The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cake Yeast

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mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

Cake Yeast

Any reason why I havent seen or read many recipes calling for cake yeast?

proth5's picture
proth5

to be half serious half a bit of a "smart alec."



  1. You haven't been looking in the right places.  Nearly all of the books I have have (and they have been purchased new within the past 10 years) have formulas that exclusively call fresh or "cake" yeast. Look in those places and you will see plenty of formulas calling for fresh yeast.

  2. Most bakers on this forum are home bakers and because fresh (cake) yeast is not widely available to many home bakers, the formulas in this forum tend to be written for instant yeast.

  3. It is easy to convert from fresh to instant.  To convert a formula from fresh to instant yeast, multiply the weight of the yeast by .33 (or according to some - 0.4) to convert from instant to fresh, divide by that same factor.


Hope this answers both your stated and implied questions.

mivigliotti's picture
mivigliotti

U can have ur fun. Thanks for the response just was wondering in the few books I read and few places I have seen online all called for instant yeast.

proth5's picture
proth5

trying to be mean, but see below and see above.  Most home bakers don't have easy access, so if you are looking on sites for home bakers and books for home bakers, instant (which even many professional bakers use) is simply the yeast of choice.

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

Subject says it all.


Until someone can show me a double-blind test demonstrating any advantages of fresh yeast over instant, especially given the shelf-life issues of the former, I'll continue to assume those who insist on fresh do so for no actual, demonstrable reason.

dantortorici's picture
dantortorici

Interesting discussion.


For the first time I used fresh yeast this last weekend. Never used it before but I had a baguette recipe that I learned that used it. I bought the yeast at a local baker.


Results? Well, I don't think it made a difference in the rise but it did seem to have more of that earthy yeast smell to the bread and a flavor that I would describe as a bit more earthy. Clearly not a necessity with all the other yeast options, but try it, you might like it!


 


Dan


 

fancypantalons's picture
fancypantalons

First, you said it yourself, it's anecdotal.  Confirmation bias is a wonderful thing, and if you're looking for some characteristic you can ascribe to your choice of yeast, you'll find it.



Second,  while you didn't explicitly spell it out, it sounds like you took a recipe you already know and switched to cake yeast.  Given that, and presupposing the difference you mention is present, it's probably because the conversion from cake yeast to instant (or vice versa) was inexact, and so you ended up with more yeast in the batch using cake yeast.  As such, if a yeasty flavour is someting you like, I'm willing to bet you could get the same effect by simply increasing the amount of instant yeast you use.


BTW, to be clear, I'm not trying to attack anyone, here.  I just have a rather strong suspicion that the reverance people have for cake yeast is largely unfounded, and so the topic tends to be a bit of a pet peeve of mine. :)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

smash it and crumble it and get my fingers into it.  Fresh feels silky.  I can easily make goo out of it.  Handling it also tells me a lot about its condition and it's easy to purchase here in Austria.  (Fresh is more fickle.)  I can also take a good whiff of it without breathing it into my sinus passages.   Instant is my standby emergency yeast, quick, tear open, oh so careful on the whiffing and dump.    Sourdough starter is my main play time yeast.   I'm keen to aromas, and fresh yeast sets a tone or mental picture much faster. 


I think the first thing I do before starting any dough is to actively smell the yeast.  Fresh yeast and starters satisfy my ritual.


Mini

dantortorici's picture
dantortorici

No offense taken....


Actually, it was a new recipe that specified fresh yeast so the amount was in line with the recipe. I certainly understand your point that other forms may in fact achieve the same results but as Mini notes, there is something different about using fresh - the feel, the smell, whatever.


As I noted, this was my first experience but it was enough for me to want to use it more to better understand its nuances.


About that reverence thing.... for you its unfounded but for the reverence club its real. Personal preference is a wonderful thing!


Dan

hanseata's picture
hanseata

In Germany many recipes also call for cake yeast. Fresh yeast is readily available in supermarkets and people are just more used to it. But fresh yeast is indeed quite fickle. If it is not fresh enough, or if your room is not warm enough or your windows not well insulated, the dough might not rise well. Therefore many people complain about how difficult it is to bake with yeast.


In German cooking websites I find a lot of people taking an ideologic view on this, claiming fresh yeast were superior. I never noticed any difference to dry yeasts, only that they were easier to work with and delivered much more foolproof results. 


The yeast conversion is:


100% yeast cake  = 50% active dry yeast = 33% instant yeast (or 40% for enriched doughs).


 

ValerieSara's picture
ValerieSara

I found a nice recipe for a lovely baguette using fresh yeast:Traditional French Bread Parts 1 and 2. Chef:Danielle Forestier; Series:Baking with Julia. Here is the link:


http://vsx.onstreammedia.com/vsx/JuliaChild/search/search?pageSize=3&query75=Public&query_field75=clabel_Access&query_op75=must_contain&query_field2=c...


Once you are on the site, you will see a red star under the vid that says "See related feature". Click on that for the recipe in print. Btw, I make it using SAF Instant yeast with great results, although Danielle advised Julia (imagine that!) against using dry yeast. Either way, lovely bread, with wonderful open crumb and nice crust. The videos (pts 1 and 2) are wonderful, especially if you love Julia as I do. I make mine in my Kitchen Aid mixer. Full directions for making it in the KA mixer are in the recipe (not online) in the Baking with Julia cookbook, page 125. Good luck and welcome to the forum.