry yeast.  I never (yes, never) rehydrate my active dry yeast (do I hear audible gasps??).  I make sure my liquids (or cooked cereal or whatever) are warm (not hot) before I add my yeast to my dough.  When I use KA mixer I make a slurry of the recipes' oil (fat), liquid, sugar, and some of the flour-I beat that well, add yeast & salt, switch to dough hook and gradually add rest of flour.  If I use bread machine, I add liquids/fats/salt, etc, flour, adding yeast last.  I have a 3/4 lb bag of instant yeast in my freezer (horrors!), but I rarely use it as it seems to taste a tiny bit different to me. 


One of the breadmaking classes I teach is "breadmaking without tears" and it is geared for teaching student how to use machine and how to make dough in machine and bake in oven.  Active dry is always used in those class recipes (last ingredient to be added to machine) and everyone goes home with a wonderful loaf @ end of class time (even the guy who had no machine and showed up with a bowl and spoon).  I stress the warm not hot thing to students because to me, it's one of the most important things for a novice to understand (as in don't kill the yeast before it has a chance to do it's job). 


Hopefully, everyone has been revived by now and there were no fatalities....LOL

apprentice's picture
apprentice

Active dry yeast is not popular with professional bakers. One reason is the need to rehydrate in warm water before use. Time is money in commercial settings. But the other, more important issue is that it has a high percentage of dead and damaged yeast cells due to the harsh spray-drying process used in its production. The dead cells release a substance that is detrimental to gluten development, and this tends to result in a sticky, dense product.


Sorry if this has already been covered. I was alerted to this thread by someone visiting my blog entry on Montreal-style bagels. They, like another poster before them, had experienced problems with sticky dough using active dry instead of the instant called for in the formula. As I said to her, there does not seem to me to be any upside to using active dry .


I was leery myself about instant yeast initially. So many of the instant products developed in the last 60 years have meant loss rather than gain in quality. But not in this case! The production process for instant yeast is gentler and far superior. I'm a total convert. Fresh is good, too - especially for longer fermentation times.

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Do I need to let the dough rise a 2nd time when I use instant yeast?  I can't seem to get it rise enough to get the bubbly holes that I see in most breads.  Mine seems to turn out usually dense and heavy.

Elagins's picture
Elagins

hi jenny,

the second rise (proofing) should be as vigorous as, or even moreso, than the first rise, since healthy yeast will reproduce geometrically. it seems like your yeast has lost potency, or you're not using enough relative to the amount of flour. the standard ratio of instant yeast to flour is around 0.8% to 1.0% by weight. you may want to try getting another batch of yeast (and check the date stamp on the package to make sure it's less than 6 months old, ideally), then try it out to see if it works.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

jennyloh's picture
jennyloh

Stan - thanks for the advise.  I realised that I should leave the dough to proof longer than needed as I took it out from the fridge (a overnight 1st rise),  as I thought I could have a freshly baked bread within 1 hour after I woke up.  Well,  I was wrong. After 2 hours,  it rose about 11/2 times but did not rise as much as I expected,  I sent it in for baking, rose further, more than 2x bigger in the oven, together with preheating the oven,  but the bread still turns out a little heavy. could it be the flour that I used? I'm going to try a starter in my next experiment,  as I see from the discussions that starters will give a different texture, well,  lets see how it turns out.

jpchisari's picture
jpchisari

I've read most posts here with varying opinions about one yeast vs another. I have used all three types; fresh, active and instant, all with great succss. I have been baking most of my  life, spent 2 years in Culinary school focusing on baking and owned my own deli bakery for 5 years. Also, I am a third generation professional baker in my family. I used instant yeast exclusively with excellent results in my business.  Understanding how to use all different types of yeast is more important than what type you are using. Generally, for whatever weight of fresh yeast is called for, use 40% active dry and 33% instant. Volume measurements are not accurate for baking period! There are many more issues to address here. I will try to address them one at a time.

afjagsp123's picture
afjagsp123

I've been using Red Star Active Dry (big vacuum-packed brick that I buy from Costco, stored in the freezer) for 5 years now. I rarely re-hydrate or proof. I've used it very successfully in PR's BBA, WG and ABE recipes which call for scant amounts of instant.


Honestly, if I could find bulk instant offline and locally, I'd buy it. Since RS is so readily available here I am sticking with it until I can find bulk instant.


