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Intro to Yeast Bread (how yeast works, dry yeast, active dry yeast, instant yeast) | Baking School

September 4, 2019

Hi everyone welcome to baking school! If
you aren’t familiar with me I am Kristin “Baker Bettie” Hoffman and I’m a trained
chef and the baking instructor here on Now I am so excited to
bring you this intro to yeast breads course because I can’t tell you how many
times my readers tell me that they are intimidated by baking with yeast so I
really wanted to create this course so that you can feel really confident about
baking with yeast and have a lot of fun with it. Now today I want to talk about
some yeast basics we’re going to talk about what yeast is and a little bit
about how it works and then we’re going to dive right in to baking our very
first loaf of bread because I want you to see just how easy it truly can be. Now
let’s talk a little bit about what yeast is. So yeast is actually a living
organism it is a fungus and it is all around us
yeast is floating through the air it is living in our bodies and it is in a lot
of food that we eat. Now the yeast that we are going to be baking with for this
course and the most common type of yeast for home baking is what is called dried
yeast. Now yeast needs two things to thrive: it needs moisture and it needs a
food source. So dried yeast have had these things removed from it it has had
all the moisture taken out of it and so it is now essentially in a dormant state
so I have a little container of dried yeast here you can see these are very
very tiny little cells and all of these are yeast cells that have been dried and
they do not have any moisture in them so that they are not able to thrive at
the moment but they are still alive they’re just essentially asleep so in
order to wake these yeast cells up and begin using them for baking they need to
have some moisture introduced to them and they need a food source. So I’m going
to pour some of this yeast into some water here and I’m going to give it a
food source so use yeast feeds on sugars and it also feeds on starches so it
would feed on the starches found in flour in our bread dough so in order to
give this yeast something to feed on I’m going to add some sugar and then I’m
just going to stir this up and give it a little bit of time now as this yeast
wakes up and starts feeding on that sugar it’s going to start creating
carbon dioxide gases and we’ll start to see in this water that there will be
some bubbles forming and that is just signs that the yeast is awake and it is
feeding and that carbon dioxide gas is being produced now when this happens in
a bread dough that carbon dioxide gas is what makes the dough rise so we’ll check
back in on this in a moment once the yeast starts waking up now I want to
talk a little bit about a different few different kinds of yeast dried yeast
that you might bake with so active dry yeast is kind of the original form of
dried yeast now these yeast cells are a little bit bigger than some of the other
types of yeasts that we’ll talk about they function just a little bit slower
and the original act of dry yeast did need to be hydrated in some water before
you added it into your bread dough but they’ve made some improvements in the
way they do make this yeast now and it actually can just be added right into
your dry ingredients it does not have to be hydrated before you add it into your
bread dough but it does function a little bit slower than the other types
of yeast and it takes about twice as long to rise as the next type of yeast
that we’re just going to talk about which is a quick rise yeast now this is
also called instant East and rapid rise yeast now this type
of yeast has a little bit smaller yeast cells and they function a little quicker
so your rise time when using the instant rise yeast as opposed to the active dry
yeast is going to be about twice as fast now these two yeasts can be substituted
for each other one for one and pretty much any bread recipe the only time when
you might not want to use a quick rise yeast or a rapid rise yeast is if you
are going to let your shaped dough proof in the refrigerator for a long period of
time now we will talk about that more as we get into all of our bread making but
that would really be the only time when you wouldn’t want to substitute the two
now the last type of yeast I wanted to show you is what is called platinum
superior baking yeast now this is made by a brand called red star yeast and
this is the official yeast brand that I use for all of my baking and for this
course and this is a type of instant rise or rapid rise yeast that has some
bread improvers added to it now what this does is it helps a new Baker not
over knead their dough and it also gives a much better oven spring when you hit
the oven so I love this yeast I always get wonderful results from it and if you
are new to baking with yeast I would definitely recommend finding this yeast
and giving it a try now I hear people say all of the time that they’re really
worried about killing their yeast in baking and they’re just not really sure
what types of things that might kill their yeast so the one thing that you
really do need to be concerned about when working with yeast is your hot
temperatures now a lot of recipes do specify some pretty specific
temperatures when for the liquid for your bread dough they might say 110 or
115 degrees Fahrenheit now people get a little bit nervous about this because
maybe they don’t have a thermometer to check the temperature so what I would
say is definitely always err on the side of the liquid being too cool rather than
too hot so if the liquid is too hot for you to touch it is
definitely going to be too hot for the yeast now a cooler temperature is not
going to kill your yeast it’s not going to ruin your bread dough it just might
slow down the process a little bit of the yeast waking up and really starting
to feed and create that carbon dioxide gas so cool temperatures slow yeast down
and then warmer temperatures speed east up and then eventually it does die once
you get to really hot temperatures so I would always say era on the side of
being just a little bit cooler just to be safe now another thing that might be
important to note about working with dry yeast is you might hear people talk
about proofing your yeast now what proofing your yeast means is
it’s actually very similar to what we have just done with pouring our yeast
into the liquid and then adding some food for it to feed on so what you would
do when you proof your yeast is you would add it to the liquid called whore
in the recipe and then you would add just a pinch of sugar now what this does
is it wakes your yeast up and will start letting it feed and this is just kind of
a little insurance policy for you to see that your yeast is actually alive once
you see bubbles starting to come up to the top and that activity in your liquid
that is how you know your yeast is alive now this is completely optional step
it’s not a hundred percent necessary but a lot of people do like to do it just to
make sure that they’re not going to make their bread dough and then find out
later that the yeast wasn’t alive okay so let’s look back at our yeast and
sugar mixture so you can see here that there are some bubbles and foam forming
on the top and if you watched really closely you’d start to see bubbles
popping up to the top almost like the mixture is carbonated now this is
happening because the mixture truly is being carbonated as the yeast is feeding
it is creating that carbon dioxide gas and all of that is starting to pop up to
the top and this is how you know that your yeast is alive and feeding so the
next lesson after this one is a glossary of all of the yeast spread terminology
that we will be going through in the course now you are welcome to go ahead
and start familiarizing yourself with all of those words but we will be going
over them as they naturally come up in our yeast bread baking process now after
that we’re diving right into baking our very first loaf of bread and it is a no
need hearth bread now I cannot wait for you to bake this bread you are going to
be so amazed at how amazing it turns out and how easy it is to make so I cannot
wait to dive in alright I’ll see you guys next time goodbye


  • Reply God's Obedient Child-Psalm 46:10 June 23, 2019 at 6:22 pm

    Baker Bettie you are so AWESOME????!

  • Reply Sweet B June 23, 2019 at 11:45 pm

    Very helpful. Thank you!

  • Reply Janet Abrams June 28, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Where does yeast come from??

  • Reply My Factory Central - Perso July 12, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Thx so Much Plzz Keep up the Good Work ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply Jessica M August 28, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    Hi, new subscriber here! I recently bought saf-instant yeast for the first time. I have read that instant yeast is different from rapid rise. I also only really have experience using active dry yeast. I'm a little confused when it comes to the first rise when using instant yeast. A few sources I've read says to skip the first rise, and instead, let it rest for 10 minutes. Other sources say to follow through with the first rise, it just wont take as long to double. Can you please advise me on which is correct? Thank you!

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