Choosing the right yeastJanuary 22, 2015 by Darcie
Baking can be intimidating, especially when it comes to making foods with yeast. There are many different types of yeast available, and baking disaster stories abound concerning dense, misshapen loaves or out-of-control dough monsters. But yeast baking doesn’t have to be scary, says Susan Reid, Publications Manager at King Arthur Flour. In an interview with Epicurious, Reid dispels common yeast baking myths and provides guidance on choosing which yeast to use.
The only types of yeast that Reid says most bakers need to know about are active dry yeast and instant yeast, which are also the most easily available. In almost every instance, they can be subsituted for one another. Active dry yeast is made “by removing the water in live yeast and grinding it into fine granules.” Instant yeast is ground even finer to dissolve more quickly, but it’s not just active dry yeast processed further.
“Instant is a slightly different strain, so it produces a bit of a different flavor,” Reid says. But “frankly, you can use [both active dry and instant yeast] exactly the same way.” So there is no need to stock both types of yeast, just stick with one for consistency. Reid recommends the SAF Red Instant Yeast used in the King Arthur Flour test kitchens. (SAF owns Red Star, a popular supermarket brand.)
One common misconception is that you must proof active dry yeast by dissolving it in warm water before using it. That step is not necessary, according to Reid. Active dry yeast “is produced in a such a way that it can be added directly to the bread dough with the dry ingredients.” The reason yeast was traditionally proofed is to make sure it was still alive and able to do its job, a problem found more with fresh yeast. Fresh and rapid rise yeast are also explained in the Epicurious article.
For best results you should store your yeast in the freezer, where Reid says it will last up to a year. My experience is that it will last several years in the freezer – I recently baked bread with yeast that had a “use-by” date of 2011.
- matag on This week: When good cookbooks do bad things; EYBD Previews of upcoming releases; recipes; and more
- greentoad on Atsuko Ikeda – Author Quick Bites & Cookbook Set Giveaway
- greentoad on Your Daily Veg Cookbook Giveaway
- hawaiieat on The Last Bite Cookbook Giveaway
- hawaiieat on Snackable Bakes Cookbook Giveaway
- hawaiieat on Your Daily Veg Cookbook Giveaway
- pfgarden on Snackable Bakes Cookbook Giveaway
- reader1trees on The Miller’s Daughter Quick Bites & Cookbook Giveaway
- reader1trees on Cinnamon and Salt by Emiko Davies – Cookbook Giveaway
- Su2cool on The Miller’s Daughter Quick Bites & Cookbook Giveaway