The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Instant vs Active yeast in overnight fermentation

keebs45's picture
keebs45

Instant vs Active yeast in overnight fermentation

Hi,

I posted this on another thread earlier but not sure if anyone would see my question there.  I'm also trying out this recipe

http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001199.html I made the dough last night but realized after I put the dough in the fridge that it called for Instant yeast & I had used Active.  Does anyone know if this will still work (I did not activate the yeast in water before using it, I just mixed it in directly with the flour)?  If not is there a way to save my dough?  I'm not planning on using it until Friday so if it's not going to work I can just make a new batch tonight.  I've been making my own pizzas for a while now using store bought dough but they don't carry the brand I like anymore so I thought I'd try my hand at making my own.

Thank you in advance for your help!  Jaime

mag3.14's picture
mag3.14

Your dough will probably be fine, although in using active dry yeast, you'll have used a little bit less yeast than called for (for every gram of instant yeast called for in a recipe, you typically want to substitute about 1.25 grams of active dry). Using less yeast will slow things down a bit, but given that this is for pizza, and you're giving it a good long retardation in the fridge, I don't think you'll notice a difference.

I rarely use active dry yeast, but when I do, I only proof it first if the yeast is old, and then only to assure myself its still viable.

If you want to be safe (or experimental), I'd say make up a second batch with the recipe as written,  try them both and compare!  Any dough left over will freeze beautifully. Just let it defrost in the fridge overnight when you want to use it next.

Let us know how it turns out!

keebs45's picture
keebs45

That's a good idea, I'll make a second batch just to be safe.  Is there any way to tell before cooking if it worked?  I'd hate to waste toppings on bad dough. 

PastryPaul's picture
PastryPaul

For a small qty like this formula, active and instant are interchangeable one to one.

Looking at the formula, I can see this dough will be practically indestructable. Don't sweat it and enjoy

 

Cheers

keebs45's picture
keebs45

Phew, that makes me feel better.  I'm having friends over and I've been talking up my pizza making skills.  I might make a back up just to be safe.  In the future should I activate the yeast first or buy some instant?

mag3.14's picture
mag3.14

If your dough starts rising in the fridge, or bubbles at all when you're stretching it out, then its definitely active. If it doesn't, its probably still fine, but you'll have to take that on faith ;) At worst, your crust might not be as bubbly as you'd hoped. It'll still taste better than store bought!

Buying multiple forms of yeast is a PITA; if active dry is what you normally work with, stick with that.

I really don't think you have to worry about activating your dry active yeast.  If you do, and the recipe called for instant, just remember that you are adding extra liquid to the recipe. Depending upon how much liquid you are using to activate it, you may need to subtract that from the total liquid in the recipe.

keebs45's picture
keebs45

OK thanks again for your help.  It's been in the fridge for 24 hours so I will check it when I get home tonight.  I'll report back after we eat it on Friday.

Broc's picture
Broc

You'll notice some expansion of the dough while it's in the fridge -- although at a much slower rate.  Cold retardation helps the dough gather up a bit more taste as the yeastie-beasties procreate and belch in slow motion!

 

Enjoy!

 

~ B

keebs45's picture
keebs45

hi, I just wanted to report back on how the dough turned out.  It tasted great but it didn't have much elasticity.  I had to be really careful when transferring it to the peel b/c I could easily make a hole in it.  Not sure what might have caused this, maybe my dough was too wet?  I'll definitely try making my own dough again, I just need to find the right recipe. 

Also does anyone have tips for cooking pizza on a stone in an electric oven?  I'm used to gas which was great for cooking my pizza evenly.  I find with the electric it takes the crust longer to cook & both times the cheese & toppings were a little more done then I would have liked.  I pre-heated the oven for more than 45 minutes (another grip about the electric oven is it takes so much longer to heat up!)  Now that the weather is getting warm I'll start using my grill again.  Thanks!

mag3.14's picture
mag3.14

If your dough wasn't particularly elastic, you may need to knead it longer to develop more gluten.

A wet dough isn't necessarily bad, but it is definitely trickier to deal with. My standard pizza dough is Reinhardt's "Pain à l'Ancienne"[1] dough, which is incredibly wet/slack. I find it easier to build the pizza right on the peel (with lots of cornmeal on the peel -- some people will find this anathema). Even still, I have to assemble toppings quickly, and shift the pizza periodically, to unstick it.

It can take more than an hour for a pizza stone to heat up fully, so you might just need to pre-heat your oven longer. You can also try using a cast iron skillet in place of the pizza stone; some people have better luck with that.  But you'll probably not manage to get it as good as you can on the grill. While you can increase the thermal mass in your oven, so that the temperature doesn't drop when you put the pizza it, there's not much you can do to actually to make it hotter in the first place.

