What are your best types of yeast for bread baking at home? Active, fresh or instant yeast? There is a kind of yeast commonly called quick rise yeast, is that type of yeast best for your pizza dough this evening? Let us go find out.
Baking, be it home or business or in culinary school, needs quite trickier, especially when you consider the proportion of ingredients that go into the dough. A poor measurement of the baking ingredients is a surefire way to have sour, bitter, tasteless, and flavorless baking product from your baking oven.
Moreover, baking is time demanding in kneading. The greatest of the time spent is when you’re waiting for the dough to rise. That is where yeast actually comes in.
What is yeast and what does it do?
Yeast is one of the most important ingredient for baking. The fine granular substance is actually a living cell, capable of performing chemical reactions in the dough. The yeast is roughly the size of a poppy seed. They look almost inactive or dead, but they are actually living single-cells responsible for the gentle, or the rapid rise of most bread dough.
The single cell organism works on a pizza dough by ‘feeding’ on the carbohydrate, converting it to carbon dioxide gas. The best way to describe yeast activities is fermentation. Yeast actually ferments the flour the same way they change juice to alcohol or beer.
Their activity is best under a warm (55-80 oC) environment. During baking, you provide this environment by adding warm water, along with sugar to the flour. The moment the yeast touches warm water, they will wake up and start looking for food (sugar)to “eat”.
The evidence of yeast conversion of sugars and carbohydrate is very clear within the first 5 minutes after you mix it with warm water.
Foams appear when you mix sugar and yeast in a cup, and when it’s poured into the dough, the CO2 released causes it to rise. This chemical change is what gives bread, pizza their irresistible flavor, taste and texture.
If the yeast activity is pretty fast, the dough rises faster. If it’s normal, that may take 10-18 hours under normal conditions to get the pizza dough ready for baking. You can add some enzymes to speed up the dough rise.
Read More: How much yeast is in one packet?
What types of yeast should you use in your baking?
What types of yeast are available and how to pick the right one for baking? There many types of yeast, including the tested and proven active dry yeast, instant yeast, rapid rise yeast and fresh yeast for serious baker. To know which yeast types are best for baking is no easy task.
Active dry yeast
Active dry yeast is our a popular yeast type for baking. Most home and industrial bread recipes use active dry yeast in their baking process. Active dry yeast is very popular and widely used around the world in homes. It is called dry yeast because the yeast has basically, been dehydrated and rendered inactive.
That does not mean “dead”, they are just “sleeping”, and the usual way to wake them up so that they do their job, is through the addition of warm water and sugar as a source of their food.
To proof or bloom it, add a small quantity of the active dry yeast you need for the baking process, into a cup. Then pour in some lukewarm water and sugar. If the warm water does have the right temperature, the yeast activity remains inefficient.
A temperature of 60 to 80oC can boost the fermentation process in the dough and make it rise faster. Active dry yeast is sold in small sachets and a packet weighs about 7grams (0.25 ounces). Activate dry yeast has a pretty longer shell life than any other yeast. It works well to carbonate any dough you give it.
Active dry yeast us the best yeast for traditional way to prepare dough. Some best active yeasts for bread or pizza.
Shopping: Best active dry yeast types
Red Star Active Dry Yeast, Value Size 1 Pack (2 Pound Ea)
Fleischmann’s Active Dry Yeast, The original active dry yeast, 16 Envelopes, 4 oz
Instant yeast is another one of the yeast types of bread making. It is a quick hydrating yeast and a more convenient option, because, as the name suggests, you don’t need to proof it in warm water.
You just have to add the yeast instantly, with other ingredients, into the dough. This type of yeast works pretty faster, since it has enzymes and other chemicals added to boost its efficiency. From baking experience, instant yeast makes a dough to rise faster.
Moreover, it hydrates and dissolves quickly than active dry yeast. Instant yeast is the most preferable when you want your pizza dough to rise in a shorter time, so that you make the pizza dough recipe as soon as possible.
Most bakers substitute active dry yeast to instant yeast. You know why? I guess you got your own reasons, but I use instant yeast as an alternative to active dry yeast, when I want to knead a pizza dough at 5pm, and want to get it out from the baking oven the same night.
Another reason why I would substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast is because the instant yeast offers a similar flavor and texture product at half the time when you use dry yeast. They work pretty well and provide superior carbonation with cold dough.
