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instant yeasts and active dry yeast in bread making











My first experience with yeast baking did not go well at first despite the many baking books i have in my collection( which were all wiped out by the typhoon Ondoy, sept 26, 2009). The most ridiculous thing is that in your attempt to proof the yeast, you actually just snuff the life out of it by using water that is too hot for the yeast to handle. So you throw it out and then try again. Later on, many years after, i found out from my teacher in class that i did not even have to do this, simply use tap water, add a teaspoon of sugar, then the yeast, stir and voila!!! Wait for the dough to bloom or froth and your done. This is if you are using active dry yeast. Instant means you simply dump it in the flour mix, no blooming necessary.

Shown here in these images, two types of yeasts, the active dry has to be bloomed first before using, then when the yeast froths, you can dump it into the mixing bowl.

The instant yeast on the other hand, is more convenient to use, i weigh it with the rest of the dry ingredients and mix it, no blooming...


Another off the beaten path mistake i made was that i never stored my yeasts properly to extend or preserve its shelf life. Even when i have the time to tip toe around the kitchen i should have at least, wrapped the yeast in a ziploc bag, and allowed it to hibernate in my freezer which i did not.

So when i feel sane enough to bake, i would suddenly remember, are my yeasts still active? Like, after 6 months in the heat of the Philippine summer, do you think?

So there you are, trying to coax some life out of this tiny cells of Saccharomyses Cerevisiae, praying even after 10 minutes had gone that it froths in front of you, pleease, dumping teaspoons after teaspoons of sugar in the mix, (you did it too right?)after all, sugar is food for the yeast (Food Prep 101, 1st semester)...

Nope,,, this one is so dead...

Well, what do you know... you did not do your homework...

Rule number 1. These yeasts, whether it is active dry or instant yeast do not have feet or legs to throw themselves in a cooler place. You have. So do your daily mitzvah by storing them wrapped tightly or sealed in a tight jar INSIDE THE COOLEST PART OF YOUR REFRIGERATOR. Never leave the yeast in a warm place, worst places ever are beside the cooking stove, near the refrigerator or top of it, beside any appliances where they generate heat....etc..

Which yeast to use? Others prefer active dry, they say it is more potent... has a longer shelf life and costs less. These are things they say about instant yeasts also...What you do not know is that the yeast you buy is a combination of not just one specie of yeast (say, in a pack of Eagle yeast), but many,many species out of the 6,000 out there.

The brand of yeast matters... If i were you, i will do my pickings not on the type of yeast, but on the BRAND, usually, the more expensive a brand is, the more potent and reliable the yeast will be. There are yeasts that are specifically made for high acid (ph) high sugar ratio formulas, other are for lean, frozen, chilled, crusty and soft, etc etc etc....

Your formula will decide what brand of yeast to use.. I usually keep at least 2 kinds of yeast in my stock, one for the leaner types of dough and another for the high sugar/fat dough. If the dough is too sluggish, granting you are doing all the procedures by the book, then maybe your brand of choice is not the best one... Not that it is the only reason why your dough is sluggish, but it could be.

Even if your yeast is a top of the line brand, have you stored it properly? Every minute your jar of yeast spends in the heat, you are reducing its leavening power.. Did you dip a wet spoon into the jar? Did you leave the jar opened for hours? Did you use an old jar with leftover old yeast in it? Okay, you can start wrapping that yeast in cling wrap now... off to the refrigerator it goes.. Not me, i am bundled up in here.

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