--

1. There's a recipe in the "Artisan Baking" baking forums, which you should be able to search for. When I tried to include a link, my reply got flagged as spam :(

dlassiter's picture
dlassiter

Let's refresh this discussion about Instand versus Rapid Rise yeast. (And yes, I know there are other threads on this around.)

Here's the deal. I bake bread regularly (traditional recipes and technique), and pizza as well, with active dry yeast (Red Star, Fleischmans, whatever). I buy it in 1 lb blocks, because I use a lot, and it's vastly cheaper that way. I use a pound every few months. The major grocery retailer in Texas, HEB, has decided to switch out the 1 lb blocks of active dry to instant. I can't find the 1 lb blocks of active dry anywhere else locally. (I have reason to believe that Costco has them, but I'm not a member.) So it's looking like I HAVE TO USE INSTANT.

Simple questions. (1) Why would I NOT want to use instant? Any disadvantages? (2) What changes should I make in my bread making strategy to use that instant yeast properly?

Answers from folks with real experience in the matter? The comment above mysteriously suggested that interchangability has to do with quantity, which makes no sense to me.

wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

See: What’s the difference between active dry yeast (ADY) and instant yeast?

on this page: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/yeast.html

for a good explaination of the two. Note that Rapid Rise and Instant are the same.

I buy Fleishmann's Instant at Sam's Club. 2 x 1lb foil packs. When I open one I fill a small brown jar that had yeast in it and put that in the fridge, the rest is sealed and put in the freezer until time to refill the jar.

wayne

PMcCool's picture
PMcCool

I generally use IDY, simply because I don't have to soften the yeast in liquid before using it.  It just goes straight in with the flour.

My last yeast purchase at Costco was a  2-pound vacuum pack of Red Star ADY.  Why?  Because that was what they had on hand and the price was good.  There have been times when I have stirred the ADY in with the flour, as I do with IDY.  It usually works fine but I have had a couple of occasions where tiny yeast flecks were visible in the dough even after vigorous stirring and kneading.  Consequently, I prefer to soften the ADY in water prior to use.

My takeaway, then, is that IDY saves me a process step over ADY.  That doesn't always equate to a time savings, depending on the bread being made.  As to leavening capability, I haven't noticed a difference between the two products.

Paul

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

(I thought fresh yeast is the only yeast that comes in blocks.)  Or are you referring to a vacuum packaged bag that's shaped like a block?  Is the yeast loose or does it contain some moisture and is cut with a knife?

There is a % difference on the flour depending on which yeast being used.  You could figure yeast amount using the total flour amount or convert:

http://www.wildyeastblog.com/2008/01/12/let-us-now-praise-instant-yeast/

linder's picture
linder

Mini,

You are correct it only looks like a block when in the vacuum sealed pouch that is shaped like a block.

Linda

jaywillie's picture
jaywillie

In my opinion, instant offers only *advantages* over active dry. But in the end, they are exactly the same thing -- yeast. So I suggest you switch and go forward with instant and not give it another thought.

dlassiter's picture
dlassiter

Thanks. That's an excellent, actionable opinion. I still hear people saying "but oh, active dry is so much better!" without any explanation. If there are only advantages in instant yeast, why don't they just pull all the active dry (bottles, envelopes, etc.) and be done with it?

jcking's picture
jcking

"Why not pull all the ADY and be done with it?"

There are a lot of recipes out there that call for ADY and many consumers would be confused.

Jim

dlassiter's picture
dlassiter

Geez, that's crazy. But you'd think they could just as well package the instant yeast with a big flag on the package saying "BETTER THAN ACTIVE DRY! SUBSTITUTE FREELY!"

Of course, if what you want to do is make people pay a couple of bucks per ounce of yeast, just keep the active dry yeast, but sell it only in little bottles or tiny foil packets.

jcking's picture
jcking

When IDY was introduced there were many ad campaigns to tout the stuff. At the time many home bakers felt if it ain't broke don't fix it.

There are some professional Artisan bakers who still prefer ADY in a Poolish or Biga as it performs more slowly and allows for more sugar to be present to feed the ADY when it does wake up. Try Craig Ponsford's award winning Ciabatta.

dlassiter's picture
dlassiter

Very interesting. Armed with that info, I'll go ahead and buy the instant yeast, and will assume at least that it'll work, sorta. It may well be that I'll be happy with it.

What exactly is the difference in how it is made and what it is? Is it just in finer particles so it dissolves better? It has some added ingredient to encourage more prompt action and make activation unnecessary? Is it a different strain of yeast entirely? What exactly makes it "instant"?

