The Fresh Loaf

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Substituting active dry yeast for instant yeast

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Contannia's picture
Contannia

Substituting active dry yeast for instant yeast

So, I'm pretty new to bread making and I need to tweak a recipe that calls for instant yeast. All I have is active dry yeast. How will this change the rise time and process? The recipe says to mix all the ingredients, turn out on a floured surface, knead for 5 minutes, let rise in an oiled bowl till doubled in size, turn out and put in two bread pans, let rise until doubled again, and then bake.

The ingredients are water, instant yeast, honey, butter, salt, rye flour, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, and all purpose flour.

I will also be switching sugar for honey, oatmeal for rye flour, flax meal for wheat germ (all of which my boyfriend has done before with no problems) and bread flour for all-purpose (which I've done before with no problem).

jcking's picture
jcking

1 teaspoon instant (aka instant active dry ) =1-1/4 teaspoons active dry

Jim

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I wouldn't add the dry yeast to the flour the way you would with instant yeast; I did that once and the active dry did not dissolve, so 'proof' it first in a couple tablespoons of water with a pinch of sugar and then add it with the liquid ingredients.  The extra amount of water shouldn't make a difference.

Contannia's picture
Contannia

I did proof the yeast first (I'm in the middle of making the bread right now), but the last time I made bread (which was also my first time making bread) I did add the yeast in with the dry ingredients. Or rather, I mixed the yeast and water first, stirring just enough to dissolve, and then imediately added the rest of the dry ingredients. The rise was just fine and the bread came out good. I'm trying to recipe my boyfriend used this time because it was more flavorful. Mine was a very plain, subtle sandwich bread, whereas his was a burst of flavor that was a joy to eat by itself as well as in a sandwich.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Active dry yeast doesn't need a sugar during the rehydration or proof stage. Just add the ADY to some warm water by scattering it across the top of your water and let it set for about 10 minutes. As long as your water isn't too cool or too warm, your yeast will be fine.

I recently did add my ADY to a water and molasses mixture when I started building the dough in my Molasses Whole Wheat bread but that was for a longer time frame than I usually rehydrate. The purpose intended was to have more yeast spores develop in the slurry but I wouldn't bet the farm that happened. I tried it and it didn't seem to hurt anything. My loaf still rose and proofed out well with only 3/8 tsp of ADY.

Most recipes call for too much yeast, regardless of whether you're using ADY or IDY. If you use less, the loaf may take a little longer to rise and proof but you'll gain more flavor as a result. As soon as you're comfortable with a recipe and have success, try using less yeast and a preferment. There's a big difference.

Contannia's picture
Contannia

What's a preferment?

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Preferments are a portion of the ingredients of the loaf that are started early to build up the yeast spore count, flavor compounds, prolong the life cycle of the yeast strain, and help strengthen the dough as well. I may have missed a function or three but they're an excellent tool for every home baker to have in her or his bag of tricks. They're called biga, poolish, sponge, pate fermentee, old dough, and a sourdough starter for a loaf is technically a preferment.

Here's a case in point. Take 100 g of flour, 100 g water, and as little as 1/8 tsp of yeast. That's considered a poolish to many. Let it set on the counter at room temperature for 6-10 hours. By the time it doubles in size and has bubbles on top of the surface, you've become a yeast farmer because millions of new yeast spores are enthusiastically working away. Flavor compounds have been created during this time as well. This type of preferment was introduced to Paris around the 1840s so it's nothing new.

I'm not trying to brush you off when I suggest that you use the search function at the top left of the page to investigate preferments. You'll find an almost mind numbing amount of information on them in the archived threads. While people may have preferences about which style of preferment to use, you won't find many, if any, complaints about them.

Chuck's picture
Chuck

When I first saw this word, I tried all kinds of weird pronounciations, but couldn't make any sense of it no matter what. When I finally figured it out, I took to writing it (probably incorrectly:-) "pre-ferment". I find that both much easier to read and pronounce, and easy to understand the meaning.

"pre-ferment" is a generic name for a technique whereby part of the dough is fermented/risen far in advance (maybe a whole day), before being incorporated into the rest of the dough. Typically pre-ferments are composed of flour, water, and yeast (but no salt, fat, or flavorings). Using a pre-ferment both improves flavor and adds a bit of structure to the dough.There are several variations, including:

  • biga
  • poolish
  • pate fermente
  • sponge

(The "soaker" technique is also quite useful and seemingly closely related, but it's not generally considered a "pre-ferment" because no yeast is used.)