That being said, perhaps I'll have a baking epiphany the first time I use instant and eat all of the words above. Until then, I'm happy to remain blissfully ignorant. LOL

logdrum's picture
logdrum

At GFS. Recently switched to instant & plan on staying there.


-d

afjagsp123's picture
afjagsp123

What is GFS?

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

They provide food service supplies and equipment, primarily to commercial customers (bakeries, restaurants, caterers, etc.), although some of their locations include a cash and carry retail store.  I was familiar with them when I lived in Michigan.  I don't know the full extent of their market area, but have the impression it is mostly in the Great Lakes or upper Midwest region.


I know that some people are very loyal to specific brands, but I bought most of my IDY at Sam's; Fleischmann's, I think.  Great price and a reliable product.  If you happen to have a Costco membership instead, you can probably find something similar there.


Paul

go doughgirl go's picture
go doughgirl go

Well I purchased a bulk 2 lb product of Fleischmann's Yeast.  Basically got tired of running out of active yeast all the time.   Picked this up at BJs but was a bit frustrated at first.


There is a previous yeast conversion written on this site that I would like to update.


Someone mentioned 3/8 tsp per 1 c flour.  I failed miserably with that ratio and jacked it up to 1 full tsp per 1 c flour.


Although you do not have to proof this kind of yeast, I have discovered a much better outcome when I mind my temperature (adding water to the flour)


 


Also another tip is I would mix the yeast per 1 cup after each cup of flour was added making sure all yeast and flour were thoroughly combined.


Hope someone finds this post who needs it like I did last night.  This is the conversion to use for this brand:  Fleishmann's Yeast Instant Dry Yeast.


 


1 cup flour per 1 teaspoon yeast.

wmtimm627's picture
wmtimm627

Since I use many of the recipes from Charles Van Over's Best Bread Ever (making bread with a food processor), I decided to get a 1 lb package of SAF instant yeast. I keep it in a vacuum sealed container in the refrigerator and it lasts forever.


I agree that the multitude of package label terms is too confusing. Seems like all the brands want to have anything that sets them apart from others. Even after reading a ton about it in numerous books and here on the web, I'm still as confused as ever. I was hoping that Harold McGee would set things straight in his cooking science book, but he barely touches on the subject. Before I got the SAF instant, I just bought whatever was cheapest. Buying cake yeast wasn't a good idea because it could possibly go bad before I used it.


Billybob

LTWong's picture
LTWong

Besides a purported higher concentration of yeast cells in fresh/cake yeast compared to the rest, is there any other advantage (besides availability and convenience of instant, dry) to use fresh yeast? I've baked bakes exclusively with instant yeast and that has yielded good results, but I've recently located a source of fresh yeast and would like to know if it is worth making the effort to obtain fresh yeast. Thanks.

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

I'd say there are more disadvantages than advantages, at least for the typical home baker. If there were significant advantages, it would be more popular and more readily available. The best answer to your question would be to get some and use it! See what you like or dislike about it... some notice a slightly different taste, others don't. Some see a difference in proofing, others say it's not enough to warrant a discussion about it. Only you can decide if it holds any advantages that accomodates your baking style.

- Keith

Elagins's picture
Elagins

Unfortunately, the retailers who sell yeast -- typically supermarkets, hyperstores etc., worry about shelf life.  With a maximum shelf life of a few weeks for the small, consumer-sized cakes of fresh yeast, the risk of losing money is far greater than for dry yeast, which will still produce acceptable results after 3, 4, 5 years.  You could also argue that if fresh yeast were more widely available, more people would use it.  It's a chicken-and-egg conundrum.

Point is, supermarkets take a big enough beating on produce and dairy, where new technologies and breeding changes can affect shelf life.  I don't think they're about to increase their dollars at risk for what is, at best, a small and minimally profitable market under the best of circumstances.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

I have no argument for some of your points, especially since you work in the industry and that product might appeal to your production facility. In fact, I'm quite sure that anyone in the industry who is looking to buy it in quantity, and can use it before it expires, would have absolutely no problem doing so.

My main argument is that if it was indeed a somehow superior product, bakers like myself and others would pressure for it to be stocked. Even if markets would lose money on yeast sales, if we demanded it, they would stock it to get us in the door. Fairly basic retail concept there.

We won't be doing that. It's not a significantly superior product. It's also not inferior. It's only convenience that realistically seperates the two.

