The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fresh Yeast vs dried

BabyBlue's picture
BabyBlue

Fresh Yeast vs dried

I sent my husband to the grocery store to by Fleishman's traditional yeast in the big vacuum sealed pack that the store usually carries, and he came home with a hermetically sealed block of active yeast from the bakery section.  My question is, could anyone tell me how to use this stuff in my regular recipes?  Do I need more, less??  Do I proof it (I usually do, as I don't use instant yeast)? 


any help would be appreciated. It seems the stores aren't carrying my usual selections these days...


 


Blue

BabyBlue's picture
BabyBlue

I usually store my yeast in the freezer.  Would I do the same with this?  Or keep it in the fridge. It was really cheap to buy, but I am not sure it is as handy as having my regular yeast around. I did not have time to do any baking today, so I have not been able to try it.  I will though! Thanks for the links to those posts!


Blue

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I wouldn't freeze it. Usually people who use fresh yeast keep it in the fridge in a plastic bag. You are supposed to allow it to breath which I have taken to mean leave the bag open. The aroma spreads as it ages. I found I could keep a block of fresh yeast for over a month in a closed ziplock. My general conversion is to times 4 the amount of Instant called for when using fresh, by weight. So  a recipe that calls for 2-1/4 tsp or 7 grams of IDY, I use 28 grams of fresh. Your product might be more or less active.


Eric

Elagins's picture
Elagins

virtually all of the conversion formulas i've seen give yeast equivalents as follows, and it's the one i use consistently and with great success:


fresh: 100%


active dry: 50%


instant: 33%


so this would mean multiplying the amount (by weight) called for of instant by 3 and active dry by 2.


as for fresh yeast storage, i keep mine in the fridge in a ziploc bag that i leave partially open so the yeast can respire (remember: it's a colony of living organisms). the yeast typically stays fresh and active for about 2 months when i store it this way.


btw, best way to tell whether fresh yeast is still active is to see whether it crumbles. if it's viable, it will crumble; if it's more like mush, discard it.


smell is also a good indicator. healthy fresh yeast should smell fresh and sweet. a strong sour smell means it's on the downward path.


Stan Ginsberg
www.nybakers.com

BabyBlue's picture
BabyBlue

Do you have a preference for dry or fresh? 


I haven't had time to try this yet.  It will be this weekend for sure.  I don't understand why my grocery stores aren't carrying my bulk dry yeast anymore...  I have no use for buying yeast in little packets or in small bottles!!  1kg usually lasts me about 3 months.


Blue

Elagins's picture
Elagins

in part because it's easier to measure with precision, and secondly because i operate under the assumption -- which others have questioned -- that fresh yeast has a higher concentration of active yeast cells than either instant or AD.


considering how much yeast you use, i don't think that spoilage would be a problem if you switched to fresh compressed yeast -- assuming you can find a reasonably priced supplier.


Stan Ginsberg

BabyBlue's picture
BabyBlue

I went to use the yeast this morning, and held back because the smell was very strong- like a VERY strong Brie, or other smelly European cheese...  It is nice and crumbly though, and it certainly is alive and well... but I feared my bread would taste very strong, and I was making a few loaves for a friend of mine whose kids love white bread and hate whole grain...  I am not sure that spelt, kamut, rye AND stong yeast would be up their alley!  So I used some instant that I had on hand.  I can still buy the instant in bulk (1 pound) but I prefer the traditional...  and really, I don't know why!  Just that it is what I am used to using.


 

Elagins's picture
Elagins

but your yeast is probably on its last legs. mine generally gets that way after a couple of months -- still crumbly, but with areas that are starting to break down into a more buttery consistency. it's really important to make sure your yeast is very fresh, since it's a colony of living organisms with a limited food supply. once that goes, the yeast cells start dying, with the inevitable side effects.


Stan