A big part of the reason for all the variations is simply "history"; different variations were developed in different countries under different constraints. Many folks find there's some difference in flavor too; too subtle to worry much about right away, but worth investigating by an expert baker.

The question of whether it works better to use a pre-ferment or to "retard" all the dough (or both:-) can be endlessly debated. It seems to depend a lot on your personal preference, the temperature of your kitchen, and how you lay out your typical schedule. I suggest investigating it for yourself when you're ready (I suggest though "beginners" just ignore the whole question initially:-).

You may find a recent thread that's all about this topic interesting. Another interesting source that's a little more specific is this older thread. If you're still interested, you can find a lot more just by typing "preferment" in the search box near the top left.

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Jim has it right, and the math there is 25% more ADY if the recipe calls for IDY. As Postal points out, that's all fairly moot, because in the end, the worst that can happen is it might take up to 15 mins extra rising time, but there won't be any disaster if you use the exact same amount of ADY. You might run into some trouble if you're building commercial bulk doughs, but most of us aren't... the thing to keep in mind is to watch your dough, not a clock, and you already seem comfortable with that process - you'll be fine ; )

ADY does not need to be hydrated. Period. I say that dryly because I have used it in my dry ingredients for over 2 years, and that would be well over 100 bakes (including pizza dough), so this is a fact that I am quite sure of, and reinforce several times a week. I have no idea what PaddyL experienced, but it wasn't due to using the ADY in dry ingredients. You can also freeze ADY and use it straight from the freezer into the dry ingredients, there's no need to let it come to room temperature (it will begin warming as soon as it hits the dry ingredients). Frozen ADY will keep up to at least 1 year from the printed expiration.

- Keith

Contannia's picture
Contannia

Well, I used the same amount of ADY as the recipe said to use for IDY and the result seems to be just fine. Rose really well, and my loaves are actually bigger than my boyfriend's were. And I used the exact same recipe as him, just using bread flour instead of all purpose. Do you think that might have something to do with it? Once again, though, I used a bit too much flour in the kneading process, so it's just a tad dry, but I think that'll be offset my all the moist things (mayo, butter, etc.) we're going to be putting on the bread when we use it. And wow, I didn't expect so many (or any) replies so fast. Thank you all so much for your help, and I'm so glad I found this website.

jcking's picture
jcking

While I along with most serious home bakers here would agree that with our process, autolyse, stretch and fold with a nice slow bulk ferment; add the ADY without a soak. Yet for a newbie with a Martha Stewart recipe there's more to consider. Martha will tell them to mix it death, rise for 1 hour, mash it to Mars, throw it in a pan, wait another hour and bake at a less than ideal oven temp. Then they come here and say they have a problem. If the ADY, without a soak, isn't given time to soak in the process, there is a good possibility of less than good results.

So I would say let's tell the newbie to go ahead and get their yeast wet.

Jim

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Respectfully disagree.

I'd rather teach a newbie baker a wholely beneficial process known as autolyse (or an extended rest after mixing), versus teaching them a waste of time hydrating their yeast. This is just not a complicated idea that would cause a newbie's brain to explode, nor is it labor intensive, since it involves doing nothing.

I will also submit that an autolyse is NOT necessary to get the yeast to dissolve. As I have posted many times, I read somewhere that it was unnecessary to hydrate ADY, but never really believed it (it's been beaten into our brains as a necessary action for decades now). It wasn't until I actually needed it that I became a convert. I mixed some pizza dough, and set it to autolyse. After about 15 mins, I realized that there was absolutely no bubbles, and then an instant later, realized I hadn't added the yeast at all. Knowing that I had read this was unnecessary to hydrate it, I brought the mix out of the bowl, stretched it out, sprinkled the yeast over it, and kneaded it in. It rose just fine, and ever since then, I have never bothered to proof my ADY. I use absolutely no machines or special procedures when making dough. I mix by hand, autolyse, and knead. If my ADY works like this, so can anyone else's. It's also noteworthy to add as usual, it is essential to proof your ADY if you have any suspicion whatsoever about its integrity, and that is the true reason why the process is recommended to begin with. It's not essential to the finished product, it's essential to ensure the yeast activates. The quality of today's ADY makes this process unnecessary unless your yeast is nearing expiration.

