The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

fresh yeast

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pattyfermenty's picture

fresh yeast


I have read that Chris Bianco said that using fresh yeast as opposed to dry is critical.

I was hopeful that the group could come up with some reasons why this could be. It is interesting to me that someone with so much knowledge would come to a conclusion like that unless there was good reason to.

Also, I can find little information regarding the benefits of fresh vs dry yeast *with regard to flavor or crust characteristics. The benefits of fresh vs dry with regard to process are easily understood.


totels's picture

I think the basic differences will be in the activity of the yeast(fresh yeast should act faster/sooner) and the intensity of the yeast flavor(arguable for sure, some can taste it, some can't).

proth5's picture

I've listend to a lot of bakers on this most controversial of topics.  If I named names - you would recognize many of them.  One, in particular, after converting all of his formulas from fresh to instant feels strongly - that it made absolutely no difference.

Frankly, I think that everyone has their preferences and practices of many years and this forms the statements they make to the baking world at large.

I don't have good access to fresh yeast on a regular basis - but the few times that I have used it, I enjoy its action early in the bread making process.  I don't find a difference in the end product, but I like what goes on in the early stages enough that if I had easy access to fresh yeast and could overcome the storage issue inherent in my once a week baking schedule - I would use the stuff exclusively.

But these problems can't be overcome for me so I use instant yeast.  Again, the end results are just as satisfying.

Hope this helps.

pattyfermenty's picture

You know what's so interesting about dough? Among other things, its that a simple question like does fresh vs ADY affect the flavor can actually be unresolved and debated even amongst professional bread makers.

One thing that can explain divergent views is that the people who do the testing are not necessarily using the same recipe and process. It may be either the recipe or process or both which brings out the difference. In other words, fresh or ady in one recipe and process may produce the same tasting bread whereas a different recipe or process will make a difference in flavor.


Somehow I would have thought that this issue would have been decided a long time ago. 

proth5's picture

on the great ADY v.s. Instant yeast debate.

I have heard everything from "throw ADY yeast away - never, ever use it" to "ADY is actually a good yeast to use for laminated doughs because it contains more dead yeast - and Inactive Dry Yeast is sold as a dough conditioner to make the dough roill more easily."

What confused me most is that these two staments came from two different, but equally highly celebrated bakers.

So I've taken to carefully thinking through the points and looking to my own experience.

But really, if I could buy the stuff in small amounts at the corner grocery store, I'd use fresh yeast all the time.  It is a lovely experience...