The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Question on yeast

mangaholik's picture

Question on yeast

I have wanting to try some recipes that I have collected here and there and the one thing that I'm confused about is the difference between the types of yeast.  All I have used is the ones in the little packets and that's mostly for convenience.
Can anyone tell me if a recipe calls for 1tbls. of yeast is this equivalent to one packet?  And whats the difference between the packets and the bottled forms of yeast?

Arigatou gozaimasu!
(Thank you very much)
mangaholik :o)

popthebaker's picture

There are four basic yeast types available to the home baker. Compressed cake yeast is available in the dairy case at the local grocery store. Dry yeast and active dry yeast are in packets or jars with the baking supplies. The fourth type is wild yeast or sourdough and occurs in nature. It is contained on grains and is airborne and must be cultured in a starter to be effective in fermenting yeast.


As far as active dry yeast it is dependable and easily used. One teaspoon will weigh about 4 grams, so a tablespoon is about 12 grams. The commercial packets contain ¼ ounce or 7 grams, roughly 1 ½ teaspoons. There is no diffence between yeast in packets and in jars except jars are not portioned out. It is cultured yeast that clumps on small bits of growth media, usually molasses, and is dried. The cells are dormant until hydrated and then work as any other type of yeast. The advantage of active dry yeast is that no “proofing” is necessary, just add to the dry ingredients and then add liquids. I have used this method for a couple of decades with no yeast failure. My opinion is that proofing is a hold over from cake yeast days when the viability of the product was not a sure thing.