The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dry Active Yeast

  • Pin It
jmpjd's picture

Dry Active Yeast

I have recently tried my hand at baking bread. I've started with a couple of easy ones; no knead artisian and english muffin bread. My question is: both such recipes (and all the variations on them that I have seen) say to wisk the dry active yeast in with the other dry ingredients and then add the warm wet ingredients. Doesn't the dry active yeast have to have a chance to bloom before everything gets mixed together?

I wonder about this because with both of the above-mentioned recipes my bread, although it looks and tastes pretty good, always comes out more dense than I think it should, at least based on the pictures that accompanied the recipes. At the same time, the dough does not seem to rise consistently (all other factors being equal).

Thank you in advance for any advice.


gaaarp's picture


Welcome to TFL and to bread baking! You'll find a ton of information here, as well as people who know bread and are happy to help.

Are you sure your recipes called for active dry yeast rather than instant yeast? Active dry yeast is generally proofed in warm liquid before being added to the dry ingredients. This gives the yeast a chance to "wake up" and also assures the baker that the yeast is good.

Instant yeast, on the other hand, does not have to be activated. It can be mixed with the dry ingredients, as your recipe suggests.

If you have active dry yeast but the recipe calls for instant, never fear. Check out this yeast conversion chart.


flournwater's picture

All things being equal, I endorse the practice of "blooming" active dry yeast.  Although I do sometimes just mix the ADY with the other dry ingredients, taking time to allow it to develop independently works better (for me) than the dyr mix method.  However, there are other reasons why a finished bread may not be as light and delicate as we might expect so while you may see the yeast and its development as suspect, don't be too quick to declard it guilty until you've examined the rest of the process.

Chuck's picture

Doesn't the dry active yeast have to have a chance to bloom before everything gets mixed together

"Dissolving" the dry yeast in liquid before mixing it in was uniformly recommended decades ago, but...

There's a new manufacturing process producing a subtly new kind of yeast. "Active Dry yeast" and "Instant Yeast" (in some brands the same as "Bread Machine Yeast") aren't the same thing. "Instant Yeast" has only been easily available in the last couple of decades. Most folks consider it superior in every way  ...and almost uniformly it's recommended to mix it in with the other dry ingredients without dissolving it first.

Even the old "Active Dry Yeast" can be mixed in with the other dry ingredients (I do it all the time:-). It takes a little longer that way, which nowadays is usually considered an advantage since more time means more flavor. In the past where recipes tried very hard to be as fast as possible, not pre-dissolving the yeast was considered a distinct disadvantage, so much so that you'll now often hear that "Active Dry Yeast" has to be dissolved (but it really doesn't).