I cannot imagine a major supermarket chain anywhere in the US worry about losing a few dollars over fresh yeast if there was demand for it. There isn't, and it isn't due to lack of education and/or experience using it. Instant yeast is a valid and competitive product in actual usage, but when it comes to convenience, there's no competition.

- Keith

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

I've recently located a source of fresh yeast and would like to know if it is worth making the effort to obtain fresh yeast.

I use fresh yeast almost exclusively - for several reasons:

1) It's cheaper. Here in the UK I get mine for £1.09 for 800g. Occasionally some supermarkets will give small amounts away at the bakery counter - or make a small charge for it. This contrasts with around £5 a kilo for dried active yeast, and up to £18/kilo for fast action yeast.

2) It's quicker for my purposes - especially in teaching situations where I'm often up against the clock.

3) It's less processed - and it's 100% yeast. As is dried active yeast. On the other hand, fast-action yeast contains other ingredients, sometimes described as unspecified 'enzymes'.

4) It dissolves quicker. I dissolve all the yeast I use before adding it to flour - even fast-action, because I don't like seeing individual granules of yeast in the dough as I'm using it.

About the amount to use - to paraphrase what others have said, the more you use the quicker your dough will rise, the less you use, the slower.

Cheers, Paul

mummy4's picture
mummy4

can someone please tell me what is the best kind of yeast to use for making little jam donuts that i will deep fry and then coat in sugar and fill with jam and also can someone please let me know what tempreture my oil should be for deep frying the donuts i am yet to master the donut eveytime i make these the dough does not rise or i burn them and every time i make any seep fried donut with or without yeast i always end up undercooking them in the middle even thoughi have tried everything not to do that am i suppose to let them rest a couple minuits brfore breaking open to let the dough continue to cook after it has been taken out of the oil i heard that somewhere and not sure if its true really hope someone can answer all my questions :)

Elagins's picture
Elagins

I prefer fresh yeast for everything.  Although people argue the virtues of fresh vs instant endlessly (see this thread, for instance), I agree with Marcy Goldman, who says, "a dough knows which yeast it's using."  Call it willful delusion, but I'm convinced that fresh yeast gives me a faster, more even rise and a finer crumb. I think everyone agrees that active dry yeast is the low man on the totem pole because of (as you correctly point out) its lower live cell count and the need to hydrate and proof before you add it to the dough.

That having been said, one of the things to remember about doughnuts is that a lot of recipes use a highly enriched dough -- typically more than 10% sugar and 10% fat.  At those levels, the enrichments inhibit fermentation, so that to get a good rise, bakers will typically push the yeast as high as 4% of flour weight for instant and 10% for fresh. Also, at that level of enrichment, it's often a good idea to make a preferment with all of the yeast, all of the water and an amount of flour equal to the water weight.  Let it ferment for 30 minutes or so until it's very bubbly and collapses when you drop the bowl (gently) onto the counter.  Proceed with your regular mixing/kneading at that point.  You'll find that bulk fermentation and proof times are shortened considerably from what they would be with a straight dough method, with no loss of quality.

As for frying temp, 350-365F/175-185C is ideal.  Invest in a good candy/deep fry thermometer if you don't have one, and be sure to pay attention to the doughnuts while they're frying, since they brown quickly and can burn easily.

Good luck, hope this helps.

Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

I think everyone agrees that active dry yeast is the low man on the totem pole because of (as you correctly point out) its lower live cell count and the need to hydrate and proof before you add it to the dough.

Hi,

This is a myth. While suggesting it might be good habit (for whatever reason), it's just simply not necessary to proof /hydrate instant yeast before use. Just go ahead and throw it right on in the dry ingredients and have fun. You'd actually be better off proofing fresh yeast, as the reason for proofing is simply to detect freshness/activity, and fresh yeast has a much higher probability of having expired or diminished in quality.

The integrity of instant yeast through the years has made this procedure unnecessary, yet the procedure for hydrating and proofing instant yeast persists through old mindsets and old recipes handed down. You will even find more recent mindsets recommending that you hydrate active, but it's ok to use fast-acting in your dry ingredients. This is also a myth today. Either can be used directly into any recipe that doesn't have a specific procedure or reason to do it differently.

Obviously if you have reason to question the integrity of your instant yeast, say it's a little beyond its expiration or perhaps you borrowed some from a neighbor, then you might want to proof it. Obviously to proof it, you'd have to hydrate it, but there is no need to actually hydrate it as a seperate procedure. It's a wasted step that continues to haunt us from the 50's and 60's.