There are many varieties of instant yeast, which come in both measures like 1-pound package and also in smaller packets of 7g.
Shopping: The best instant yeast for baking
SAF-Instant Yeast Red label Single 1lb(16 oz) package
Anthony’s Instant Dry Yeast Packets, Contains 42 Individual Packets, Gluten Free
Bellarise (Gold) Instant Dry Yeast – 1 LB Fast Acting Instant Yeast for Bread
Rapid rise yeast – best yeast types for baking sweet rolls for dinner
Rapid rise is actually an instant yeast, which has been enhanced, coated to increase the dough rise efficiency. Remember that the traditional yeasts – active dry and instant) always perform standard first rise when you mix them with bread dough.
The enthusiastic activation given to Rapid rise yeast eliminates this first rise fermentation stage and gives your dough a stronger rise. The reason people go to fast rise yeast is that, it is a time saver yeast, and the best option if you are sick and tired of waiting long hour to have the dough rise up
In traditional baking, time is flavor and using a quick rise yeast to make your dough rise in a short time is like sacrificing the quality of the flavor. What I mean is, avoid Rapid Rise Yeast if you are kneading doughs with a long, slow rise like a pizza and no-knead bread doughs.
When making your quick dinner Cinnamon rolls, Fast rise instant yeast should always be added into the dry ingredients. It does not require proofing in warm water, like in the case of active dry (traditional) yeast for baking.
What happened if you proof rapid rise yeast? If you bloom rapid rise yeast in warm water, you are destroying the coating the makes it efficient in raising a dough. In warm water, rapid rise instant yeast turns to the traditional instant yeast that is good for a two rise bread dough.
I recommend, you should have other yeast types in your kitchen, in addition to the rapid rise yeast. Don’t worry much about its lifespan, rapid rise yeast has a pretty long shelf life.
Shopping Quick Rise instant yeast type
Example is the Flesichmann’s branded instant yeast.
Sourdough yeast is a bacteria yeast. It is formed from combining both bacteria and yeast. The purpose of the bacteria is to produce lactic acid, which is known for producing the exceptional sourness we get in yogurt.
Like instant yeast, sourdough yeast does not require blooming or activation with warm water. All you have to do is to create a culture by mixing it with warm water and a bit of flour. This culture can be used to make any kind of pizza dough as well as bread.
Bakers often use the culture many times. The secret is that you should store the culture you just made away for later use. However, you must continue to feed the culture with flour. I can divide one single culture and use it multiple time.
Sourdough yeast is particularly effective. It can raise your pizza dough within 10-12 hours, and provide mouth-watering taste with an incredible yeasty, and slightly sweet flavor. Nutritionist have confirmed that baked products of sourdough yeast are very nutritious.
They can satisfy your dietary needs if you are health focused.
Shopping: best sourdough yeasts types
Sab Francisco sourdough style starter culture – great for bread pizza, pancake.
Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast – 1 packet
Fresh yeast – commercial yeast without dehydration
Fresh yeast, as the name suggests, is a clay-like, solid clock of yeast, which people also called cake yeast or compressed yeast. Because the yeast has a high moisture content ,fresh and perishable, most local and online stores don’t have the commercial yeast. So you can find fresh yeast usually inside the refrigerator, in a supermarket.
Professional bakers even use the fresh yeast for baking only for special occasions. According to culinary experts and some experienced home bakers, fresh yeast is one of the best yeast types of bread baking. For example, you can bake sourdough with fresh yeast instead of starter culture.
Fresh yeast needs no proofing again. Just crumble it into the baking flour and it will dissolve into any liquid in the dough. It is best to add the fresh yeast before pouring any dry ingredients and replace the first rising time with a 10-minute break or rest.
Too much yeast in the bread dough ruins the recipe. You can plan a bread recipe written for 2.5 teaspoons active dry yeast, and you later change your mind to use fresh yeast. Should you use the same quantity of fresh yeast as the dry yeast or you should double the fresh yeast? To substitute any portion of active dry yeast , professional bakers would double the amount of fresh yeast.
Poor storage can make mold to develop within a week. Most experienced home bakers will wrap the fresh yeast in a plastic wrap before keeping in the freezer, for a long storage like several months.
