Fresh Yeast

Recently, I have had two conversations, with two different bakers, about yeast.  Dry, fast acting yeast.  yeast2


Both bakers were voicing their dissatisfaction with the results they were attaining.  One with foccacia and the other with a pain de mie.  I asked them what type of yeast they were using and both replied, dry fast-acting.  Well, I said, that is probably the source of your problem, and began to extol the virtues of fresh yeast.  Yes, it is hard to find, but not impossible.  I suggest finding a restaurant supply company, or wholesaler, close to where you live.  Or far, depending on how devoted you are.  These wholesalers almost always have fresh yeast and almost always welcome a person walking in to purchase with cash.


This yeast is generally sold in one or two pound blocks, which for a commercial bakery is perfect; not necessarily the case for a home baker.  I suggest weighing one ounce portions, wrapping them in plastic wrap, putting that in a freezer bag and then in the freezer.  Then, you have your one, two or three etc., ounce portion ready when you are.  Just combine with the warm water at the beginning of your mixing process.


Generally, one to two ounces is sufficient for most recipes.  


This yeast is also not the fast acting type.  It will take some time for your dough to rise.  But I am a firm believer that the most important ingredient in bread is time.  


So, go fresh and be patient! 


(In New York City a great place to find fresh yeast is at the few remaining restaurant supply wholesalers in the meat packing district.  One-Stop Restaurant Supply and Woolco.)


1 Response to “Fresh Yeast”

  1. 1 Kimberly February 18, 2009 at 10:05 am

    Thanks! I will be getting my yeast this week and will let you know how my sourdough turns out!

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