Yeasts : LUSENET : FAQ : One Thread

Hopefullly you can try and help me with my problem. I am from the UK but have recently moved to Israel, a strange country at the best of times, but i really didnt think I would have problems finding yeast!! When I first arrived I was able to buy active dry yeast to my hearts content, but suddenly it vanished without a trace. I am now left with instant dried yeast(very rarely found), fresh yeast and somthing that pretends to be yeast but the package says its somthing of an alternative to yeast. I have tried all these yeasts and now my bread just isnt the same, my last attempt came out like a brick!! I am still following my recipies as usuall, but none of the above "foam" like active dry yeast. Can anyone give me any tips on using the above yeasts (prefrably the fresh yeast as this seems more available). Would the quantaties of fresh yeast differ from active dry yeast? I really do hope someone can help...Thank you.

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2001


Yes, yeast does differ in processing and usage, but if the word "Yeast" is on your packaging, it should be Saccaromyces Cerevisiae, or bakers/brewers yeast. You may just be purchasing from a questionable source. As for the compressed/fresh yeast, yes you will need to multiply the dry yeast by 1.5-2.0 to arrive at the proper conversion. The fresh yeast has much more water compared to the instant/dry, so you need more. Fresh yeast has a shelf life of two weeks before becoming less virile, it does not freeze well compared to dry. When using these mystery yeasts, try an indicator. Place a small amount of yeast into some 105 Degrees F water, then monitor after 15-20 minutes, you should see a bubbly response, if not, try again or find some fresh yeast from a bakery. Trust me, a good baker will not tolerate bad yeast for very long.

It sounds like you should begin keeping a starter. In this manner you will still have a constant supply on hand, without the major fluctuations. Just mix a slurry of equal parts water and bread flour, then add a small amount of yeast. Once your medium is innoculated, you can then monitor to see if it begins to brew. Once it begins to bubble, refrigerate unitl ready to use.

Each time you plan to make bread, bring this starter to room temp, feed it with flour and water (50/50-about 1/5 in weight of the total mass) 4-8 hours prior to the mixing of your product. Then use a fair amount of this starter to leaven your baked goods. As long as you keep refreshing each time you bake or weekly, whichever comes first, you will be maintaining your own supply of fresh yeast. This sounds time consuming, but compared to baking an unsatisfying product, it will earn its merit very quickly.

The alternative is to obtain a case or so of instant yeast from SAF yeast in France or U.S. This yeast is very stable unopened, and stores well frozen. It is not expensive (.17 per pound U.S.)


-- Anonymous, February 07, 2001

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