There is this nice FAQ available, but it doesn't really address why one might ever want or need two different kinds of yeast. Allegedly, instant yeast is more "potent" (hey, I like potency), but there is no explanation why or how. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/faqs/baking/yeast

dlassiter's picture
dlassiter

Actually, the King Arthur link above spells out the differences pretty well. Indeed, it sounds as if instant yeast is simply better stuff than the active dry. That seems to be what the Wildyeast post above is saying as well, without quite saying it. That only makes the fact that active dry is still on the shelves even screwier. I do see posts that suggest that instant yeast is a little more sensitive to storage, however. I usually leave my pound of active dry sealed on the shelf in the pantry for a few months, but I gather that the instant would really rather be refrigerated.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

I think there are situations where the active dry has a longer shelf life than instant just because the yeast has an insulated coating.   I remember frustration using active dry until I found out it had to be soaked in hot water first to melt the casing and speed up the release of the yeast.  So timing has a great deal to do with the choice of one over the other.  Room temp. soaking took hours.  The official expiry dates seem to be two years from date of packaging for both type acording to Red Star Yeast.  

Instant is more concentrated the packaging coating is missing .  Meaning one uses less product.  So If say I used 100kg a yeast a year of Active dry yeast and switched to instant, depending on my method I might be using only 40kg to 60kg of yeast.  Flip sides...   If I was selling yeast and suddenly my client orded less yeast because she switched to instant needing less (less shipping cost, less storage space) how am I to increase my profits?  Raise the price of instant yeast?  Keep selling Active Dry yeast?   Anyone done a price comparison?  

dlassiter's picture
dlassiter

Yep. (Though really, it only takes ten or fifteen minutes in warm water to properly proof ADY.) It's true that what you're buying in ADY is mostly dead yeast, it would seem.

But if there is no advantage to ADY over instant yeast, and the instant costs the same per ounce (I think that's the case, but I'm not sure), and less per use, then keeping ADY around is really all about profits. It's quite possible that, in the spirit of evolution, ADY will simply disappear. As I said, my supermarket simply stopped carrying it in the 1 lb block. They made an executive decision (which it appears was the right one) that no one needs it anymore.

Having not yet used the instant yet (still finishing up the last of my ADY) I should reserve judgement, but the handwriting is on the wall.

proth5's picture
proth5

I don't begrudge Le Saffre or any other yeast company the profits - but -

In fact, most yeast companies sell "inactive dry yeast" to professionals. The dead yeast cells act as a dough conditioner to make the dough slightly more "machinable" - that is it can be shaped more easily with less rest time.

I was working in a decorative dough class with some baker or other (who I know is well qualified) who talked about using active dry in decorative doughs to help with shaping. At that ime I was introduced to the concept of inactive dry yeast.  So I looked it up - sure enough yeast companies sell it.

So, I don't know if the active dry to the home baker is just a complementary product to that one or not, but active dry is not always inferior to instant.  Also many old and treasured recipes are written for active dry yeast.  Again, making this product available to the casual home baker does provide a revenue stream.

That being said, most of us at TDL use instant if we use commercial yeast.  I'd use fresh, though, every time if there was a practical way for me to get it (and please don't tell me how I could - the constraints I live with are pretty different than for most folks.)

Hope this helps.

 

dlassiter's picture
dlassiter

Hmmm. Fair points. Well, you know, the old and treasured recipes were also made up for kinds of flour that we don't exactly have anymore. So it's all sort of relative, no?

That's fascinating that dead yeast is used as a dough conditioner. I have a hard time believing that the miniscule amount of dead yeast that comes with ADY I put in a recipe for a couple of loaves (some fraction of one or two tablespoons) is going to make much of a difference in dough conditioning, but who knows?

I too would rather use fresh yeast, but it just is nowhere near as practical as dry yeast.

I'm not saying that active dry is "inferior" to instant, but just that active dry maybe doesn't seem to have any conspicuous advantages, except perhaps a slight advantage in lifetime.

dlassiter's picture
dlassiter

OK, I've been using the Fleishmans instant for a while, after decades with active dry. What I find is that

• the instant seems, as noted, somewhat more vigorous than the active dry

• as a result, I end up using less ... maybe 20-30% less to get the same effect

• the instant does dissolve quicker, and proofing happens faster (yes, I still proof, mostly out of habit)

So, if anything, the instant is an improvement over active dry for my uses. I like it! This being the case, one still has to wonder why Fleishman's doesn't just call it "new improved yeast!", and be done with the active dry. What I have yet to determine is lifetime. I use a pound every few months, and I've bottled half a pound to keep on my shelf, keeping the other half pound in the freezer.