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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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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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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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Old 04-02-2018, 05:13 PM   #11
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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!!!
I'm not quite sure how your comment was intended. Was it some sort of a dig? Yes, it is a hobby, and maybe kind of an expensive one, but I have the money to do it and I enjoy it. I certainly wouldn't be the first person to spend money on a hobby, and I don't see where that's anyone's business but mine.

Nothing is guaranteed in life, but my homemade wine comes out pretty good almost all of the time, and my cost is roughly $5.50 a bottle. I think you'd be hard pressed to find guaranteed good wine anywhere for that price.
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Old 04-02-2018, 06:18 PM   #12
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I'm not quite sure how your comment was intended. Was it some sort of a dig? Yes, it is a hobby, and maybe kind of an expensive one, but I have the money to do it and I enjoy it. I certainly wouldn't be the first person to spend money on a hobby, and I don't see where that's anyone's business but mine.

Nothing is guaranteed in life, but my homemade wine comes out pretty good almost all of the time, and my cost is roughly $5.50 a bottle. I think you'd be hard pressed to find guaranteed good wine anywhere for that price.
Nope, not a dig. Just surprised that a batch of wine would be $3,500 worth of grapes, with the risk of making a lot of ???

Reminds me of the time a couple of decades ago when the local adult ed had a beer making class. A couple of us guys in the neighborhood signed up, and we brewed the stuff at the single guy's house (it was messy and smelly). The beer we made was pretty foul, and it was a net loss of beer, as we drank a lot more store bought beer in the process than we produced. Aside from a few sips, it was all dumped. Never again thought about any home brewing, as we realized that it took a lot more dedication than any of us were willing to commit to.
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Old 04-02-2018, 06:40 PM   #13
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Nope, not a dig. Just surprised that a batch of wine would be $3,500 worth of grapes, with the risk of making a lot of ???

Reminds me of the time a couple of decades ago when the local adult ed had a beer making class. A couple of us guys in the neighborhood signed up, and we brewed the stuff at the single guy's house (it was messy and smelly). The beer we made was pretty foul, and it was a net loss of beer, as we drank a lot more store bought beer in the process than we produced. Aside from a few sips, it was all dumped. Never again thought about any home brewing, as we realized that it took a lot more dedication than any of us were willing to commit to.
There are 12 of us in our winemaking group. We bought 17 tons of grapes last year, although 6 tons of that was allocated for a commercial winery. The smallest lot we can purchase of any one grape is a half ton, which is $1750, but we don't usually buy less than a ton of anything. And we try to buy at least a half dozen different varieties, and split them up amongst the group.

I should also add that even for my share, the cash doesn't all come out of my pocket. I have family members who all chip in on the cost so they can have some wine for themselves.

The guys in my group are all fairly seasoned veterans. I've been doing it for 19 years myself. I don't think there's any one of us who has been doing it for less than 10 years. So we've had lots of practice. I can't remember the last time anyone really botched something up badly.

Sorry for straying too far off the topic.
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Old 04-02-2018, 07:44 PM   #14
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I proof yeast because that is how I learned to bake bread.
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Old 04-03-2018, 01:10 AM   #15
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I proof yeast because that is how I learned to bake bread.
Good enough!
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:05 AM   #16
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I proof yeast because that is how I learned to bake bread.
ditto
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Old 04-04-2018, 04:03 AM   #17
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My thoughts and sentiments exactly!
Ditto here. I just buy regular yeast and always proof it before adding it to the rest of the recipe.
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Old 04-05-2018, 07:49 AM   #18
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Question for those of you who use active dry yeast: how often do you come across dead yeast? Excluding improperly stored or vintage yeast, of course.

According to the articles in my earlier post, it seems that ADY was reformulated earlier this decade, and there isn't much difference between instant and active yeast, and current product offerings are mostly interchangeable.

Stella Parks seems to think there is more of a difference between the two than does the KA blogger, but Stella is more persnickety about yeast, which is probably why she gets awards (and I don't!). Stella's comment that active yeasts are not often used in commercial environments is interesting.

Both Stella Parks and the KA blogger think that SAF instant yeast is the go to yeast for the home baker. I've been successfully using Fleischman's instant yeast, but I may pick up a pound of the SAF and store it in the freezer, as it will probably take me a year to use it.
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Old 04-08-2018, 06:15 PM   #19
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Question for those of you who use active dry yeast: how often do you come across dead yeast? Excluding improperly stored or vintage yeast, of course.

According to the articles in my earlier post, it seems that ADY was reformulated earlier this decade, and there isn't much difference between instant and active yeast, and current product offerings are mostly interchangeable.

Stella Parks seems to think there is more of a difference between the two than does the KA blogger, but Stella is more persnickety about yeast, which is probably why she gets awards (and I don't!). Stella's comment that active yeasts are not often used in commercial environments is interesting.

Both Stella Parks and the KA blogger think that SAF instant yeast is the go to yeast for the home baker. I've been successfully using Fleischman's instant yeast, but I may pick up a pound of the SAF and store it in the freezer, as it will probably take me a year to use it.
Since I started keeping it in the freezer, I've never had it fail. I have had a packet fail, but that was quite awhile back, before I started buying it by the jar. I find it odd that the packets come in 2-1/4 tsp quantities, since most of the recipes I use never call for that much. Seems like it would lead to a lot of waste.

As I've mentioned before, I use Red Star ADY in the 4 oz. jar... no problems. No place locally to buy it in any larger quantities, and I really don't need more anyway.
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