Nutritional yeast comes from saccharomyces cerevisiae and its leavening magic powers ends when the yeast gets killed by heat in the dough. It is actually a deactivated type of yeast sold in flakes, granules and powder forms.
This yeast gives a nutty or cheese-like flavor to your baked goodies. It is also used in seasoning of some foods as a nutritional supplement and can be consumed in large quantities in roasted veggies, and fried rice.
A concentrated form of nutritional yeast looks like paste. This kind of yeast extract has a pretty pungent flavor.
Shopping nutritional yeast types
Bread machine yeast – Best types of yeast for pizza
Bread machine yeast is just another kind of instant yeast with some slight additives. As the name speaks, it is suited for bread machine or pizza making where you don’t need to bloom the yeast. All you need is to add the granulated yeast into your flour so that it hydrates easily. All the other yeast like active dry yeast can also be used in bread machine but it that gives completely a different quality or flavor of your baked product. Nevertheless, bread machine yeast is faster-rising.
Shop Machine bread yeast types
Can You Do Yeast substitution
can i substitute yeast in my bread recipe? Can I replace active dry yeast for rapid-rise yeast? Can I use baking powder or soda in the place of yeast?
Substitute yeast with yeast
You can use instant yeast for a bread recipe written for active yeast and you can substitute instant yeast in a pizza recipe with active dry yeast. In the same way, bakers can adapt fresh yeast into e recipe written for active dry yeast or instant yeast.
Here is the mathematics. An ounce or 1 oz. of fresh yeast is equivalent to 0.4 oz. of active dry yeast or 0.33 oz. of instant yeast. In other words,
1 oz. of fresh yeast == 0.4 oz. of active dry yeast == 0.33 oz. of instant yeast.
If you write a recipe for ¼ ounce or a packet of active dry yeast, you will have to use about 2/3 ounce of fresh cake yeast if you have to substitute the dry yeast ion the dough. For a ¼ oz or packet of instant yeast, ¾ oz. of cake yeast would be required.
Substitute yeast with baking soda/baking powder
If you like to bake without yeast, baking powder and baking soda is where to get started.
Baking soda, can replace yeast in baking bread. Baking powder, in combination with acid sources like lemon juice, vinegar, and sometimes brown sugar in a dough will produce carbon dioxide and serve as an alternative leavener in baked foods – bread, cakes and cookies.
Baking powder used in culinary arts, is an alkaline substance which will undergo a chemical reaction in presence of acid, to produce carbon dioxide. It helps, just like baking soda, to leaven the dough of some baked foods.
Both baking powder and baking soda don’t have the kind of lifting power a yeast has. Too much of the baking soda or powder can give a poor flavor, bitterness, and soapy taste to your baked food if you pinch it in excess.
If your soda bread recipe requires 1 cup of flour, add a maximum of 0.5(½ ) teaspoon baking soda or 1.24(1 ¼) teaspoon of baking powder.
Guide to Purchasing Yeast
Yeast is made by many different manufacturers and there is confusion in the different types of yeast sold in the market.
Fresh Cake yeast – live cell yeast, which just needs to be dissolved in water
Active Dry yeast – traditional dry yeast which needs to be dissolved in warm water with sugar
Instant yeast – traditional yeast does not need to be dissolved, great for fast dough rise
Bread Machine yeast – its fast rising like Instant but packaged differently
Rapid-Rise yeast – instant yeast with yeast enhancers. Granules can be added directly to the flour
Shopping: Best Active Dry Yeasts
Here are some dry yeast from Amazon store
- Red Star GlutenFree Active Dry Yeast,
- Fleischmann’s Yeast, Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast, 16 Ounce
- Seitenbacher Active Dry Yeast, 0.35 Ounce (Pack of 32)
- AIVA Instant Dry Yeast for Bread Making- 100gm ( 3.5 Ounce )
Can yeast be stored?
Absolutely YES. If yeast cant be stored, you won’t find it in local stores and supermarkets. But dry yeast can be stored in air-tight containers for over half a year, because they have a pretty long shell life. On the other hand, fresh cake yeast is so perishable that you can only conserve it refrigerated for few weeks. For a better way to keep your yeast, check the manufacturer’s product information sheet.
When do I use Instant Yeast?
