Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fresh yeast vs. dried yeast

The other day, I wanted to make pizza for dinner. When I started the pizza crust, I set the yeast out to proof and walked away to do some laundry. (Proofing the yeast involves putting it in warm water to get it going. When it bubbles, you add the flour and so on.)

But my yeast never bubbled. Hmmm, I thought. I went ahead and made the crust, but it never rose.

It was still good, but not as good as it should have been.

Then I wanted to make some bread. That didn't rise at all, either, and that batch had to be thrown out.

When this happens, you know your yeast is dead.

When yeast is dead, it's dead. Your bread won't rise. Just throw it out and get new yeast. If it's really old, or if it's been exposed to high heat, sometimes it'll die. I don't know why mine was dead, but there it was.

So instead of getting new dry yeast, I decided to get fresh yeast. Fresh yeast is, you know, fresh. Yeast. Dry yeast (the stuff in the envelopes) is that stuff, dried. The dried lasts a lot longer, and is shelf-stable. The fresh yeast will only last about a week in the fridge, but you can freeze it and it'll be good for a few more months that way.

It can be hard to find. But I asked at the bakery counter at my local Whole Foods and got a pound and a quarter slab for $4.59.

You'll need to use roughly three times as much fresh yeast, if the recipe calls for dried.

So far I haven't noticed a difference in taste or rise amount. But hey, my bread is rising again. That's the important thing.

No comments:

Post a Comment