How To Use Instant Yeast For Baking Bread
So you want to bake bread but unsure what to do with a packet of instant yeast? Knowing how to use instant yeast for baking bread is important if you want the perfect bread out of that oven. Yeast is a key ingredient in a lot of baked goods and pastries. If done right, you will get a perfectly risen, fluffy, and moist bread. We’ll show you how to use instant yeast for baking bread the right way.
Find out how to use instant yeast in bread and other key information you need to know when baking bread right here!
Why Is Yeast So Important?
Yeast is a key ingredient in various baked goods. It is a single-celled organism that has been used in baking (and brewing) for thousands of years. It reacts with oxygen and helps make the bread rise or leaven it. Learning how to use instant yeast for baking bread can yield similar results, too.
It sounds a little odd to have tiny microbes in your bread, but it does the job right! Yeast has three primary functions that not a lot of people know about, and knowing how to use yeast in baking based on each function can yield amazing results.
- It produces carbon dioxide and makes it rise. Yeast generates carbon dioxide when fermentable sugars are broken down in the dough. You can’t see it, but enzymes break down complex bonds into simpler ones, in turn making it digestible.
- Yeast strengthens the dough. When mixing flour and water, you are encouraging gluten to form. You can manipulate the dough in the shape or texture you want. And when the dough has yeast, it helps develop the gluten. It formed itself from a sticky mess at first, but when you punch down bread dough, you will observe how it has become smoother and stronger because of the gluten.
- Yeast develops flavor. It adds a malty taste to the bread. To have more of that yeasty flavor, more yeast is added, and knowing how to use instant yeast in terms of quantity is often a delicate process.
The Difference Between Fresh Versus Instant Yeast
Are you wondering if you should use fresh yeast or instant yeast for your bread dough? There is a difference between the two when it comes to processing. Here’s a quick break down of their differences:
- Fresh yeast (and active dry yeast) needs to be dissolved in warm water.
- Fresh yeast is great in bread doughs that require a slower rising time.
- Fresh yeast stays active for a long period of time.
- Instant yeast can be added straight to the bread flour.
- Instant yeast makes the dough rise faster.
- Instant yeast, if unopened, has a shelf life of up to two years.
Are you ready to learn how to use instant yeast for baking bread? We are too! But if you are wondering which yeast is better to use, it is ideal to think about your prep and baking time. If you want faster results, then using instant yeast is advisable.
How To Use Instant Yeast For Baking Bread
We’re all set to learn how to use yeast to make bread! The best thing about using instant yeast is that you no longer need to proof it. Proofing means you are “growing” the yeast. It makes sure that it is active and re-hydrated, and it takes a longer process because you need to wait until the yeast gets foamy. If it doesn’t, then it means the yeast is dead.
With instant yeast, it doesn’t need to be proofed before mixing into the flour. It absorbs liquid rapidly and doesn’t need to be hydrated. There is no fancy technique for using instant yeast. Just add it directly into the mixing bowl following the measurements from the recipe. But if you have any doubt if the yeast is still alive, you can always proof a small portion separately to see if it is active.
How To Test If The Yeast Is Still Fresh
To test for freshness or when proofing, do the following steps:
- Pour a cup of warm water into a bowl.
- Add two teaspoons of sugar and dissolve it in the mixture.
- Sprinkle two and a half teaspoons on top.
- Wait for a few minutes, then stir the yeast until it dissolves.
- Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place, away from any draft.
- In ten to fifteen minutes, it should have turned foamy.
- If nothing happens, then the yeast is dead and should be discarded.
I Don’t Have Instant Yeast, Is There A Substitute?
Some recipes have tried to use other ingredients to substitute yeast. However, if you do use substitutes, you may not be able to achieve the yeasty, malty, bready flavor.
If you want to substitute instant yeast with other ingredients, you can replace it with the appropriate amount of baking soda and acid to make the dough rise. You can use buttermilk, lemon juice, or milk mixed with equal parts of vinegar (as your acid).
Making bread is a process that looks simple, but it does require a lot of mixing (and sometimes dough punching). It only uses four ingredients - warm water, flour, salt, and yeast), but it does involve a lot of chemistry. By knowing how to use instant yeast for baking bread, you have already successfully ticked one important item off the bread-making process.
Bake bread using instant yeast today and have fresh oven-made bread in less than an hour. Enjoy your freshly baked bread any time of the day, as is on a platter, with butter or jam!
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