- Keith

Elagins's picture
Elagins

... but I wrote that <b> <i> active dry yeast </b></1> needs to be hydrated and proofed; I said nothing about instant yeast, which, as you point out, can be added directly to the dry ingredients.  The technology behind active dry goes back to the World War II era, and the yeast granules themselves contain a relatively small proportion of live cells, surrounded by a hard matrix of lots of dead cells.  The whole purpose of hydration and proofing is to break down that matrix and give the survivors a shot of sugar to get them multiplying quickly.

There are people who swear by active dry yeast and certainly none of us is in a position to gainsay them. To each his/her own.  But if you're gonna take umbrage, at least stay on topic.

Stan.

wmtimm627's picture
wmtimm627

And if the bickering keeps on, I'm pretty sure the moderator will take umbrage.

I've been baking Van Over's baguettes for a number of years, always throwing in the the yeast without hydrating (both active dry and instant, I've never tried fresh because I'm not sure if it would work in the recipe).

As much as we would like to pontificate on the graces of instant, active dry, fast rise and fresh, noone has thrown their hat in about the virtues of natural starters, which is something I'm about to embark on with some organic rye flour. Haven't decided if I want to use some fruit juice (pineapple or orange), or just let the natural stuff in the rye flour do it's thing with good water.

Billybob

Elagins's picture
Elagins

are opinionated, stubborn and ornery, especially, it seems, when it comes to yeast and baking stones!

Stan

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Sorry Stan,

My mistake. I have come to categorize all commercially available packaged yeast as 'instant', which includes active dry. I do understand that's not technically accepted, and that the category 'instant' to most people means fast-acting, fast-rising, bread machine, etc yeast. Since I inadvertently threw active dry into that category, I said it's not necessary to either hydrate or proof instant yeasts. When I said that, it meant including active dry.

So, category and semantics aside, you have repeated:

but I wrote that <b> <i> active dry yeast </b></1> needs to be hydrated and proofed

and that is a myth. You do not need to do that for active dry yeast. I was not baking when that product came out (nor alive for that matter ; ) ), but I am told that when it first became available, it was not very reliable, hence the need to proof it. I am also told that proofing isn't to break down that matrix (although hydrating would accomplish that), but rather proofing was just to ensure the product was actually working prior to adding it to the recipe. This is still sound advice should you question your active dry being stored (as I outlined above), but it isn't necessary.

I was also on topic, since you seemed to imply that the need to hydrate/proof active dry yeast is a step that isn't necessary when using fresh yeast. Active dry should not have this negative 'extra step' associated with it, because it isn't necessary. You can just use it right in your dry ingredients.

- Keith

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Look at any German recipe, and you will almost always find fresh yeast as ingredient. I baked for many years with fresh yeast, since nothing else was available. Though I never experienced too many problems with it, fresh yeast is notoriously fickle, and many of my friends would not dare baking yeasted pastry because they had tried before and their dough had failed to rise. After instant yeast came on the market, I started using it - and never looked back!

I cannot say that I, an avid and regular baker, noticed a difference in taste, but with instant yeast I achieve a very reliable proof, and don't have to worry about draft, a too cold environment, etc. - always a consideration when using fresh yeast.

From the discussions I read in German food magazines, using "natural" fresh yeast (does it grow on a tree?) instead of "commercial" dry yeast  has not much to do with real knowledge but appears to be purely "faith based".

By the way, in "Artisan Bread Every Day" Peter Reinhart suggests dissolving even instant yeast in 95 F warm water - supposedly to give the yeast cells a boost before they go into the fridge overnight. I don't think this is really necessary - I didn't notice a difference.

Happy yeast baking,

Karin

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

fresh yeast is notoriously fickle,

 I’ve been using fresh yeast for the past 18 years and would say the opposite. IMO, fresh yeast is notoriously *reliable*. I bake bread almost every day – always (unless I’m demonstrating, or testing) using fresh yeast.

...and many of my friends would not dare baking yeasted pastry because they had tried before and their dough had failed to rise.!

 

I have taught breadmaking to many different groups – of all ages, from reception class children to 80-year-old care home residents; in classes ranging from 1 to over 20. I can count the failures on the fingers of one hand. (And those failures have never been a problem with the yeast – salt instead of sugar, lemon juice that had gone bad – those sorts of things.)

