Using fresh or dried yeast

Using fresh or dried yeast

There are three types of yeast available, fresh yeastactive dried yeast and instant yeast.

Both dried yeast and fresh yeast are the same yeast strain (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), a single-celled microorganism that is part of the fungi family. When we make a dough using yeast, we start to see active bubbles causing the dough to rise. It is the living organism that feeds on the sugar and starch, converting into carbon dioxide gas, which is responsible.

Sometimes you might come across breads or baked products that have a strong yeast or bitter flavour. This is the result of too much yeast, the dough has risen too quickly. It is better to reduce the amount of yeast and allow the dough more time to prove to avoid this happening.

Check out some of these recipes using yeast:

Orange, Date & Cardamom Hot Cross Buns

Nutella Babka

Whole-Wheat Yoghurt Bread

Is fresh or dried yeast better?

Dry yeast has a longer shelf life than fresh yeast. While you can store fresh yeast in the refrigerator for up to three to four weeks, dry yeast can be stored at room temperature for several months to a year.

With dried yeast does not need to be mixed with liquid beforehand, you can mix it directly with the dry baking ingredients.  

Fresh yeast does not contain artificial additives, some brands of dried yeast often use added emulsifiers which should be avoided, so take extra care and take a closer look at the ingredients. Alternatively, try using organic where possible.

The benefits of fresh yeast are quite subjective, such as better flavour, increased rise, longer fermentation and many more. For the home baker, 99% of the time, the difference in the finished recipe is hardly noticeable, both dry yeast and fresh yeast do the same job. It’s not worth going to a shop 30 minutes from your house especially to buy fresh yeast.

How much yeast to use

Using fresh or dried yeast

The amount of yeast you require depends on whether you are making bread or an enriched dough (one that includes eggs and butter)

Simple bread recipes require 10 to 15 grams (1% to 1.5%) of fresh yeast to 1 kilo of flour.

Enriched doughs need 30 to 40 grams of yeast (3% to 4%) to 1 kilo of flour.

To calculate from using fresh yeast to dried yeast, the rule of thumb is to divide by 3.

For example, 3 grams of fresh yeast = 1 gram of dried yeast, so if a recipe requires 30 grams of fresh yeast we replace it with 10 grams of dried yeast.

And if you want to calculate dried to fresh simply multiply the dried amount by 3.

Tip: Never let salt and fresh yeast come into direct contact, it will destroy the yeast.

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