The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Substitute active dry yeast?

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BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

Substitute active dry yeast?

I'm making cinnamon rolls and don't really like the "hassle" of proofing active dry yeast. Could I substitute this with "rapid rise" (I think also called "instant") yeast? I don't want the bread maker yeast; I want the yeast that I can just add to the dry ingredients. If so, is it a 1 to 1 substitution (e.g. 10 grams of active dry yeast = 10 grams rapid rise yeast)?

What are potential downsides of making such a substitution? According to one source (www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-instant-a-54252), I'd lose flavor and structure. Is that serious enough to warrant sticking to active dry yeast?

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I now use instant yeast in all my breads; it's cheaper and easier.

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

How do I substitute? Also, what about the effects on flavor and structure?

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Active dry yeast isn't a hassle as long as you know that fact. The idea that one has to proof ADY is a bit overdone. While most of us who use ADY, it's about $4.49 for two pounds at Costco, do proof it, it does eventually activate when exposed to moisture and the right temperature in a batch of dough with no proofing. IDY can be proofed as well. Some baking book authors even recommend that.

The ADY currently for sale in the US is really quite reliable as long as it has been stored correctly. IDY will suffer if it has been improperly stored. If you store ADY in an air tight container in your freezer, it can last more than five years. I know mine has done so. IDY can be stored in a freezer as well. The biggest problem with ADY is that some folks use water that's too hot (more than 115F) for proofing. I use around 85F and it works every time.

My baking is primarily for my home so efficiency of time isn't my priority but ADY isn't that much slower and since time is the friend of flavor in bread, I'm doing no harm. Take a look at the archived threads on ADY and IDY by using the search function at the top of the home page. You'll find that the biggest differences are IDY is more convenient but ADY can be less expensive when you buy in bulk.

BakerNewbie's picture
BakerNewbie

I'm cooking for fun only. The cost of ADY vs IDY is not a consideration for my home experiments. And I can proof ADY with no problem (I measure the water temperature, put the sugar, etc.). It works like a charm.

My issue is that I do want to streamline my process a bit. I do not want to go through the hassle of proofing ADY, computing how the water for proofing affects hydration levels, etc. It would seem to me that IDY would save me the trouble, but I'm wondering how to do it and if there are consequences to switching to IDY.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

It's good to see that you are going about your procedures in a thorough manner. However, don't over think the yeast bit too much. You really don't need to use sugar to proof ADY. Just put it in the water, wait for ten minutes or so and it should "bloom", looking like it has dissolved in the water which it should have done. For years I've just added my ADY to the water I'll use for the dough and it works every time. I've never found a good reason to set aside a small amount of water in a separate bowl or container. That means one less dish to wash and it eliminates the need to worry about the effects on hydration. That's one of the very small luxuries of being a raggedy home baker like me.

There are no ill effects in going to IDY. It is the same strain of commercial yeast with the only difference being the manufacturing process. The grains of IDY are smaller than those of ADY.  Bake up a storm and post some pictures of your next project.

Antilope's picture
Antilope

2 lbs (2 - 1lb foil sealed packs) of IDY for $ 4.00

baybakin's picture
baybakin

To substitute, use 1/3 less (by weight) of the IDY compared to the ADY

I find no difference in flavor.