Yeast

I very rarely have luck wih baking with yeast. What is the best kid to buy? Packets or a jar? How do you store it? How do you activate it?

I usually by red star dry active but the last two times I make rolls there were a bust because the dough didn't properly rise.

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8 Comments

CanadaDan November 9, 2016
people say not to keep yeast for too long cause it dies, but i bake bread and pizza dough every 2 weeks with my Fleischman's instant yeast (in a jar) that i keep in the freezer. it's been going strong for over a year and i never have issues so i'm sticking to keeping it in the freezer and allowing the lirttle bit to come to room temp for a few minutes before adding it to the flour & water.
 
Smaug November 6, 2016
It's actually pretty difficult to kill active dry yeast on a regular basis. If you're storing it in a reasonably cool, dry place and buying it from someone who turns their stock at any sort of rate, your problem is more likely to be with procedure- proofing in too hot water, maybe. I regularly keep it, unrefrigerated, for periods of up to a year, and have had no problems.
 
My F. November 10, 2016
I usually make bread without proofing the yeast first (I'm also a jar in freezer door store-er if it matters) I do this for the flavor of a slightly longer rise, but maybe you should try a recipe that doesn't include proofing to see if indeed it's the temperature/procedure that is not working for you. Though if you do use packets, I'd switch to a jar, the only time I've ever had a problem was when someone else did the shopping and got a packet.

The most well known/works for everybody recipe without proofing I can think of is Jim Lahey's no kneed bread: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/11376-no-knead-bread
 
Smaug November 10, 2016
Proofing is never really required for Active Dry Yeast, but a lot of people still do it- I usually start cold with a poolish myself, but that's a matter of timing as much as anything else. I just find it hard to believe that if the poster is having problems consistently it's with the yeast. There are a lot of ways to screw up- too much (or improperly added) salt or sugar, problems (temperature, draft, time) with rising- seems to me that in my early days of bread baking I came up with a lot of them.
 
ChefJune November 6, 2016
I buy SAF dry yeast and store it in the door of my freezer (atop the fridge). It keeps active almost forever. Using this method, I have never had my yeast fail to work the way I want it to...
 
klrcon November 9, 2016
Another vote for SAF instant yeast and for storing it in the freezer. I seem to get a much better rise from it than any yeast I ever purchased in the supermarket. (I get mine from King Arthur Flour, mail-order.) I've kept it in the freezer for two years with no noticeable loss of quality. Also, I used to routinely have problems getting recipes for sweet breads like panettone or brioche to work properly but they were all solved when I switched to SAF gold, which is designed specifically for sweet breads. Magic! SAF red is for regular bread - also a good product.
 
Kathleen November 10, 2016
Thanks!
 
Nancy November 6, 2016
Lots of info on the hotline already:
https://food52.com/hotline/search?q=best+yeast+to+use
And more at other sites.
For example, Serious Eats/Food Lab on using yeast in (successful) bread making:
http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/08/bread-making-basics-everything-you-need-to-know-to-start-baking-awesome-bread.html
 
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