Yeast is yeast?
Posted: 16 February 2013 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Can anybody explain the difference between ‘instant’ and ‘rapid-rise’ yeast?  I’ve Googled yeast and not been able to find a satisfactory reply.  Recently I had a problem with minimal to no oven spring in my bread.  I had been using rapid-rise yeast I bought at Sam’s Club in a two-pound package and had stored in the freezer.  My hunch was that the yeast was old and so I changed to Fleischman’s regular granulated yeast, the kind that requires proofing in liquid, which corrected the oven-spring problem.  My supermarket sells rapid-rise yeast and never seems to have instant, which is recommended in Rose’s Bread Bible.  Are ‘instant’ and ‘rapid-rise’ the same or is there a real difference?  I’ve read that ‘rapid-rise’ is good for only one rise, but that doesn’t seem to make sense, given that yeast feeds on the starch in flour and continues to grow during the fermentation process.  Does anybody have an answer to this.  Many thanks! 

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Posted: 16 February 2013 05:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Thanks for the quick response!  I may give the Fleischmann rapid-rise a try and see how it goes, since the company itself says there’s no difference between it and instant.  I do note, however, that even the regular active dry yeast I’ve been using works really fast!  But I would like the option of adding yeast to the dry ingredients and not having to mess around with the proofing stage.

Thanks again!

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Posted: 17 February 2013 07:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Many thanks to all of you who have responded to my yeast question.  By the way, it was the yeast that I stored in the freezer, not the dough.  My hunch was that yeast in such a large quantity put out for sale at a place like Sam’s might be akin to books put out on the remainder table at the book store (Remember those good old days?!)—oldies but cheapies!  Thanks again for all of your help!

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Posted: 22 February 2013 11:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I am fortunate to have a source for cake yeast, which I prefer the taste of, but do usually have instant on hand. As for the number of rises you can coax from the dough- the way I have always understood this(Cookwise & Bakewise from S. Corriher) is that the dough and yeast are feeding off the flour. If you need more rising action, knead in flour as you turn and deflate the dough. You can always spritz with water if you want more holes in the bread, like a ciabatta or foccacia or you simply think the dough is becoming too stiff/dry. Also, covering loosely with a towel rather than plastic will allow the dough to grab more yeast from the air around it which will give it more raise. If you’ve never tried it, make your own starter from Julia Child’s with Master Chef, episode with Nancy Silverton where Nancy makes a starter over 4 days using organic grapes, flour and water. It’s a process, but ultimately satisfying, if you have the time and wherewithal.

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Posted: 23 February 2013 11:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I haven’t heard of anybody using cake yeast since I was a kid, but I have always suspected that it might be better than the dried kind that everybody uses for convenience’s sake.  Would you be willing to share your source?  I’d like to give it a try.  Many thanks!

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Posted: 23 February 2013 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I have access to Restaurant Depot here in Atlanta and they carry it. It’s actually made in Canada. I would be willing to put a block in the mail to you(priority mail would be 2-3 day, about $5.50) and it may travel well if you are in a cool area of the country. I have frozen it with success as long as you let it defrost slowly in the fridge. The yeast only costs about $1.25 for a block the size of a pound of buttter(it may be a pound, but honestly, I’ve never paid attention). You might try some searching on the internet as it is a Fleischamnn’s product.

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Posted: 23 February 2013 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Well, I know that what WF carries region-region and store-store varies greatly as I have access to about 6 of them here in Atlanta and suburbs. I respectfully disagree that there is no difference in flavor and my husband would certainly concur that there IS a difference. Perhaps it’s a matter of personal preference, but in my household we prefer the cake yeast when it’s availalble. I made pizza dough and James Beard’s oatmeal loaf for onion sandwiches just today using cake yeast.

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