As we explained in one of our recent blogs, there are a number of different types of yeasts. We also gave some insight into how yeast works and why it matters. This time, we’re going to take a quick look at the differences between fresh yeast and instant yeast, such as Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast.
What Is It?
Yeast is a living creature; it is a small fungus, so small, in fact, that it is single-celled. It needs nutrients and water, which is exactly why it is so useful to humans. In fact, yeast may be one of the first domesticated organisms, and yeast’s use by early humans is well attested. It is useful not only for baked goods but also for its pivotal role in brewing alcoholic beverages, which has been taking place for thousands of years.
It is also not a single organism, but rather many different species of different fungus. However, the yeast that we will focus on in this article is a species known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This is the species to which most people are referring when they use the word yeast.
Fresh yeast is a special type of yeast that is sold in compressed cakes, and it can be hard to find, but we sell it here. It is an actual compressed block of living yeast, and some bakers prefer it because they claim it gives their baked goods a stronger, more pronounced flavor. The drawback to this is the fact that fresh yeast will not last long. Even when well kept and refrigerated, you can’t expect fresh yeast to last longer than a week or two.
For that reason, usually, the only people that use fresh yeast are professional bakers who have the means to use it as quickly as it comes in and have a vested interest in the quality that comes with it despite how hard it is to keep and store.
Fleischmann’s Instant Dry Yeast
By contrast to fresh yeast, there are instant dry yeasts, like Fleischmann’s instant dry yeast. This is also sometimes called bread-machine yeast because it is made up of smaller grains that are easier to use because they dissolve readily in bread dough.
Sometimes yeast is “proofed” in water and sugar to test its viability. If the yeast is alive, it will create a foam on the surface of the water by feeding on the sugar. This is not necessary with instant dry yeast, which can simply be added into the dough along with the other dry ingredients.
One of the main reasons that bakers prefer instant yeasts and other active dry yeasts is because they store much longer than fresh yeast. Although a fresh yeast may be able to give a better flavor to the finished product, active dry yeasts can be frozen in airtight containers and may last up to two yeast when stored in such fashion. This makes them more suitable for a lot of home bakers and others who need to have the convenience of being able to store a quantity of yeast without it getting inactivated.
That only leaves inactive yeast, which is a yeast that has been sterilized and preserved. Because living yeast must be killed to produce inactive yeast, the yeast has no ability to cause bread or dough to rise; it will not ferment. What then, are the purposes of inactive yeast?
Well, inactive yeast is sometimes used to add flavor to bread and other doughs, as it imparts a certain type of sweetness to the dough. Inactive yeast is also used to add nutrients to the dough that are beneficial to the diet, and it is also sometimes used as a dough conditioner. You can’t use it the same way as live yeast, but it still has its uses!
Call Us for More Information!
If you still have questions on any of these different types of yeast, make sure you get in touch with a member of our customer service team and we’d be more than glad to help you out. Customer service defines us and we love enriching our customer’s lives with bits of wisdom that we’ve gleaned from our many years of experience.
As you can see, there are a number of nuances behind the different types of yeast that define their uses, despite the fact that all of these may be the same actual “species” of yeast. For example, you can’t buy fresh yeast and expect it to last very long, and you can’t use inactive yeast as a leavener. But all of these things are only learned with experience, and everything is easy once you know how to do it. You just need to learn how first, and that’s why you should give us a call. Please contact us at 724-274-6314 with any questions that you have - we’re never more than a call away!