The Fresh Loaf

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Do types of yeast affect flavor

Possum-Pie's picture

Do types of yeast affect flavor

Fresh yeast is difficult to find near me, and I always used ADY. Recently I started using instant dry and seem to get a better rise, but no discernable change in flavor.

Someone just gave me a block of fresh yeast. I'm going to experiment with a loaf from instant yeast and a loaf from fresh compressed yeast to see if I can taste a difference. 

What have your experiences been?  

rondayvous's picture

I wouldn’t expect to see a difference in flavor from one commercial yeast to another. Wild yeast, found in sourdough, are another thing. Wine and beer is made from many different types of yeast chosen for a variety of reasons flavor among them.

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

ADY and IDY utilize the same strain of yeast, the difference is in how they are manufactured. Fresh yeast is said to produce more gas than dry yeast as long as it has been well stored. Don't forget to adjust the weight used with the fresh variety. ADY weight is suggested to be about 40% of the fresh yeast weight in a recipe while IDY is slightly less than that, somewhere between 33-36%. Unless you're insistent on being exact, you don't need to worry about the 0.1 or 0.2 gram difference.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

when it is fresh. I keep instant around as backup or for emergencies. Instant is the most convienient, no messy fingers into the flour, or heating up water for active dry. Fresh yeast gets a sniff test first but so do the others before use. Fresh yeast is fun to crumble into the flour for tha initial "hands on" feeling. Part of the reason I like fresh yeast and the immediate aroma when crumbling. I like to dig my hands into whatever I work on or create.   

The sourdough starters and yeast waters are also in the fridge.  

Possum-Pie's picture

Thanks for the comments. I knew that ADY and instant yeast were the same strains, I have read that the slower the rise the more flavor may be imparted to the bread so I wasn't sure if there would be a taste difference. I can't notice any though.

I decided to cut the fresh yeast block that I was given into 20g squares, put each in a small ziplock snack baggie, put them all into a large gallon freezer bag, and freeze them since I don't know how long the package has been open (a baker gave it to my wife). I'm a bit worried b/c when I put the crumbs into a dish to proof it was dead. I'm hoping the big blocks I cut are more hydrated and not dead also. I'm making an Italian loaf tonight so we shall see. The smell of fresh yeast is more pungent than dry so I wonder about the flavor.

bottleny's picture

Fresh yeast can be frozen and then used. Crumble 12g into about 30g of an ordinary bread flour and mix it up into a dry crumbly mix and then put into a small plastic bag and place in the freezer.

When you want to use the yeast from the freezer, mix one bag 100ml of water and a very small pinch of sugar and set aside to start working.


How to Freeze Fresh Yeast : 5 Steps (with Pictures) - Instructables

Similar to the above. Break into the amount you need and mix with twice amount of flour

Possum-Pie's picture

I did freeze it, cut it into 20g blocks put in small snack baggies, then put them all in a gallon ziplock bag. Anytime I want one I open the gallon bag and pull out one snack baggie. 

The reason I did this is that the cold doesn't kill fresh yeast but dryness will. I'm not sure about mixing it with flour first as stated above as that would precipitate it drying out more. A freezer in VERY dry and thus the double layer of bags which I used. I pulled one out Sunday night and it proofed just fine. 

As for my taste experiment, I made the exact same recipe of sandwich bread using instant yeast for one loaf and fresh yeast for the other loaf. Exact same procedures were followed for both. I personally cannot taste a difference. 

Since fresh yeast is harder for me to obtain and has a much shorter shelf life, I think I will stick to dry instant yeast from now on.