How to use fresh and dry yeast

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Can you substitute fresh yeast for dry yeast and how much should you use? What’s the difference in using fresh and dry yeast? How do you reconstitute dry yeast? We answer your questions.

Dry yeast (also called active dry yeast or rapid rise yeast )and fresh yeast are the two yeast cultures that you find. Fresh yeast is harder to get and you may need to pop in to your local baker or pizzeria and ask for a little of their supply – the advantage also is that this will definitely be fresh.

You can use fresh or dry yeast in recipes but you need to activate the dry yeast by dissolving it in tepid water (hand-hot, not boiling or you will kill the yeast cultures) before using. Fresh yeast can be mixed right into your baking mixture.

How do I check that yeast is alive?
You can check that your dry yeast is alive by adding it to a little warm or tepid water (half of what you are going to use in the recipe will do) and leave it for up to 10 minutes. If it bubbles, the culture is alive and is okay to add to your baking mixture with the rest of the water stipulated in the recipe. If it doesn’t bubble, it means the yeast is dead so start with a new batch and test again.

How much does a packet of yeast weigh?
A small packet or envelope of yeast usually contains 7g or 1/4 teaspoon of yeast or 2 and 1/4 teaspoons by volume. Weigh it or measure it into a measuring teaspoon before you use it, as weights can vary in each envelope from country to country.

Can I substitute fresh for dry yeast and how much do I use?
If you have to substitute fresh yeast for dry yeast, use double the amount of fresh yeast to dried yeast. That means you use 14g of fresh compressed yeast if the recipe calls for 7g dried yeast.

How to dissolve yeast in warm water
Always dissolve dried yeast in a warm liquid – you cannot add it directly to cold liquid. However you can add fresh yeast to cold liquid.

What temperature does fresh and dry yeast work at?
Yeast works best at temperatures between 70°F and 80°F so leave your dough to rise in a very low oven at the proving setting or in a draught-free warm place, with the bowl covered in oiled cling film or a clean tea towel so the dough doesn’t stick to it when it rises.

How to store fresh and dry yeast
You can store fresh and dry yeast in the freezer in an airtight container or freezer bag. Leave to come to room temperature before using.

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