does instant yeast = dry active yeast? Or do I need to get something different?
They are a little different, but still interchangeable. Some say the instant does its thing faster, but no need to purchase one over the other. I actually prefer a slower rise no matter what kind of dough I am making.
I meant to add...report back, they look delicious.
Instant yeast is milled into finer particles so it can be added directly to the dry ingredients. Active dry yeast needs to be activated in warm water before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. You can use the same amount of active dry yeast as the instant yeast called for in the recipe, but you'll need to reduce the amount of water you add later in the recipe by the amount of water you proof the yeast in (i.e., if you activate the yeast in half a cup of water, add half a cup of water less later so that you end up with the same total amount of liquid as the recipe calls for).
Instant yeasts, and there are several, though many of them are available via wholesale to commercial bakers, have been developed to reproduce at higher rates than conventional active dry yeast. Some function best with lean doughs, such as baguettes or a simple Italian bread; others have been developed to help heavier rich doughs, those enriched with butter and eggs, to proof faster than they otherwise would.
A general rule of thumb is that if a recipe calls for active dry yeast, so named because it must be activated in water prior to incorporating it into a dough, and all you have is instant yeast, use half as much. Conversely, if a recipe calls for instant yeast, and you only have active dry, use twice as much.
Great question, by the way.
So I made the recipe as written and used dry active yeast and it worked perfectly! It's delicious and FUN - we made 8 - we topped one with Caesar salad and white anchovies, some with grilled eggplant and asparagus, some we just ate. Will for sure do this again.
Yep...I figured you'd sail through it. I always use it because I proof even instant yeast and I prefer a slower rise. Can't wait to try this.
Your Caesar combination sounds heavenly, Abbie. It's a total myth that instant yeast is better for home baking. In restaurant/bakery/commercial applications where large quantities are in question, yes, and for obvious reasons. But at home, no. I'm glad you were so happy with your results. That is all that counts in the end.
By the way..I meant I always use dry active yeast. My post was unclear.