I have to say that if your friends’ bread dough did not rise, it would more likely to be the fault of something they did, rather than the fault of the yeast.

 with instant yeast I achieve a very reliable proof, and don't have to worry about draft, a too cold environment, etc. - always a consideration when using fresh yeast.

 Why are these things a consideration only with fresh yeast? Once a bread dough has been made, using whatever yeast, it behaves just as any other bread dough. All bread doughs need to be covered; all bread doughs need an appropriate environment – I don’t understand the distinction.

I tell my students that there are only three rules to remember when making bread:

Use bread flour (although other wheat flours will work – just not as well)

Keep the yeast alive by using lukewarm water and keeping their dough away from anywhere too hot whilst proving

And always give the yeast time to do its work before placing their bread in the oven.

There are a couple of other things they should do to get the best out of their bread, but I wouldn’t call them rules as such:

Make sure the dough is soft and squishy – so as the CO2 increases, it can push out the dough and create bigger holes

And, finally, if you’re at all concerned your bread isn’t cooked properly, never be afraid to put it back in the oven.

Apologies for the soapbox there - I just want to get over to any lurkers or browsers that breadmaking is an easy, everyday activity - whatever yeast is used! :-D

Regards, Paul

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Though fresh yeast is everywhere available in Germany, it's not here in Maine, where I live. And you may be lucky, and the yeast you can buy is always fresh - I cannot say the same from my experiences in Germany.

And though those people who complained that their doughs sometimes wouldn't rise might have done something wrong - the fact remains that is much easier to do something wrong with fresh yeast than with instant yeast. Instant yeast contains about 3 x more yeast cells/g than fresh yeast, and rises nearly under all circumstances - unless it's frozen, or killed by too much heat.

Do you limit your baking to white breads? I bake mostly whole grain breads that I sell to our local natural food store, so I use pre-doughs and overnight refrigeration, and a little addition of instant yeast to my sourdoughs makes the rising (and delivery) times more predictable.

Happy baking,

Karin :)

 

highmtnpam's picture
highmtnpam

Some of my high altitude cookbooks say that yeast doughs perform better at high altitude using active dry yeast rather than instant yeast. What do you TFLers say.

Pam

Breadandwine's picture
Breadandwine

Hi Karin

I should have said in my last post that I always tell my students “:…whatever works for you!”

Fresh yeast works for me and instant works for you, really! And that’s fine. 

However, for anyone wishing to make bread with fresh yeast I would like to defend its properties. 

You say that it’s “much easier to do something wrong with fresh yeast than with instant yeast”?

I have to ask, where’s the evidence for this? 

I just don’t see it. Surely, once a dough is made – with whatever yeast – it behaves like any other yeast-risen dough?

Do you limit your baking to white breads?

No, at home I make wholemeal bread for myself and family (in the proportion 600:100 wholemeal to white – here’s my standard recipe, using method B):

http://nobreadisanisland.blogspot.com/2010/04/basic-loaf-of-bread.html

I also make bread using spelt flour.

Maybe I've been spoilt in always having a good source of fresh yeast - but I used dried active yeast for 18 years before I found a regular supply of fresh yeast, and I always found that to be reliable.

Apart from the fact that fast-action yeast is expensive in comparison to fresh, it's the fact that it contains additives that puts me off. And I never liked the fact that, as you knead a dough made with fast-action yeast, you can still see the individual yeast granules in the dough. So I always hydrate this yeast before using it (and I must admit it has come in handy in emergencies!)

Which reminds me that the last time I used it was in a Family Learning session at a Somerset primary school. I brought everything along to the session - apart from yeast! Luckily one of the students knew that a friend who lived near the school had a bread machine - a quick phone call ascertained that she did indeed have a packet of yeast to spare, so the student went to collect it. Phew!

Best wishes - and, as you say, happy baking!

Paul

wmtimm627's picture
wmtimm627

Apart from the fact that fast-action yeast is expensive in comparison to fresh, it's the fact that it contains additives that puts me off.

Apart from ascorbic acid, there are are no additives in any of the yeast products available that should be off-putting to anyone. If you don't care for ascorbic acid, you must not like oranges or vitamin C.

If you don't bake bread on a daily basis, it's practically impossible to justify using fresh yeast, aside from finding a decent place to buy it, and it's not nearly as cheap as you make it sound. Buying instant by the pound, vacuum sealing it in a canister and storing it in the fridge is more than adequate.

Billybob

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

I must confess that I find this a bit confusing...

And I never liked the fact that, as you knead a dough made with fast-action yeast, you can still see the individual yeast granules in the dough.

