The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBGA yeast type - please clarify

studiowi33's picture
studiowi33

BBGA yeast type - please clarify

Hi all--

Me again.

I'm currently reading/studying the BBGA percentage formula PDF and they're stating that ALL yeast measurements will refer to fresh compressed yeast. I'm a little bit confused already. Isn't fresh compressed yeast  somewhat of a rarity in today's modern world? I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that the type of cake yeast was put into drydock decades ago. Perhaps this is what professional bakeries use and I'm unaware of that fact. Anyways...they give the formula to convert fresh compressed yeast into instant yeast, but neglect to offer the formula to convert that to use active dry yeast.

Should I seek out fresh compressed yeast and abandon my penchant for active dry? I've always liked working with dry yeast and even tho I'm instructed (time & time again) to proof it first, I occasionally mix it up dry and it has yet to fail me. Anyways, if someone could enlighten me as to why such an organization as BBGA would use an out dated type of yeast  (if that's true,) please feel free to rap me over the head with your Ignorance Stick and educate an eager noob, but a noob nonetheless. Thanks all.

 

-s.w

breaducation's picture
breaducation

No idea why they would use fresh yeast in their formulas. It's no better than dry yeast and in many ways worse(shelf life). All the bakeries I've worked in have used dry yeast.

I have built an online yeast conversion calculator just for this issue. It will convert from fresh yeast to active dry no problem. You can find it here.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

That is really a neat tool, Breaducation!

I know the percentages (100% fresh yeast = 50% active dry yeast = 33% instant yeast (for lean doughs, or 40% for enriched doughs). But it's nice to just enter the amount, if you don't have a calculator at hand.

I'll put a link to it in my blogs Brot & Bread and Brot & Meer.

Karin

breaducation's picture
breaducation

Really glad you found the tool useful Karin! Thanks for including it in your wonderful blog.

-Jorgen

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Thanks, Jorgen - and I shared this good news with every bread baking social media group I know. Your tool is so easy to use, better than spread sheet based tools that I find often more confusing than helpful.

Keep the good works going,

Karin

Sean McFarlane's picture
Sean McFarlane

Yes it is still largley used in production bakeries. Many bakeries use it for increased flavor, not because it works differently, but because it takes longer to proof things. Shelf life is not really an issue for the bakeries that use it, as they go through a lot.

As for home baking, I wouldn't worry about it.  Use what is available.

proth5's picture
proth5

is still available in supermarkets in some regions of the country (that is in the USA).  "My teacher" uses it exclusively in the production bakery.  When someone asked her/him why - I chimed in "Because you can." - which elicited deep agreement.

Yes, instant yeasts are more shelf stable and easier to handle, but they do not have the same smell and feel during the process (and only during the early parts of the process - not in the finished good) as fresh compressed.  If you find it - try it sometime and see if you don't love it in the process.  I really do and if I had a good source of fresh yeast, I would use nothing else - just for the enjoyment of the baker.

But every baker I know acknowledges that in the finished product instant yeast is an absolute equivalent. Just use less of it as the poster above advises.  Instant yeast is widely available.  Fleischmann's labels their supermarket instant yeast as "Bread Machine Yeast."

Active dry is way less popular with professional bakers who don't like the fact that it should be dissolved prior to putting it in the mix.  But with proper conversion and handling it is just fine. It is the same yeast as instant, but is dried in such a way that the "live" yeast is surrounded by "dead" yeast and there is a higher percentage of "dead" yeast (thus the need to dissolve it and the need to use more of it.)  Hope this helps.

judsonsmith's picture
judsonsmith

I personally find fresh yeast to be a bit more versatile- it incorporates more easily into a dough after autolyse and doesn't have a lag like instant yeast does (Michel Suas suggests in"Advanced Bread and Pastry" that instant yeast be added prior to autolyse due to a 20 min or so lag time and better absorbtion into the dough early in the mixing process. Sometimes I want to autolyse longer than that!) also when mixing with very cold liquids instant yeast can be "cold shocked" and the lag time is increased.  Just my two cents.

-Jud

breaducation's picture
breaducation

Sometimes when I'm autolysing using instant yeast i'll just sprinkle it on top of the dough. Seems to be enough moisture to prime it for easy absorption into the dough later. Other times I just mix the instant with a very small amount of water before adding it to the autolysed dough. Both methods work pretty well. I'm sure fresh yeast works wonderfully for autolyse situations though.

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I'm using instant yeast all the time - can't get fresh one where I live - and usually add it together with all the other ingredients before the autolyse, no matter how long it is.
Never had a problem with a cold shock, either, since I work with cold retardation, anyway.

Karin

PeterS's picture
PeterS

I use fresh cake yeast.