Do you want to know how to use instant yeast? If you have never made bread before and have no idea how to use instant yeast, this article will explain it all!
A simple guide for beginner bakers who want to know how to use instant yeast for bread making.
There are two types of yeast for bread making, fresh yeast, also known as compressed or cake yeast, and instant dried yeast.
Fresh yeast comes in small blocks. It needs to be used within two weeks and must be kept refrigerated. It can also be frozen to give it a longer life.
Then there is instant yeast.
There are two types of instant yeast; regular active dry yeast and instant dried yeast, also known as fast-rising, rapid-rise, quick rise, or bread machine yeast.
The difference between active and instant dry yeast is the particle size.
Active dry yeast has larger particles than instant dry yeast. Due to the larger particle size of active dry yeast, it requires proofing before use.
Does Instant Yeast Need To Be Activated?
No, instant dried yeast does not need proofing. You can add it dry into the mixing bowl with the other ingredients.
How To Activate Instant Yeast?
If the instant yeast has been stored correctly and is still within the expiry date, it can be added directly to the dry ingredients.
But if you are unsure as to whether it is fresh or it may have passed the expiry date, you can test it before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
So, how do you active instant dry yeast?
How to proof instant dry yeast
Proofing or blooming is simply mixing the yeast in a liquid, leaving it for a while, and if it creates a foam layer, it shows that the yeast is alive.
To proof yeast, mix ¼ cup of the liquid stated in the recipe with the amount of yeast on the ingredient list in a small bowl.
Let it stand at room temperature for 10 – 15 minutes or a little longer on cold days. You should see a foam growing on the surface of the liquid.
The foam is an indication that the yeast is active, and you can continue with the recipe.
If the foam has not grown on top, check out our troubleshooting section below called What To Do If Yeast Will Not Foam.
If you want to test the freshness of the yeast and not use it in a recipe, mix ¼ cup lukewarm water and one teaspoon instant yeast.
Let it stand a room temperature for 10 -15 minutes or longer on cold days. If the foam has grown on top of the water, the yeast is good.
Discard the test batch and store the container of dry yeast granules in the fridge or freezer to use another day.
- About the liquid temperature: You should never use a hot liquid when using yeast because it will kill it. Instead, always use a room temperature or tepid liquid.
Does Instant Yeast Need Sugar?
No, instant yeast does not need sugar for proofing or baking. But you can mix in ½ teaspoon of sugar or honey when proofing yeast to speed up the process.
What To Do If Yeast Will Not Foam
If you find that the yeast liquid has not become frothy, there could be several reasons for this:
The yeast could be way past the expiry date or, it may be dead due to incorrect storage. If this is the case, discard the yeast and buy fresh.
Then store the new yeast in the fridge or freezer to ensure freshness.
You may have used a too hot liquid. Yeast is a living organism and needs warmth and not extreme heat for it to become active.
Most recipes call for warm water or milk up to 50°C (120°F) but, this is not always necessary.
Cold or room temperature water is perfectly okay to use, and this is my preferred method.
It will take the yeast a little longer to activate using room temperature or cold water. But you avoid the risk of killing it because you are not using water that may have been too hot.
You may be activating the yeast in a cold room. Yeast thrives and works rather quickly in warm conditions.
So, if the temperature in the kitchen is cold, you will have to wait longer for the yeast to work. To speed up the process on cold days, place the bowl somewhere warm.
Avoid placing it too close to direct heat like a heater because it will be too hot, and excessive heat can kill the yeast. A sunny spot by the window will do nicely.
What Does Activated Yeast Look Like
As you can see in the image above, the activated yeast will create a foam layer on top of the water and yeast mixture.
How To Use Instant Yeast In Baking
Just add the instant yeast granules straight in with the rest of the ingredients.
There is no need to activate the yeast. The yeast will become active soon after coming in contact with the moisture from the wet ingredients.
More Frequently Asked Questions
When using dry instant yeast in the bread machine, you can add it at any time and in any order only if you make the bread straight away.
But if you are filling the bread machine and setting the timer to bake hours later, add the yeast last.
Adding the yeast last will keep the instant yeast dry and inactive while it is in the machine. The yeast will activate once everything has been mixed and kneaded.
Once opened, transfer the instant yeast to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge or freezer when not in use.
Making bread with instant dry yeast is as easy as measuring the required amount and adding it dry with the rest of the ingredients.
The yeast will become active when it becomes hydrated with the liquid ingredients.
Is your bread dense or not rising?
Homemade Bread Recipes With Instant Yeast
Making bread with instant yeast is so easy because you can add it into the bowl with the other ingredients without the need for activation.
Now that you know how to use instant yeast, why not try making some fresh homemade bread using it.
- Easy Focaccia Bread
- Soft Dinner Rolls
- Pull Apart Apple Cinnamon Rolls
- Crescent Roll Dough
- White Bread
- Naan Bread
- Cheese Bread-sticks
- Pita Bread
- Cob Bread
- Spinach Feta Bread
- Fluffy Overnight Butter Milk Pancakes
- Hawaiian Dinner Rolls
- Stand Mixer Pizza Dough
- See more cooking tips and how to's
I do hope that you have found this article on How To Use Instant Yeast helpful. If you do please leave a comment down below.
Article first published December 31, 2018. Updated February11, October 2021