Do you also do this for salt? Nuts? Oats? I say salt, because as I and many do, we add salt after the autolyse, so we're adding it to the dough. If you use a kosher or a sea salt, the granules are very visible for a few minutes while you knead it or fold it in. I just don't really get how 'seeing' something for a few minutes until it's incorporated makes that ingredient a temporary eyesore.

As it boils down to, and as I've said before, neither product is superior in the final product. You use whatever you use out of preference or convenience, because that's all that seperates the two. As Billybob states, for someone who does not bake daily, the instants (and I include active dry) are too convenient to dismiss. Cost for a product has to be figured by dividing how many items you can produce from that product by the price. If you buy fresh and only make one or two items, that's more expensive per item than someone who bakes often and can make twenty items. The instant yeasts can be frozen. It will last at least 1 year beyond its expiration when frozen. I am currently using a bag of SAF Active Dry that expired in Jan of this year (2011), yet it is still producing excellent results. I think I paid less than $6 for that whole bag, and honestly, I have lost count long ago how many items I have made with it, and still have a good solid 6 months left to go. That's cheap, and for the same results. The frozen yeast (and yes, it's Active Dry yeast) can be used straight from the freezer into the dry flour. No need to either bring to room temp or to hydrate/proof it. I take out the bag, pour into my hopper on my scale, and put back in the freezer. I dump the hopper into flour and move onto the next recipe step. It's simple and I don't even have to really think about it. The convenience factor(s) are not preferences, they are very real and factual.

Just for fun, here's a breakdown on suggestions and tips for handling fresh yeast, taken from www.dakotayeast.com/product_compressed.html a manufacturer and distributor of fresh compressed yeast:

  • Maintain 33-38°F temperature at all times
  • Properly stack yeast bags [..] for adequate air circulation
  • Allow for adequate air movement [..]
  • Remove yeast from refrigerator shortly before needed
  • Keep yeast temperature below 45-50 F at all times (even outside the cooler)
  • Once opened, keep bags rolled down to yeast level to minimize air contact.
  • Don't remove more than a one-hour supply from the cooler at any time.
  • Don't expect consistent result from yeast that was subjected to temperature abuse.
  • Don't leave portion of yeast in opened bag.

Most of these tips are of course for storage of large industrial quantites, but still, it underscores that fact that compressed yeast DOES require at least a modicum of careful storage and handling for the best results. None of this is necessary for commercial yeast. It's as easy to store and use as your salt or flour, once we get rid of this persistent wive's tale of needing to hydrate and proof it. And to that end, let me reiterate:

When using commercially available yeasts, whether active dry, fast-acting, breadmaker, whatever, there is no need to hydrate and proof it by adding it to a portion of warm water and/or adding a pinch of sugar. This is a wasted recipe step from an era long gone, and an extra kitchen vessel that no longer needs to be washed.

If you do not believe me, I'll go an extra step for proof. Mix up a simple dough.. can be pizza dough, whatever.. do NOT add any yeast. Combine all ingredients and autolyse for 10 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and stretch out on work area. Sprinkle your measured Active Dry or Fast-Acting across your dough. Fold it up a few times, and knead it gently for about 2-3 minutes. Place back in bowl and autolyse another 20 minutes. Proceed to usual kneading or stretch/fold intervals. Round up when finished kneading, and set for bulk fermentation.

Tell me it doesn't rise. Beautifully.

No arguing here, just facts, and proof.

- Keith

Chuck's picture
Chuck

"Fast Action" yeast is one of those marketing terms with no exact meaning; it's about as descriptive (and as maddeningly vague) as the term "bread flour":-(

For one brand it will be active dry plus something like ascorbic acid. For the next brand it will be nothing more than another name for plain old instant yeast. For yet another brand it will be instant yeast plus something like ascorbic acid. And sometimes it's a sort of "halfway" improvement: better than plain old active dry, yet not quite the same as instant. Confusing, huh?

ejm's picture
ejm

Excuse me for chiming in so late on this argument. I use active dry yeast almost exclusively and have done for years. This is because it is the most cost effective kind of yeast for me to get.  I habitually rehydrate active dry yeast because that's what my mother taught me to do. I don't always rehydrate it with lukewarm water though. In the summer, I use cold water from the tap. My husband, however, simply throws active dry yeast into the dry ingredients.  All of our bread turns out just fine.

