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Old 04-01-2018, 01:55 PM   #1
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Why one and not the other

As far as I can tell, there’s no difference between active dry yeast and bread machine or instant yeast, except that the former needs to activated and the latter doesn’t. Activating AD yeast takes all of five minutes.

So why do different recipes call specifically for one or the other?

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Old 04-01-2018, 05:36 PM   #2
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Rising times are slightly different. The instant yeast rises faster. I personally like longer rising times as bread develops more flavor. Also, you mix instant directly into the dough. I prefer dissolving the AD in water (or whatever liquid) with a pinch of sugar to A. Get it going and B. Make sure it is good.
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Old 04-01-2018, 05:51 PM   #3
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It's usually just the preference of the person who wrote the recipe. Personally, I like playing withe the yeast and making sure it is working before spending the time and coming out with flat bread.
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Old 04-01-2018, 05:55 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
It's usually just the preference of the person who wrote the recipe. Personally, I like playing withe the yeast and making sure it is working before spending the time and coming out with flat bread.
My thoughts and sentiments exactly!
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Old 04-01-2018, 06:59 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60 View Post
It's usually just the preference of the person who wrote the recipe. Personally, I like playing withe the yeast and making sure it is working before spending the time and coming out with flat bread.
Me, too. The one argument in favor of proofing yeast is knowing that the yeast is still active (i.e. the "proof").
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Old 04-02-2018, 04:05 AM   #6
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I read somewhere (can't remember where) that modern yeasts rarely fail and proofing is unnecessary, assuming proper storage. Here's info from King Arthur:

https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/yeast.html

https://blog.kingarthurflour.com/201...ive-dry-yeast/

Interesting that the blog poster from KA uses instant yeast exclusively.

I don't bake a lot of bread. Occasional DO bread, pizza dough, and bread sticks. Never proofed, and never had a problem. I use the small jars of instant yeast and store in the fridge after opening. If I baked a lot I could save by buying the 1 lb. bags from KA, but it would take me quite a while to use it.
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Old 04-02-2018, 04:38 AM   #7
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....and just stumbled across this article by Stella Parks on seriouseats:

https://www.seriouseats.com/2018/03/...-and-more.html
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Old 04-02-2018, 09:20 AM   #8
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I read somewhere (can't remember where) that modern yeasts rarely fail and proofing is unnecessary, assuming proper storage ...
I don't make bread anymore, but I've gotten into the habit of always proofing yeast. Mostly this comes from winemaking. If you have a ton of grapes, which will run you around $3500, the last thing you want is for your yeast to fail. I've had it happen before. So, at least for me, the 15 minutes it takes to proof the yeast is worth it.
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Old 04-02-2018, 01:42 PM   #9
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I always proof it whether the recipe calls for it or not. I often make a poolish (or sponge or biga) the night before I bake to give the yeast more time to develop flavor. I've used both types and never noticed any difference in my results.

I don't use the packets. I rarely make a recipe that calls for the exact amount in a packet, so I buy it in the jars, and I mostly use only active dry yeast, not instant. I keep it in the freezer and I've used it 2 years old with no issues.
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Old 04-02-2018, 02:25 PM   #10
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I don't make bread anymore, but I've gotten into the habit of always proofing yeast. Mostly this comes from winemaking. If you have a ton of grapes, which will run you around $3500, the last thing you want is for your yeast to fail. I've had it happen before. So, at least for me, the 15 minutes it takes to proof the yeast is worth it.
I've never had dough not rise, but I don't worry about the fifty cents worth of flour that I might lose if it didn't. I realize that it's your hobby, but I could buy an awful lot of guaranteed good wine for $3,500!!!
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