The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

active dry yeast

ejm's picture
ejm

This is mostly for amusement's sake.

Every so often, I want to make a recipe that calls for fresh yeast and I don't have fresh yeast. Of course, I have nothing against using fresh yeast. It's just not that easily found around here. Instead, I use the active dry yeast we always have on hand. (Why do I always choose active dry yeast? Because that’s what my mother always uses.)

In the past and quite recently, I have gone through various books and the internet looking for this conversion information. Here are some of the various formulae I have come across in my travels:

for every cup of flour in the recipe, use either of

    3 grams compressed fresh yeast
    2 grams active dry yeast
    1 gram instant active dry yeast

-Maggie Glezer, "Artisan Baking Across America"

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Substitute twice as much (by weight) fresh yeast for the amount of dry yeast called for in the recipe.

-Daniel Leader, "Local Breads"

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

-Susan (Wild Yeast), wildyeastblog.com

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2+1/2 tsp (one package) active dry yeast = 18 gm cake fresh yeast

-Carol Field, "The Italian Baker"

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A .6-oz [17gm] cube of cake yeast is roughly equivalent to 1½ to 2 tsp. instant yeast or 2 to 2¼ tsp. active dry yeast.

-Sydny Carter, Yeast: The Basics, allrecipes.com

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One .6 ounce [17 grams] cake is equivalent to 1 envelope [.25 ounce/7 grams] of dry yeast.

-Fleischmann's Yeast FAQ, breadworld.com

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yeast, compressed . . . . 1 cake, 3/5 oz . . . . 1 package active dry yeast

-Irma S. Rombauer, Know your ingredients, Joy of Cooking

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1 packed tablespoon of fresh or cake yeast=21 grams which=2-1/2 [8gm] teaspoons active dry (so for 100 grams fresh yeast use 1/4 cup + 1/2 teaspoon or 40 grams active dry)

-Rose Levy Beranbaum, realbakingwithrose.com

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If you are substituting active dry yeast for instant yeast in a recipe, [...] add about 20 percent more yeast to the recipe than what is called for. [...] If you encounter a recipe that uses fresh yeast, divide the weight by 3 to calculate the proper amount of instant yeast to use.

-Yeast FAQ, thefreshloaf.com

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Some years ago, with mixed up logic, I managed to work out the following formula. Remarkably, the bread I made rose beautifully.

2½ tsp (8gm) active dry yeast = 50gm fresh yeast

-me, my house

Depending on whose formula I use, to replace 50gm fresh yeast, I should use anywhere from 8 to 32.5 gm active dry yeast. (I think I have the arithmetic right with the various formulae: 32.5gm, 25gm, 22.5gm, 20gm, 17.5-20gm, 17gm, 8.3 OR 8gm active dry in place of 50 gm fresh yeast)

So. After all these contortions? I've decided that I'll use the higher amount of active dry to replace fresh yeast if there's lots of sugar in the recipe, but the lower amount if there's little sugar in the recipe.

-Elizabeth

Here is a nifty javascript that one of my sisters created after hearing about this:

edit: Ooops!!! I hit "save" by mistake. I MEANT to hit "preview". I think I've finished fixing things now. Have fun with the conversion chart!

 

Also may be of interest:

phxdog's picture

Active Dry Yeast in place of 'Captured"?

June 24, 2009 - 9:40am -- phxdog

At the risk of committing heresy, I wonder if instant or dry active yeast could be the basis of a good sourdough starter. Here's my reasoning:

I'm told that dry active yeast has been 'engineered' to be very active and supplies a very high concentration of yeast to make bread rise quickly and consistantly. Intant yeast is very easy to use but works so quickly that it sacrifices the depth of flavor one gets with a long, slow ferment.

ejm's picture
ejm

A while back, Julie J was asking for advice on how best to crush cardamom for her Finnish cardamom buns. As soon as I saw the recipe, I knew I had to try it! And finally, this week, I got the chance.