- Keith

jcking's picture
jcking

from; Maggie Glezer, " Artisan Baking" pg 7

Active Dry Yeast is the yeast most familiar to home bakers. It is available in 1/4-ounce (7-gram) three-envelope strips and must be rehydrated before use in 105° to 110°F water for 5 to 10 minutes. (Lately many writers have said this step is unimportant, but that is only because most recipes contain such an overabundance of yeast that it really dosen't matter. I prefer to use the minimum amount and handle the yeast carefully to draw out it's maximum potential.) Active dry yeast produces the least amount of carbon dioxide per yeast cell and it is the slowest and most cumbersome type of yeast to use.

Just Loafin's picture
Just Loafin

Yes, if it's in a book or on the Internet, it must be so... even in the face of actual in-the-kitchen proof.

You can even YouTube an episode of Good Eats with Alton Brown on basic bread baking. He says you must hydrate the ADY.

I wonder if either Maggie or Alton have actually tried not hydrating it?

I fail. You win. The Glezer card was played. Good game my friend!

- Keith

jcking's picture
jcking

Keith,

Good sportsmanship! I also enjoy a good game and decline the win you have graciously offered. Let's just continue to develop our craft and learn more about the dough. Many myths to debunk. I would never tell anyone to change what works for them. And I believe there are reasons why dry ADY works for you and others; autolyse comes to mind. And I enjoy Alton, who doesn't live far from me, though I think between the two of us we know more about bread than him.

It's been years since I've used ADY. Since discovering IDY and the ease of use, it's what I've been using. Now I find there are advantages to ADY. Such as...

(ADY) gets to work sooner and releases less material that interferes with gluten formation when it is premixed with warm water. [Daniel Wing "The Bread Builders"]

(ADY) Live active cells surrounded by dead cells with moisture removed. Possible plus; dead yeast cells produce a type of protein called glutathione, which can act as a natural relaxer.
[???]
From reading other sources I don't believe in the proving and warming of ADY. Most good sources only refer to soaking/hydrating/re-hydrating ADY.

Later my friend,

Jim

 

mrfrost's picture
mrfrost

Manufaturer's recommendation, (But what do they know. They only want us to use a lot of their yeast):

http://redstaryeast.com/products/product.php?cid=1&pid=1

"For traditional baking, Red Star® Active Dry Yeast may be hydrated in 110°-115°F liquids or mixed with other dry ingredients if liquids are warmed to 120° to 130°F.To use Red Star® Active Dry Yeast in a bread machine, use 3/4 teaspoon of yeast for each cup of flour and have liquids at 80°F liquids. Active dry yeast is not recommended for one-hour or less bread machine cycles."

It's all just a matter of time/temperature. Over time, the ADY will catch up.

sphealey's picture
sphealey

Consumer products manufacturing & marketing is a tough business, and producers are always looking to reduce costs.  I would seriously wonder whether at this point in the development of yeast technology - it is all pretty darn good and works 99.9% of the time regardless of brand or type - whether there is actually any difference between instant and ADY other than the label on the bottle/packet.  That's a trick that every consumer products company uses, and it is especially prevalent in food retailing where shelf inches are king. 

Maybe there is a difference; mabye there was once and isn't any longer.  I haven't found any real practical differnce myself.  My advice:  find one you like and buy the bulk containers when they are on sale.  If you find yourself short use whatever is available with your usual methods.

sPh

lumos's picture
lumos

 I used the exact same recipe as him, just using bread flour instead of all purpose. Do you think that might have something to do with it?

Most definitely, yes. Bread flour has higher gluten level than all purpose flour, hence more volume. 

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

To convert yeast qty from fresh to active to instant, use the 1-2-3 rule which should be named the 1, 1/2, 1/3 rule. One measure of fresh yeast is equal to 1/2 measure of dry active, or 1/3 measure of instant.

Say a formula calls for 100 grams of fresh... you can sub 50 g of active, or 33 grams of instant.

To go backwards, instant to active is 1.5X (i.e. it takes 15g of active to be the same as 10 g of instant)

To convert active to instant use 3/4 the amount. So 7.5 grams of instant is 10 grams of active.

Recipes that call for instant will need to be slightly modified. Both fresh and active yeast need to be dissolved in a liquid prior to use. So add them to the water, mix to disolve, then go ahead.

FYI: There has been a lot of discussion about salt and yeast and whether it is okay to have them come in contact. I learned that one should NEVER let them touch. Many others say it's okay. Whatever... It is so easy to keep them seperated that I take no chances.

It is very possible to overfeed the yeast. In your recipe, I would add the active to the water, but not add the other wet stuff.

Last point: at the shop we use fresh yeast alomost exclusively. At home, I use intant. Costs the same as dry active but you need less and don't need to disolve it.