The whole world, including Canada is crazy about buying yeast during the coronavirus lockdown and we have received many questions from our great customers about the difference between fresh yeast and dry yeast.
What is yeast?
Yeast is a living microscopic single-cell organism that, as it grows, converts its food (through a process known as fermentation) into alcohol and carbon dioxide. This trait is what endears yeast to winemakers, brewmasters and bread bakers.
Fresh yeast, sometimes called cake yeast or compressed yeast, is a block of fresh yeast cells that contains about 70% moisture and is commonly used by baking professionals. It’s pale beige in colour, soft and crumbly with a texture similar to a soft pencil eraser, and has a stronger yeast smell than dry yeast.
To use fresh yeast, crumble it into small pieces first. After that, you can add it to the dry ingredients or soften it in warm water and proceed with the recipe. Fresh yeast is great in breads that require a long, slow rising time, as it activates more quickly than dried yeast and also stays active for a longer period of time.
Instant Dry Yeast is the most popular type of dry yeast that was introduced after active dry yeast in the 1970s. It is made using a similar process as active dry yeast, although it is dried more quickly and milled into finer particles. Because of this, it dissolves and activates faster. Unlike active dry yeast, instant yeast doesn’t have to be proofed first; it can be mixed straight into the dry ingredients with the same result. This yeast also gives you two separate rises.
How to Substitute Dry Yeast for Fresh Yeast
Because fresh yeast has moisture in it, you should use 3 times the fresh yeast in weight for the same rising ability of instant yeast and 2.5 times the amount of active dry yeast.
- 7 grams instant yeast = 1/4 ounce instant yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast = 21 grams fresh yeast or 1 1/4 blocks (0.6-ounce size) or about 1/2 block (2-ounce size) fresh yeast.
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast (3 grams) = 1/2 block (0.6 ounce size) fresh yeast.
- 7 grams of active dry yeast = 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast = 17.5 grams fresh yeast = 1 block (0.6-ounce size) or 1/3 block (2-ounce size) of fresh yeast.
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast = 1/3 block (0.6-ounce size) of fresh yeast.