Bread & Pastries/Yeasts


i listened to a radio show some time ago now about yeasts that were used before the abvent of the modern quick yeasts. can you direct me to a website (or google phrase Ive tried loads) where i can read about where to get & how to use them please?

Hi Tony:

Well...why you refer to "modern" yeast, I assume you mean the dried "quick" or "instant" yeasts.

Quite literally...the yeast from 2000 years ago to make bread and beer is the same yeast today!

In commercial baking, we use "bakers fresh yeast". And that is the best if you're going to use it within three weeks.

If not...any good brand of instant yeast is just fine. I say "instant" because that is nothing but fresh yeast that was dried and finely ground. Instant refers to the fact that you can toss it in with the rest of the ingredients without any prior steps. This process of "pre-proofing" yeast in warm water and sugar is so unnecessary.

And as I said...yeast is yeast...the kind for baking and beer of course. It isn't magic. It comes from the air and lives on fruits and vegetables and best of all...flour!

The biological term for this  yeast is Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It's the same in SanFrancisco as it is in Philadelphia as it is in London!!!!

I'm sure if you pump in the name in will get a ton of responses...none of which will mean much to us as bakers.

I found that fresh baker's yeast is a bit more efficient and works better than dried. However...I get great results from either form.

If you find a formula with fresh yeast, and you want to use instant instead, use 0.33 the amount of fresh. The reason is fresh is mostly water and instant is dry and therefore it is more yeast per unit volume!

It's an old wives' tale that says yeast is different in different parts of the world. i'd love to know who these old wives are anyway. What is different is the way in which we use pre-ferments or that part of the formula we let ferment overnight as the "starter".

If you like to bake bread, etc and that is the reason for the yeast question may I suggest the following: BREAD by Jeffrey Hamelman. He is the definitive expert and a good friend!

I hope that helped...if you need more...get back to me!!!

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Ralph Onesti


Anything to do with yeasted doughs: First off...Please do not include sensitive material and please do not set your question to "private". answers may benefit someone else with the same problem. Breads: sourdough, levain, rye, brioche, laminated doughs, French doughs, straight dough, enriched doughs, danish, etc.


I grew up in the pastry business in South Philadelphia many years ago. I trained with the best in bread baking artisan style loaves.

Bread Baker's Guild of America

Trained with the family in the family business, and award winning bread artisans

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