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How to bake with yeast

active dry yeast

Active dry yeast must be rehydrated in liquid before being added to the dough. The liquid could be water or milk with temperature of 43 - 46 C. It is not concentrated as instant yeast, so you need more active dry yeast when substituting.

  • 1 package active dry yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons = 7 grams
  • 1 teaspoon instant dry yeast = 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast = 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 package instant yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons or 7 grams) -  1 1/4 package active dry yeast (2 4/5 teaspoons or almost 9 grams).

Instant yeast

Instant yeast, also known as fast-rising bread machine yeast is made into much finer particles. Instant yeast is usually more expensive and can be directly added to the dry ingredients without rehydrating or proofing first. You can use water that is somewhat hotter, 48 - 54 C, to make your dough unless the recipe calls for colder water. 

  • Multiply the amount of active dry yeast in the recipe by 0.75 to figure out how much instant yeast you should use.
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons) = 1 2/3 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast = 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast

fresh yeast

Fresh yeast, also known as cake yeast or compressed yeast usually respond a bit quicker than active dry yeast. Fresh yeast is packed into small squares and it has a short shelf like of a few weeks, compared to months or even years for dried yeast. 

  • 7 grams instant yeast = 21 grams fresh yeast
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast (3 grams) = 1/2 block fresh yeast
  • 7 grams of active dry yeast = 17.5 grams fresh yeast

Proof the fresh yeast by crumbling it into warm water (43C) with a tablespoon of flour and sugar. Stir and wait for 10 minutes until it foam. To use fresh yeast in a recipe, you can make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, crumble the fresh yeast into the middle, cover with warm liquids and stir up a little of the dry ingredients into the liquids. Wait until bubles form.

You may find recipes using large amounts of fresh yeast which is not necessary. Simple bread recipes require 1% to 1.5% of the weight of flour. If you're using 1 kilo of flour, that means you need only 10 to 15 grams of fresh yeast.