The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Q: how many gms (or oz.) in a cake of yeast?

  • Pin It
ejm's picture
ejm

Q: how many gms (or oz.) in a cake of yeast?

I am contemplating making a sweet bun recipe that was taken from the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook 1970 edition (I believe it was published in the USA?). It calls for "a cake of yeast".

I've searched around the internet trying to find out just how much a "cake of yeast" weighs. Most sites I've found agree and say that a cake of yeast weighs .6 oz; one says it weighs .06 oz (!) and another says it weighs 1 oz.

This would mean an equivalent of either 3tsp, 1/3tsp, or 3.4 tsp active dry yeast. Rather a large difference, I'd sya...

I'm guessing that .06oz .6oz is the right one but which is it, please?

-Elizabeth, in Toronto Canada where compressed yeast is not the easiest thing to find; one local deli sells cakes of yeast in 50 and 100gm pieces.

P.S. DON'T get me started on the use of loose measurement terms "packets", "packages", "cakes", "some", "dollop" ...

(edited to fix typo)

Henry's picture
Henry

 

ejm

Who cares how many grams/ounces there are in a cake of yeast?

Go with baker’s percentage…, which is based on flour weight.

If you’re thinking of making a sweet bun recipe from a book you came across

from the seventies, I would guess the yeast percentage is around five percent.

What’s that tell you?

(and I apologize if you already know this stuff.)

 Let’s make it easy and we’ll assume your flour weighs 454 gms

 …which, seeing how you’re a Canadian

you’ll know that 454 grams equals one pound.( about 3 ¼ Cups)

(1 C is about 140 gms) and I hope I don’t start a discussion on cups vs. weights.

Multiply 454 X 5 percent (which is my yeast amount guess)

 and after punching the numbers into your calculator,

 you’ll get 23 grams… of fresh yeast.

That’s a little less than one ounce of fresh

cake yeast because…

(1ounce = 28.35 gms)

Can’t find cake yeast?

Well, if you buy traditional dry yeast (the type you have to hydrate in warm water)

you would use half the amount  …by weight.

 That means instead of 23 gms of fresh yeast or almost 1 ounce of fresh yeast, you’re now weighing 12 gms of traditional dry yeast or  a little less than ½ ounce.

Instant yeast?

One third by weight.

 That means you would use about 8 grams of instant yeast

which is about just over a third of one ounce.

Summary:

Figure out what your flour weighs.

Multiply by the yeast percentage you would like to use

If it’s fresh yeast you are using, go with the full weight

Traditional dry yeast?

 Go with half…. by weight.

Instant?

Use one-third the amount by weight.

And who cares how many grams or ounces there are in

a cake of yeast.

H

ejm's picture
ejm

As you pointed out, Henry, I could calculate how much yeast to use based on flour weight etc. What you posted is useful information.

But in answer to the question

> Who cares how many grams/ounces there are in a cake of yeast?

I do. This is why I asked.

Even though I could calculate how much yeast I might use in the sweet buns, judging by other sweet bun recipes or by using the above method, I find I'm still curious to know how much a standard cake of yeast weighs in US. Neither the Fleischmann or Redstarr sites say (although they both say how much a "package" of active dry yeast weighs).

-Elizabeth

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Not the 30g as previously stated.  I'm so sorry, but yeast is hardy stuff and it will get to work. 42g in a cube fresh yeast, enough for 500g flour (written on the cube in Austria)  Somehow I think they recently upped the amount.

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I think.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

just used a converter. 1 oz = 28.35g

fun isn't it?

500g = 17.64 oz

:)

42g would be about 1 1/2 oz. roughly speaking  

the 42g block is 1 1/4" x 1 1/4" x 1 3/4"  (inches)

in mm it is 30 x 30 x 42

:) 

Henry's picture
Henry

 

ejm:

I contacted someone I know a little bit,

who is the Western Division Manager of the

Lesaffre Yeast Corporation based in Milwaukee.

He tells me that there are a few USA supermarkets that still sell

fresh cake yeast in small packages and their weight is one ounce (28.35 grams)

Mostly though, stores that do carry fresh yeast, sell it in one-pound blocks. (454 grams)

H

ejm's picture
ejm

Thank you for looking closely into this H, and MO. I do appreciate it.

1 oz it is then. If I actually end up using fresh yeast, I'll go with 28.35 gm, otherwise, I'll use the equivalent in active dry (because that's what we have in the fridge).

-Elizabeth

Rosalie's picture
Rosalie

I would say that if a recipe calls for a cake of yeast (1 oz), then a packet of dry yeast (about 2 and a half teaspoons) would be a reasonable substitute.  But what do I know?

Also, the .06 unit is probably a pound.  .06 pound is about an ounce.

Rosalie

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I hadn't looked at this thread yet. I use fresh yeast a lot because the baker in my village cuts off a hunk and gives it to me for next to nothing. I use 9g for about 450g of flour (3g for every 150g of flour) That's a LOT less than a cake. But then I never use a whole package of yeast for a 500g bread either. I never have any problems, the dough rises just fine. Fresh yeast is very active!

Jane 

 

ejm's picture
ejm

I know what you mean, Jane. I tend to use far less yeast in my regular bread than most recipes call for as well. But I gather one might require more yeast for dough that has a lot of butter, milk, sugar and eggs. 

-Elizabeth 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I just read in Glezer's Artisan Baking that one 0,6 ounce cake is enough for 900g flour.

ejm's picture
ejm

Thank you, Jane! Of course!! Why didn't I think of looking in my cookbooks!! I even have the Glezer! I've even consulted and quoted the Glezer with regards to yeast equivalents...

I just looked in The Italian Baker by Carol Field (published 1985) and she writes:

[...] we Americans can use much smaller cubes of creamy fresh yeast, which come foil wrapped in two sizes - the smaller weighing about 1/2 ounce (18gm) and the larger 2 ounces (70gm)

I also looked at the "know your ingredients" section of Joy Of Cooking (I have the 1975 edition) and it concurs with Field's gram measurement of the smaller cake, saying that a cake of compressed yeast is 3/5 oz (17.01gms)

That clinches it. Even though the manager at Lesaffre says 1oz, that's 3 against 1 for:

.6oz in a cake of yeast

Thanks all!

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Mystery solved! Now you'll be able to sleep without dreaming of cake yeast. The mystery you'll have to solve now is actually how much you need to make bread because from what I gather there are different opinions on that one as well!

Jane