The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Yeast FAQ

Yeast FAQ

What is the difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast (also known as bread machine yeast)?

Instant yeast is a little more potent than active dry yeast and can be mixed in with your dry ingredients directly. I generally find it easier to work with. Active dry yeast works just as well as instant yeast, but requires being activated in a little bit of warm water before being added to the rest of the ingredients. Failure to properly activate it will result in your loaf not rising adequately.

Can I substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast in my recipe (or vice versa)?

Yes. If you are substituting active dry yeast for instant yeast in a recipe, read the instructions on the package to figure out how to activate the yeast before adding it to the recipe and reduce the amount of water you add later in the recipe by the amount of water you proof the yeast in (i.e., if you activate the yeast in a half a cup of water, add a half a cup of water or milk less later so that you end up with the same total amount of liquid in the recipe). You may also want to add about 20 percent more yeast to the recipe than what is called for, although using less yeast and letting it rise more slowly will result in a more flavorful loaf. If you are substituting instant yeast for active dry yeast, you can reduce the amount of yeast you use in your recipe by approximately 20 percent. Be sure not to forget to increase the amount of water you add to the dry ingredients by the amount that you would proof the active dry yeast in, so that you end up with the same total amount of liquid in the recipe.

How should I store yeast?  

I buy instant yeast in large packages and store it in an airtight jar in the refrigerator.  Doing so, you should be able to get at least six months or a year out of it.  If you notice the potency starting to taper off, just add a bit more when you bake.

Can I freeze yeast? 

Sure!  Just be sure it seal it in an airtight container before doing so.  

What about fresh yeast?  What is it?

Professional bakers often use fresh yeast. If you encounter a recipe that uses fresh yeast, divide the weight by 3 to calculate the proper amount of instant yeast to use.

Many recipes in my baking books call for using a starter. I don't have the time/energy/patience to sustain a starter. Can I substitute yeast instead?

Absolutely. And vice-versa: you can turn a yeasted bread into a naturally leavened bread by omitting the yeast and including a starter. The flavor will be different, obviously, but in my experience it still can turn out quite good. You may even find you prefer your modified version to the original recipe. I don't know of an exact formula to calculate how much to substitute. I just assume that I'm going to need to add a little more flour and water (how much of each depends on whether it was a wet or dry leaven I am replacing) and enough yeast for a comparable size batch of yeasted bread. I usually figure around 1 or 2 teaspoons per loaf. Also be aware that yeast tends to move quicker than starters do, so expect to cut the rise time down by something like one half (or else reduce the yeast even more).

Comments

ejm's picture
ejm

Whenever I use a recipe that calls for instant yeast, I use exactly the same amount of active dry (rather than using a little more) The bread always turns out just fine. Perhaps it may take a tiny bit longer to proof but that doesn't generally harm the final loaf.

 

-Elizabeth 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Recently I decided to chuck all my yeast and start over. I had been using SAF Red and Active Dry which I store in an acrylic sealed container in the freezer. I have had good luck with both varieties but I suspected that any degradation would be so slow that I might not notice the loss in performance. A pound of yeast is cheap so I dumped them both the day my new batch came from KA.

I decided to abandon the Active Dry and switch to SAF Gold Instant. Gold is what they call "osmotolerant" and is supposed to be better for sweet or acidic doughs. I have been making a lot of sourdough/yeast combinations lately and I thought the properties of Gold might be a help.

It's been about a Month since I started using the Gold and I love it. I frequently add a little Starter to the preferment (20-200 grams) and I get much better results in proofing now that I have started using this new yeast.

I t could be that I hadn't noticed the slowly degrading 2 year old yeast I dumped. I don't think this has anything to do with KA running a marketing program on us for another product. SAF Gold is made by serious yeast makers and for a reason. It won't cost much to try it out and if I'm right we will benefit.

Eric

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

And have to say I have never seen such large pearls of yeast! And the color has me stumped! Never too old to learn a new trick....

After mixing some of this into water and flour 50/50 and left overnight, I can see it didn't quite dissolve evenly. I did mix it into the water first but not long enough. I will let it dissolve completely next time. (edit)....well that didn't work until the temperature got up to 105°F or 40°c !  I found out the package says nothing about dissolving it.  

 Do not dissolve instantly!

Dry yeast

 yeast caviar, red-brown, no aroma

Korean Dry Yeast -This photo is great! - I can't even see it this well with spectacles!

