The Ultimate Guide to Yeast for Bread Making

Homemade bread is a trend and why not. It is not only cheaper but you also get the freedom to experiment and have your favorite type of bread each day at breakfast.

But baking bread isn’t all that easy and the most complicated bit of me at the start was choosing the right type of yeast. Furthermore, some recipes call for the yeast to be activated before being added in which can be confusing for any newbie.

And if you do not have the time to go to the best bakery courses in Delhi as me to learn, no worries. In this article, I have covered everything you need to know about yeast in bread making (so you can also bake fluffy, flavorful bread right in your home).

Types of Yeast in Bread Making

There are mainly 3 types of yeasts used. More about them below.

Fresh Yeast

This is the yeast that is widely used in bakeries and other bread manufacturing units which is why it is also known as the baker’s yeast. This yeast is mostly moisture (about 60 to 70 percent) and thus needs to be stored in a fridge. A small drawback with this yeast is that it has a shelf life of 2-3 weeks which means you have got to use it up fast, a reason home bakers often avoid using it.

Active Dry Yeast

The main difference between this and fresh yeast is that Active Dry Yeast has just about 8% to 10% of moisture. This yeast needs to be activated before you add it to the bread. Thankfully, that process is easy peasy. All you need to do is add some granules to warm water with some sugar and wait for it to froth. This kind of yeats, if stored right, can stay good for years.

Here’s more on how you can activate yeast the right way


Instant Yeast

This yeast looks almost as if Active Dry Yeast was powdered. Since all the yeast cells are alive, you can directly add it to your bread without any activation. Though if you have doubts over its quality as you haven’t used it in a while, you can activate it. Instant yeast also remains good for 2-3 years when stored correctly.

What is the role of yeast in bread making

In short, yeast is the pillar ingredients in bread making. Just like baking soda or baking powder, yeast acts as a leavening agent. When it comes in contact with sugar, carbon dioxide and ethanol are released which help the bread rise giving the fluffy, airy look that is every baker’s dream.

This process continues until the yeast is alive and once it is exposed to a temperature of 50-degrees or more, the yeast dies.

Is there an alternative to these yeasts?

Rapid Rise Yeast is even finer than instant yeast. Due to this, it is able to absorb more water than any other kind of yeast, in turn, ensuring your bread rises much faster. This is ideal if you are in a hurry but keep in mind, you will be compromising with the taste (until and unless the recipe calls for it).

For a deeper understanding of yeast and bread making, I would recommend you sign up for a bread-making workshop but until then, shoot me with your doubts and queries and I’ll be happy to help out.

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