However, I have used fresh yeast - it's readily available in smallish blocks from a nearby deli. Its only disadvantage is that it's expensive. Bread made with fresh yeast rose equally well as same kind of bread made with active dry yeast.

I've also captured yeast and made sourdough. That too got to be rather expensive (so much feeding, burping, babying and tossing away) and one day, I "accidentally" used all of the starter without refreshing it. But that yeast, too, did in fact work. 

Now excuse me while I go to shape boules from dough that rose overnight in the fridge. (The dough was made with a very small amount of rehydrated - in cold water - active dry yeast.)

-Elizabeth

I haven't tried using instant yeast because I'm prejudiced against new-fangled things. (snicker)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

The difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast is that there are more living yeast cells in the instant yeast than in the active dry - therefore you need more of the active dry than the instant. And both are commercially made - instant yeast is just a bit more practical.

I'm sorry to hear about your exhausting experience with sourdough. I know there are two camps of believers out there, the ones that keep their starter on the countertop, and feed (and "burp and diaper") it daily, discarding most of it on a regular base, because they produce way too much to use up for the average homebaker.

But there are also the other ones, like me, who keep their starters in the fridge, where they can't grow so fast that they need daily "babying". I bake once or twice a week for a local store, so I have a regular turnover of my sourdoughs every two weeks (the rye sourdough only every 3 weeks) - and they are just fine (and deliver great breads) without any feedings in between.

Sourdough breads taste different, and some doughs you can't rise without the help of sourdough. It's a bit of a pity to limit yourself to breads that rise with commercial yeast alone, and never try one of the darker ryes, for example.

Happy baking,

Karin

 

ejm's picture
ejm

I've found that using less active dry yeast than is called for in a recipe generally offers better results. I often do long cold rises and had read (can't remember where)  that instant yeast is not as good for that. I have no idea if that is indeed the case. But I'm unlikely to experiment with it.

As for the sourdough, I kept my starter in the fridge. It produced very sour bread. Except when I took it with me to the west coast and baked with it there while we were on holiday. It worked fabulously on the west coast. I made all kinds of bread while we were there - as I recall, naan was particularly brilliant.

And you're right - sourdough is different. I loved the smell of our wild yeast bread as I was kneading it and while it was baking - it was much preferable to the smell of bread made with commercial yeast. Alas, in general, the flavour of the wild yeast bread produced far too much grief to make it worth my while to keep a starter going.

-Elizabeth, in sour Toronto

Since I accidentally on purpose murdered my wild yeast, this is the closest I've come to making wild yeast bread: Brunkans Långa – Brunkeberg’s Bakery Long Brown Bread (this is a link) - made with some natural starter and some commercial yeast was brilliant bread.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

 ... had read (can't remember where)  that instant yeast is not as good for ... long cold rises ...

I suspect this is either a case of mis-remembering, or a case of mis-understanding the writer's intention.  There may indeed be differences in "wake up time" (dissolved vs. not, fairly vs. highly active, warm vs. cool water, etc.), but once awake they're the same strain of yeast organisms and so will respond the same way to retarding.

(If you have a fairly small batch [which equalizes temperature quickly], use cool water for your mixing, and put the dough in the fridge right away, the Instant yeast  --not having been dissolved--  may not "wake up" very well before the dough is too cold for the yeast to grow very much. That could lead to the dough never rising much at all   ...which could then be described as some sort of "retard" problem. Could that be what the writer meant? In any case the solution is simple: just one way or another give whatever yeast you use the chance to "wake up" before the whole batch of dough gets clear down to refrigerator temperature.)

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Sounds like a nice bread, Elizabeth.

I can reassure you, instant yeast doughs can be retarded in the fridge as well as active dry yeast doughs - I do it all the time.

Karin

ejm's picture
ejm

Thank you, Chuck and Karin, for the assurance that instant yeast works just fine for long rises. (I'm still unlikely to use it though, being a creature of habit.)

Brunkans Långa is indeed delicious bread, Karin. Do give it a try.

-Elizabeth

P.S. I just given Chad Robertson's book Tartine Bread and after reading that he searched and searched for a NONsour wild yeast bread, am very close to trying to capture yeast again. I'm just not sure if I'm ready to have another pet....

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Chuck, I make Pain a l'Ancienne every week - the dough is made with ice cold water, mixed just for 5 minutes at medium speed, and put in the refrigerator right away. When I take it out in the morning, it has risen, (and while it comes to room temperature, it rises more).