Mini O

ejm's picture
ejm

Wow, this is so golden brown! Did it raise your bread, Mini?

And do you think it was created with wheat flour?

-Elizabeth 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I used it in the Monkey bread recipe. But not before playing with it for hours to get it to dissolve. By using hot water, it dissolved within minutes, I added sugar to proof it to make sure it was working. And therein lies the problem, the water has to be heated first. I did build it into the recipe by dissolving powdered milk into the water, heating it, cooling it and adding the yeast. It takes just a little bit more and it has a lot of lifting power.

I have a peach wine experiment going on at the same time. 2 litres of juice each with a different yeast and covered with a balloon. The first has a pea size lump of sd added, the second a pinch of instant yeast, the third a pinch of dry yeast, and the forth instant yeast again. They are all making gas and working hard. The instant is the first yeast to peak and settle. The sd took days to peak and still has bits of foam, the dry also took time to dissolve (no heat)and still has foam on the surface, it's balloon was the largest (most gas). The fourth bottle got started last night and just blowing up the balloon.

So what does that tell me? That if I'm having a party I should just blow them up and not use yeast or maybe dry yeast and sd are good for longer ferments, instant for short ones.

I have enough juice for one more bottle, I will heat up a little bit of the juice and dissolve the dry yeast in it then see if it goes gassy faster.

Mini O-CO2

ejm's picture
ejm

This really surprises me; I had thought that hot water would kill the yeast! Just how hot are you having to make the water? (I generally use baby-bottle-temperature water to dissolve active dry yeast but have used colder water on occasion and still had decent results.)

Is there any difference in flavour in the various lengths of time it takes to blow up the balloons with your peach wine experiment?

-Elizabeth

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Better to stay about 5°c and 10°F degrees under that.

So I let the hot water cool until I could hold my finger in it about 42°c or 105°F.  I put my quick read thermometer in to check.  The yeast above (photo) must have a gel coating that requires heat to melt.  It would also not surprise me if that coating included malt, or other food stuff for the yeast, could be a brown rice coating too.  I still added a teaspoon of brown sugar.  Once dissolved I let it sit for about 10 minutes waiting for foam ...and it did come ...first slowly and then enough to cover the surface.  After 20 minutes it looked like cappucino.

About the peach wine...I haven't tasted them yet but the sd looks the best, it is effervescent.  Looks a lot like peach champagne.   Opps, the dry yeast is also effervescent.   Does make me curious! 

Mini O

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I tasted the peach wine, if you could call it that, granted 10 days it is not very old but it is very interesting.   The one fermented with my sd starter tastes very good, a improvement on the peach juice with hint of sour and fine bubbles that dance on the tongue.  The instant yeast wine tastes yeasty and not so nice.   The dry yeast is also yeasty but dryer with touch of bitter.  I went back to the first bottle and tasted another 100g ...much better.

Now if I applied this to dough fermentation, it confirms that I prefer to use sourdough than instant or dry yeast in a long extended preferment.  I can taste lots of differences with this simple experiment.  The sourdough brings out the flavor instead of dominating it.  hmmmm....

Mini O

ejm's picture
ejm

This is most interesting. And it sort of confirms what I've always felt about instant yeast I much prefer to use active dry (and very occasionally fresh yeast) if I'm using commercial yeasts.

In spite of the "too sour for our taste" qualities of our sourdough bread, I still think that the aroma of it baking is far more pleasing than the aroma of bread made with commercial yeast. As you say, there is a bitter quality that is underlying with the active dry yeast. 

Today, I'm trying an experiment with our sourdough and am just about to shape it - immediately after kneading it - and so allow for only one rise. I'm hoping that this will cut back on the sour flavour. 

I must say that I really like that the wine made with your sourdough tastes best. Very cool. 

And what a confirmation for the slow food movement!

-Elizabeth

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

A week ago I tasted the peach wine made with sd starter... very much like a weak vinegar.

The peach wine with instant yeast tastes more like wine. Not sure I like it yet.  

I poured the vinegar over into a clean bottle and set it aside for salads.  Today I took it out and it was all bubbly again! Poured some out into a glass and it made a nice foam head.  Wow and tastes....like peach beer.  Very good!  I put it into the fridge to cool.  When I drink it I think of grilled bratwurst and picnics.  Crazy!

ejm's picture
ejm

How cool is that?

And I find it particularly fascinating that when it was young, it was sour and vinegary but after being allowed to mature, it turned to ale! I wonder if the vinegar-like taste is similar to the first kind of bacteria that is formed in the beginning stages of a wild yeast starter and the final peach beer is like the final stages.