Instant Yeast can be used at all time since it performs well in the kitchen. Instant yeast is the best all-round yeast type because its effective, stable, has a long shelf life in the frozen form. Because it does not doesn’t need proofing in water, every experience, professional or beginner bakers just has to throw it in with the flour and never get to worry about not using a dough up.
When do you use rapid rise yeast?
Rapid Rise Yeast is perfect if you are in a hurry to bake. If you want to make rolls in the morning and bake the dough for breakfast, use rapid rise yeast. Beware, don’t expect to have the best flavor you get with a longer-rising or cold-proofed bread dough. Remember that in bread baking, time = flavor. Only keep quick rise yeast in your kitchen for quick bakes, and for yeast products like sweet rolls. Nothing more than that!
can yeast go bad?
Bad yeast becomes moist and clumps together. Good yeast is in powder, granular form. When air and moisture get into it, over time, it may clump and lose its effectiveness.
How can you tell if yeast has gone bad then? The surest way to find out if your yeast has gone bad or not is to proof or bloom it with warm water. If it does not produce any foams of CO2, that is bad already.
There are some uses for expired yeast. For example, you can use an expired brewer’s yeast as a natural fertilizer to in your garden . Just dissolve bad fresh brewer’s yeast in 2-3 litters of water, about 3 liters of water, and use it to water flowers or any plant near your home, once per week.
How can you tell if instant yeast is active?
Try to pour a small amount of the instant yeast into a cup and add a pinch of sugar and warm water. Make a little stir, and wait for a few minutes.
An active instant yeast will hydrate and dissolve completely into the water and you will see foams or bubbles of CO2 gas. Make it a routine to check your yeast before adding to every recipe.
Your pizza dough won’t rise an inch, if you add a spoiled yeast. It will stand there for 3 days and there won’t be any change or rise.
Is bread machine yeast the same as instant yeast?
YES. You will often here other names like quick rise yeast, fast rise, rapid rise, in addition to bread machine yeast. All these names is for the same yeast, so people used them interchangeably.
How do you dissolve active dry yeast?
Use warm water to dissolve the dry yeast. Depending on the quantity of flour for your bread dough, you have to measure your sugar and yeast precisely or with close accuracy. But make sure your water is 60-800C hot. Then add your packets or teaspoons of yeast depending on the quantity of flour in your recipe. Stir to have it completely dissolved.
Can you replace active dry yeast with instant yeast?
YES. Sometimes, you don’t want to wait long to take the first bite of your home made pizza or bread. If you make the recipe dough with active dry yeast, it make take 12-24 hours to rise under normal conditions. So active yeast is perfect id you kneed the bread dough in the morning and want to bake it at night.
If you are in a hurry because you are hungry and raving for food, instant yeast can make the pizza dough to rise faster. Remember , bakers call it quick rise yeast. So you would have to replace or substitute your slow rise active dry yeast with the rapid rise instant yeast.
What happens when you add too much yeast to bread?
Too much yeast makes the dough to rise and can overflow the baking pan. Also, the dough can go flat when too much gas is produced and released before the dough is ready. Again, excessive yeast in bread dough can make it smell and taste like beer and can probably have a light crust in the oven.
do you need to double yeast when doubling bread recipe?
Do you double yeast when doubling bread recipe? It is ok to double yeast when doubling bread recipe, but that depends on a number of factors. Consider that you have used 2.25 teaspoon active dry yeast in your everyday baking.
On your next baking, if you double the flour and want to use instant yeast, you don’t have to double it. You can add like 25-50% instant yeast for a double portion of your bread dough. Find out what happens when you double the yeast in a bread recipe.
How many teaspoons is a 1/4 oz of active dry yeast?
1 packet or sachet or envelope of Active Dry Yeast weighs about ¼ oz(ounce) or 7 grams. This is equivalent to 2 1/4 teaspoons. Active dry yeast = 0.25 ounce per 2-1/2 teaspoons. Find out how to convert yeast from ounce to teaspoons.
What are the best yeast types for baking then? All the yeasts above have their place in cooking and there is no overall winner. However, if you want a baking yeast that will stay in your kitchen and last up to a year before you start making another big yeast decision again, the best yeast types for pizza and bread are the active dry yeast and instant yeast. They have pretty long shelf life, unlike fresh yeast that would need constant refrigeration, according to Susan Reid at King Arthur Flour.
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