My regular doughs I make with water at room temperature, often not very warm, and then, after a brief mix, they go into the refrigerator. I assure you - the instant yeast wakes up just fine!

Karin

Cryptoking's picture
Cryptoking

Reading Reinhart's recipe for pizza dough you use cold water and chilled flour.  How do you proof the instant yeast then?

wmtimm627's picture
wmtimm627

Instant yeast means exactly that. It doesn't require proofing. To be perfectly honest, active dry really doesn't need proofing either. Most people do it just to ensure that it's still active. There are so many more active yeast cells in instant that it really isn't necessary at all. If you have relatively "new" active dry, just use it the same way as instant, just use about 25% more.

ejm's picture
ejm

I use active dry yeast almost exclusively; I use it measure for measure in recipes that call for instant yeast. OR I add less, often quite a bit less. It's surprising just how much yeast isn't necessary for bread to rise. The other day, I added 3/4 tsp instead of 1+1/2 tsp. The bread rose beautifully.

This summer I have been making focaccia dough quite often and rehydrating the active dry yeast in room temperature water rather than warm water.  Because it's so warm in the kitchen these days (around 25C) the dough takes no time to double. I'm mixing the dough in the early afternoon and often having to deflate it once before shaping at around 6:00pm for baking in the barbecue at around 7:00.

With regards to rehydrating instant yeast, both Maggie Glezer and Rose Levy Beranbaum call for rehydrating instant yeast in their baguette recipes. It's because the amount of yeast is so small...

-Elizabeth

P.S. Here is my take on the baguette recipe (this is a link) in Rose Levy Beranbaum's "Bread Bible" - it's very similar to Glezer's recipe for Acme's Rustic Baguettes in "Artisan Baking Across America". Only 1/8 tsp of yeast is used in both starters for the Bread Bible baguettes. I confess that on occasion, I've been rather casual about measuring the yeast and rather than get our measuring spoons off the hook, I have just thrown a few grains (ie: far less than 1/8 tsp) into the bowl of water to be used for mixing the starters. The starters have still been quite active. 

 

CaperAsh's picture
CaperAsh

Well, I'm a small-scale commercial sourdough baker (100 loaves a Saturday Farmer's Market type operation) who hasn't used any yeast in almost 2 years. There it was where I left it in the freezer last time.  The rapid rise type from Fleischmann's in a one pound foil bag sealed tight with a rubber band and wrapped in a plastic bag. So I went to this thread and guestimated and then reduced because I had a tiny bit of sourdough starter left in the bucket (I mis-read my recipe last night when building my starter and came up 1 kg short, meaning there was no starter for my 24 garlic focaccia and 32 fennel-onion-tomato focaccia.

So I had to improvise and ended up putting in about 25 g of this rapid rise stuff into 11 kg dough which is about .003% in baker's percentage terms so I suspect this is really not enough unless I were to give it much more time which I won't have because other breads will be ready to go and this one is supposed to go in first. I will give it about 8 hours before baking in my wood-fired brick oven and if it doesn't turn out right because I misjudged the yeast, so be it. But it was interesting reading through the first part of this thread and so thank you to all contributors.

The improvisation ended being a dough with fresh local organic garlic, and about 800g fresh tomatoes from neighbour's substituting some of the water, some rosemary, some anise seeds, plenty of olive oil and my favorite stone ground Milanaise Sifted 50 flour with about 5% stone ground rye, the same in whole wheat,  a little white spelt and a dash of semola durum flour. When it is leavened with its usual sourdough starter this sort of thing is delicious (about 70% hydration). I bake it first when the oven is around 750 F, i.e. pizza temperature and a 500g loaf takes about 12-14 minutes to be ready.

CaperAsh's picture
CaperAsh

 

Well, I really messed things up: forgot to put in salt, which gave yeast a runaway head start. When I realised this error (during shaping phase when I tasted the dough) I compounded it by mixing the salt in unevenly because I am not used to mixing dough once it starts rising (with sourdough this usually produces an overly dense crumb). However, apart from that cock up, the results were pretty good though not as good as sourdough (imo).

 

Also, in terms of recipe above I didn't mention that along with using fresh tomatoes (pureed in processor) for water (part of it), the rest of the water was 'altus', i.e. water with sprouted loaf soaked in it, which I find adds a layer of flavour but also kicks the fermentation rate up a notch or three. No sugar or malt added.

I'll post a couple of pics soon.