TIPS - ACTIVE DRY YEAST vs. INSTANT YEAST
my opinion, active dry yeast produces better more consistent results for home
bakers than the newer instant yeast. Active dry yeast has been around since WW
II. Active dry yeast needs to be "activated" by
soaking it in warm water when making bread. Active dry yeast can be used when
making bread by hand, using a bread machine or using a mixing machine.
Instant yeast, also known as
quick yeast or bread baking machine yeast, has been around for about 15 years.
Instant yeast was developed with commercial baking in mind, not the home baker.
Instant yeast is added to the dry ingredients in big mixing machines at
commercial bakeries. Instant yeast is also added to the dry ingredients in a
home bread machine.
Control of temperature is the
key to successful baking at home or commercially. In commercial baking the big
mixing machines create friction and produce needed heat. When making bread at
home in a bread machine the heating element turns on during the mixing
process and adds the needed heat to activate the instant yeast. When making
bread by hand, if you use instant yeast, there is not enough heat in the process
to produce big full loaves, even if you soak the instant yeast in warm water.
Instant yeast and active dry yeast are not the same. Active dry yeast was designed for home baking. That is why I use and recommend the
old standard active dry yeast. When using active dry yeast I am in full control
of the bread baking process and I get consistent results.
Most home bakers in Europe are
using instant yeast for hand bread baking and bread machine use. I do not
recommend instant yeast for home baking by hand. Can a whole continent be doing
it wrong? Who knows? I have heard stories of people in the UK preheating their
flour before making bread. That is indicative of temperature problems when using
instant yeast. You do not have to preheat flour when using active dry yeast.
In the US, two major brands of yeast are available - Red Star and Fleishmann's.
Red Star sells a two pound package of the good old fashioned Active Dry Yeast.
That is what I use and recommend. Fleishmann's sell a two pound package of what
they call Instant Active Dry Yeast. Is it instant yeast or is it active dry
yeast or is it both? I don't know. I have found that the good old fashioned
active dry yeast produces better more consistent results in my home baking.
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