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what is the difference in yeast?

Can someone explain the difference in fast-rise and bread machine yeast or any others there may be. I' doing some baking with a bread machine, and I get confused when the recipe calls for like 2 1 /2 tsp of yeast, but there seems to be a little more in the packet than that. Then I bought Bread machine yeast in a jar, But does it all measure the same and bake the same way? I know this sounds silly, but I love to bake cinnamon rolls and other things around this time of year and I don't want any dissasters. I'd appreciate any advice.

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Asked by kimmy73 at 9:07 PM on Nov. 9, 2008 in Food & Drink

Level 3 (20 Credits)
Answers (3)
  • well, yeast has a limited shelf life so I don't think the yeast in the jar bought a year ago is going to work out for you.
    definitely buy some new yeast first off.

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:13 PM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • There's basically 3 kinds of yeast commonly available for baking. There is also brewer's yeast, but that is used for beers, ales, etc.
    Fresh yeast: Also known as cake or compressed yeast, sold refrigerated w/ a limited shelf life. Pros like it, but many don't use it because of the small window it has.
    Active Dry yeast: This one needs to be re-hydrated in warm liquid before using. The packaging process causing about 1/4 of the yeast cells to die, producing small amounts of something called glutathione, which acts as a gluten relaxer. This makes this a good choice for things like pizza dough, which is otherwise very difficult to roll/stretch.
    Instant yeast: Also known as quick or rapid rise. Doesn't need to be hydrated in liquid before using. Because none of the cells die during packaging, it takes about 25% less of this yeast than Active Dry.

    Answer by jespeach at 1:40 AM on Nov. 10, 2008

  • cont..
    There is a flavor difference between the yeasts. If you were making, say, an egg bread, where you're not looking for that authentic, old-fashioned yeast-y flavor, then the rapid rise yeast is a good choice. Also, you might find yeast that is labelled "Bread machine yeast" which is raid rise yeast with ascorbic acid added to it as a dough conditioner, so that you can achieve softer doughs with less rise time.

    Then there is "wild" yeast, which is yeast found in the air, and on the skins of organic grapes and raisins. This is what bakers used to begin colonies of yeast called starters, and what is usually used to make sourdough and Amish friendship bread. These colonies were once passed down from generation to generation, each baker feeding and tending the starter as they used it to keep it going.

    Answer by jespeach at 1:41 AM on Nov. 10, 2008

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