-Elizabeth

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

...and when it was cold, my beer expert thought it better for salad dressing.  It did taste better at room temp than cold.  Those beasties are kicking out the sour in the 50°F zone and changing things!

Mini

beautifuldisaster's picture
beautifuldisaster

Hi everyone!

Yesterday was the first time I worked with yeast and where I'm from, I can only get instant yeast and not active dry. I did not know that I had to reduce the amount of yeast I used if I substitute instant for active dry but it worked quite fine, though the bread was rising really fast.

 

As for activating the yeast, I dissolved the instant yeast with water and sugar and actually it worked fine for me, and fortunately did not have any clumps as you guys described. I have a question though. If I use instant, do I have to increase the amount of water that is called for (the original called for active-dry)? If so, how much more water do I need to add?

 

Thank you!

pmccool's picture
pmccool

For that matter, you won't need to "activate" it before using, either.  Just stir it in with the flour before adding the wet ingredients.  The moisture in the dough is sufficient to activate the yeast.

Happy baking!

Paul

beautifuldisaster's picture
beautifuldisaster

Thanks for the advice, Paul! I've yet to try adding it into the rest of the dry ingredients, but I'll do that the next time round. At least I'll save 15 mins :)

 

Grace

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Amazing what all happens in the refrigerator!  Two months ago I used part of a small cube of fresh yeast and threw the other half (wrapped in it's foil with the plastic loose around it) into one of the fridge door compartments, not paying too much attention.  I was too busy.

Now, I look at the cube and it is still in order!  (normally my nose finds it first) It had fallen into the baking soda I keep open in a small dish.  Interesting, could this be the reason for it keeping so long?  Somehow it seems to keep the yeast fresh which normally lasts only a few weeks. 

Just an observation but I will be doing this more often, that is; storing the wrapped fresh yeast over a dish of baking soda in the fridge.   Makes for happy beasties and me too!

Mini

gardenchef's picture
gardenchef

Hi all...

It's the time of year again when I peruse this board a lot.

Today I am using SAF INSTANT yeast for the first time. My recipe calls for 2 envelopes of Fleishman's yeast which is the equiv. if you use fleischman's jar to 4 1/2 tsp.

So after checking my books... I reduced my SAF INSTANT yeast by 20% (hope I did it correctly) and used 1 Tbls plus a little over 1/2 tsp (or 3 1/2 tsp + some)

It also calls for adding directly to dry ingred. (No warm water bubbling to activate first) VERY SIMPLE if it works, it is rising now I will keep you posted. 

Oh you also have to add the = amount of water (to liquid) that you would have used with Fleischman's to activate.

It's smooth and elastic, hope it rises well.

more later from the Gardenchef in Boston

 

 

heidet's picture
heidet

I am trying to perfect 'glass bread' , a special boccadillo bread from Spain. I have done lots of research and am reading about doing the bread in a 'thermomix' versus by hand. This bread is 90% hydration, so imagine it looks like a spongy loose batter when put into a form similar to a baguette mold.

I have two general concerns before I continue in my experimentation. The flour used is flor comun- common flour 000= what would that translate to in terms of AP flour gluten and protein: 10%,11%? I am not sure. The second concern is that fresh cake baker's yeast is used but ,living in western Japan, it is not to be found so I have done a conversion of 12.5 g of cake to make 4.25g of saf-instant or 6.25 g of general dry yeast. My concern,besides besides potential rising time, is whether there is a taste or crumb difference. This bread is extremely 'holed', and when toasted ,very very crisp.

Does anyone have experience converting Spanish ingredients to English , American, or Japanese, and does anyone know the relative pros and cons of a thermomix machine?

shibamarie's picture
shibamarie

I'm surprised you don't mention the relationship between salt and yeast in your FAQs.  Since I need to watch my salt intake I try to either eliminate or lower the amount of salt in any recipe I make.  If you do that with yeasty recipes you also need to lower the amount of salt (basically you can't eliminate the salt with yeast).  I have experimented with this but would love suggestions from yeast experts!

 

shibamarie's picture
shibamarie

I meant lower the amount of yeast!

yozzause's picture
yozzause

 

yozzause's pictureyozzause Nov 24 2016 - 1:27pm 

here is a snippet that may answer your question that I found when looking to convert 28C to F

From The Inquisitive Cook, by Anne Gardiner and Sue Wilson with the Exploratorium (Henry Holt and Co., 1998).

