The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Did I screw up my yeast calculation?

  • Pin It
DrPr's picture

Did I screw up my yeast calculation?

I have the mathematical equivalent of dyslexia, so please bear with me! I also don't know much about commercial yeast yet.

I bought a small rectangle of refrigerated, moist, Red Star "fresh yeast." It doesn't say "cake" on it, but a visit to the Red Star website shows it to be cake yeast. So it's fresh, cake yeast! I'm so confused because my recipe seems to diffrentiate between the two. The recipe says to use "half cake (or .3 oz) or 1 tsp packed fresh yeast."  Well, half of this rectangle weighed way more than .3 oz.  But .3 oz of the rectangle was about two teaspoons. I decided to use .3 oz. Was this the right choice? I may be overcomplicating this.

(Oh- for what it's worth, the recipe also incorporates a sponge made from my sourdough starter).


Thank you!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

for a recipe with a sourdough sponge. 

What does your cube weigh in grams?  Is it written on the package?   I use about one 42g cube for 500g flour in a straight dough.  Here is also a Link to a previous discussion.

Yesterday, my son made me a Birthday Tiramasu and the recipe He followed was in the "Joy of Cooking."   He got very frustrated with the volume measurements (to say the least) and he wanted to know why it had to be so complicated.  He normally uses grams and the math is easier.  The Tiramasu did come out lovely and we used real Masala wine. 

I have a left over piece for breakfast.  Yum!   (And then I have to go walking to work off the calories!)


DrPr's picture

Hi, Mini

My cube was 2 oz. which is a little over 56 grms.

I baked my asiago bread and that thing came out HUGE. I think it's supposed to be huge, though. :-)  The holes I achieved were medium sized with a few large ones, so I'm happy with the density, which I achieved despite having to press the dough into a disk before baking. The flavor was awesome, but I can't give a true assessment of the yeast's flavor because of the cheese and olive oil in the recipe.

How would I know if I used too much yeast?

logan's picture

your bread would ferment too fast beacause the yeast would eat all the natural sugars in the flour faster. therefore.... your bread would have less flavour and the colour of the bread once baked would not be as good.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Opinions vary with conditions.   The rules change also with the kinds of flour being used.   Gluten and nutrients in the flour will eventually wear out and the result is that your dough will weaken and fall apart.  All manufactured yeast is fast to reproduce and emit gasses that raise bread and the amounts of yeast can be easily controlled.  When the yeast reactions are confined to a small space under perfect environmental conditions... like a bread baking machine, then a direct relationship occurs:  too much yeast equals too much rise too soon. 

It is fun to watch dough rise, and this rising does stretch and soften the crumb, one gets a feeling of success in just seeing a reaction but the dough is just dough and it needs to be controlled and watched if a decent loaf of bread is the desired result.   Too much  of a fast acting yeast can also cut your rising times short if a long rising time is desired for flavor.   It is important to pair the type of flour with the type of yeast you are using for the effect you desire.

Many will say that the yeast actually burns out and is more smell or lingering aroma than taste in the finished bread.  Could be.  I've witnessed the yeast aroma (smell of fresh baked bread) turning my troup into unstoppable killers of mediocre bread. 

If you wanted to taste the yeast in bread.  You could try mixing up a loaf and then divide it into little loaves and add a different kind of yeast to each one.  Then make a taste test the next day after all the loaves have cooled.



althetrainer's picture

I used to buy fresh yeast from a local bakery but they didn't sell anything less than a pound at a time.  If I could find someone to share the big old brick of yeast that's fine.  But often I found mysefl freezing the yeast yet they still died before I could get to the bottom of it.  I fianlly went back to dried yeast. 

Happy birthday, mini!  That's very nice that your boy made you a birthday tiramasu.  Sounds delicious.  When I first learned how to cook, I was taugh using cups instead of weight so I am  very old school.  In fact, I didn't have a kitchen scale until last year when I decided to weigh my foods.  I still use measuring cups for my ingredents for bread making.  Old habits die hard, I guess. :-)



Pjacobs's picture

Hey AL,

I also buy cake yeast at a bakery for 1 to 2 dollars a pound. If you only use a quarter of it- I never freeze it--its much better and less expensive than dry yeast. But then that's just my experience. I also like high gluten flours in the range of 14 percent or more. I've recently discovered a white all-purpose flour from Wheat Montana that makes great bread when allowed to ferment overnight on the counter.It has a gluten level of exactly 14. My advice is to stick with the cake yeast. You were lucky to find it.


cake diva's picture
cake diva


The Asiago bread sounds good.  If the recipe is not in this forum, can you post it?


logan's picture

jst follow these guidlines and ur bread should be fine for any type u want to make nearly.

2% salt

3% fresh yeast or 1.5% dried yeast

so.. an example would be 1kg flour, 20g salt and 30g fresh yeast. so then u can work out exactly how much u need of each ingrediant no matter what quantity of flour you use.

hope this helps.