pulla

I'm not sure if this is how the buns are supposed to look. I pretty much guessed about how much of an indentation to make for the butter. And as I was inserting butter into the thumb holes, I completely forgot about sprinkling extra sugar on top as per Julie's instructions. But I did think of using some inferior apricot jam on two of the buns. It turns out that this is a great way to use and improve apricot jam! I decided to make a 3-strand braided loaf as well. And then when I was placing the buns on the tray and worried that they were too close together, I shaped 4 of the rounds into snakes and braided them together into a smallish 4-strand round loaf.

pulla

Did I take my advice to use the coffee grinder to crush the cardamom? Ha! That would have been too easy. I used the mortar and pestle. Remind me to use our big sharp knife next time. The mortar and pestle is way too labour intensive and leaves rather large chunks of cardamom behind. Or perhaps I will follow my own Fresh Loaf advice to use our coffee spice grinder. Luckily, large chunks of cardamom taste good and are soft enough that we aren’t risking getting broken teeth... and the crumb is beautifully soft and moist. Absolutely delicious with or without extra butter! (The extra butter is really unnecessary! But oh so good!)

-Elizabeth

pulla

 

edit: link to JulieJ's pulla recipe fixed.

ejm's picture
ejm

caraway rye bread

The last time I made caraway rye bread, I used the recipe in The Joy of Cooking. We really like it. But as I was leafing through The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, I noticed her recipe for rye bread. A recipe that looked too good.

Whenever my father had an excuse to return to the Bronx, he'd never come back without a freshly baked loaf from his favourite bakery. I liked the rye bread, studded with constellations of caraway seeds, best. My grandmother, who lived with us, would serve it to me spread thickly with unsalted btutter, the top paved with rounds of sliced red radishes. - Rose Levy Beranbaum, The Bread Bible, page 324

How could I not try this bread?

As it turns out, this is the best rye bread we've had. Thank you, Rose Levy Beranbaum!!

caraway rye bread

I would love to have tried the bread with butter and sliced radishes. But we didn't have any radishes.... Initially, I had thought we would be making Reuben sandwiches with it. But my husband was so thrilled with how light it was that we decided to serve it with goulash and steamed broccoli. It was brilliant!

-Elizabeth

ejm's picture
ejm

Happy New Year!!

festive bread

In past years, I've made sweet saffron buns for Christmas. But after tasting the recently made semi-wild challah, we both agreed that while the saffron adds a lovely colour and flavour, it doesn't add quite enough flavour to merit the expense of using the saffron. We decided to forego the saffron and make plain sweet bread (we used the saffron in our shrimp for New Year's Eve dinner instead).

Saffron-less bread is delicious!! (Saffron shrimp is equally delicious!)

And I must say that I'm awfully pleased with myself for managing to do the six strand braid correctly - after reading, rereading, testing with string, reading, rereading the braiding section in Blessing of Bread by Maggie Glezer.

I had planned on putting together a little photo essay of the six strand braiding but right now, I think I neeeeeed to head down to begin New Year's Day celebrations. Hmmm, shall we start with Festive bread?

-Elizabeth

braiding festive bread

If you can't wait, please look here:

ejm's picture
ejm

Glezer bread

For a recent dinner featuring shrimps in Pernod, there was special request for the bread to be made WITHOUT using my wild yeast. So I fell back on one of our favourites from Maggie Glezer's book Artisan Baking Across America: Acme's Rustic Baguettes. On first reading, the recipe seems a little complicated with its double preferment but it is almost fool proof. And it's NOT sour. Not even remotely.

The bread was so successful and so good and so free of any sour taste that it is the primary reason for the fit of pique when I threw our wild yeast starter down the drain.

I feel so free!

Even though the shape isn't quite right, everything else about the bread was great. Some day I might actually shape the bread in baguettes but boules are SO much easier. The only thing that I haven't managed to get right is to keep the loaves from growing into each other as they rise.

Glezer bread

To learn more about our feast, please read here.

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