300° F–400° F (150° C–205° C) Surface temperature of a browning crust.

200° F (100° C) Interior temperature of a loaf of just-baked bread.

130° F–140° F (55° C–60° C) Yeast cells die (thermal death point).

120° F–130° F (49° C–55° C) Water temperature for activating yeast designed to be mixed with the dry ingredients in a recipe.

105° F–115° F (41° C–46° C) Temperature of water for dry yeast reconstituted with water and sugar.

100° F (38° C) or lower When yeast is mixed with water at too low a temperature, an amino acid called glutathione leaks from the cell walls, making doughs sticky and hard to handle.

95° F (35° C) Temperature for liquids used to dissolve compressed yeasts.

80° F–90° F (27° C–32° C) Optimum temperature range for yeast to grow and reproduce at dough fermentation stage.

70° F–80° F (21° C–27°C) Recommended water temperature for bread machines.

40° F (4° C) Recommended refrigerator temperature. Used directly from the fridge, yeast is too cold to work properly.

re posted at the request of Mini in FAQ's

Kind regards Derek

Kraol's picture
Kraol

i have been following The Fresh Loaf recipe for wild yeast sourdough starter.  I did have to add the apple cider vinegar to wake up the yeast.  The starter is now bubbly most days.  My question:  How long should I continue to add the apple cider vinegar when feeding the starter?

Ruth Maas's picture
Ruth Maas

 Can someone give me the procedures on how to freeze sourdough starter for future use. 

Ruth Maas's picture
Ruth Maas

thanks for the reply

Belin's picture
Belin

Hi my name is Belinda and I am new to baking bread.  I started my sourdough starter 11 days ago and I have been feeding it every day.  It has nice bubbles and it smells yeasty to me.  I did the test in water and if it floats its ready.  Mine just sinks to the bottom.  Am I just rushing things or what could the problem be?  It is winter here in Cape Town South Africa but it never gets colder than about 6 degrees C and during the day about 15 to 19 degrees C.  Could it be to cold for the starter maybe?

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

What are you high temps?   You will want to have 24°C to 26°C when getting yeast to grow or face enormous slowdowns in getting a sourdough starter started.  It can be done but it takes weeks if at a lower temperature.   Thicken it up so the starter is more dough like and get it warmer.  After it expands, test it again.

For more info, please start a new post under sourdough starters.  Thanks.  :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

They will more than likely be erased from this Yeast Thread as they pertain to sourdoughs.  

Walstib's picture
Walstib

Hey Loafers...

New to TFL and this is my first post. So I have more questions than there are electrons to carry them at the moment. :)

A little bread background: I have been baking bread at home from commercial flour and yeast for about 15+ years, have worked in professional kitchens (many, many years ago) and at one of them I made 100-200 lbs. of dough/day. I was up to my elbows in dough! Just so y'all would know I'm not a total noob to bread, yeast and such.

 

I'll start with my latest project - Sourdough Starter (biological yeast, not commercial). I have run this little experiment now 3 or 4 times and each time the starter stops. Day1 - Day 3 there is what appears to be fermentation happening by the smell and bubbling, but then things take a turn for the worse. I mill my own red hard winter wheat and using 0% extraction (btw, I need to get some screens.... but that is another set of questions I'll get to).

  1. Day 1: 20g flour and 30g water (20g/20g made a paste and I wanted a more liquid starter and I know the higher ash content consumes more water).
  2. Day 2: 40g flour/60g water.
  3. After Day 1 I had nice bubbling action going on.
  4. After Day 2 I got a very nice rise and nice 'sour/tangy' smell.
  5. Day 3: 80g flour/110 g water.
  6. After Day3 is when things change. The smell returns to a pleasant wet flour smell and there is no action with bubbling or rising. I have tried to persevere and have removed all but 2-3 T then added 1T flour/1T water but it appears to have past a point of no return.

And then I toss it after another day or two of no motion and start over.

Just before posting this I read the entry from The Sourdough Lady that mentions using orange or pineapple juice vs. water to moderate the pH and found that really interesting. So that is a course I may try but wanted to humbly throw myself at the feet of you who know better and, I am sure, know what corrective measures I can take.

Thanks for your time and consideration.

~ Walstib

 

Walstib's picture
Walstib

Please excuse my newness to TFL. I have copied this to the Sourdough Starter forum to be in the proper topic.