I keep getting under-prooved dough when I use rapid-rise yeast?

I recently made _Classic German Baking's_ Chocolate swirled guglehupf. The recipe calls for instant yeast and has you mix it right into the dry ingredients. Honestly I had trouble right from the start, after 10-15 mins of kneading my dough was still mottled (and never truly became smooth and elastic), left it to rise for a little over an hour as the recipe called for but didn't get much rise in the first or second prove. The end result was a dense guglehupf with slightly underbaked corners (in spite of an hour long baking time - also called for in the recipe).

Is there some tip to rapid-rise/instant yeast that I may benefit from?



PieceOfLayerCake July 17, 2017
I always thought that instant yeast was just a finer grain of the same stuff active-dry was made of. Instant yeast generally doesn't need to be dissolved before using unless you're concerned with the activity. Its my understanding that recipes call for instant yeast due to its ease of use. The two are pretty much interchangeable (by weight), and the recipe can be modified to either. People who bake often don't usually worry about yeast activity (I myself often throw yeast in with the sugar and salt) and therefore are unfamiliar with the pitfalls of supermarket yeast. If you're more familiar with active dry and have more experience with it, consider giving that a try and proving it with a bit of the liquid (a ¼ c. or so) in the recipe and adding it with the step in which you add the liquid. The addition of the yeast shouldn't have that much effect on how your dough comes together, however. As long as it dissolves and is integrated, its only purposes are to leaven and to add flavor. If your dough isn't becoming cohesive, its not because of the yeast. Are you kneading the dough by hand or in a mixer? If by hand, 10 - 15 minutes might not be enough, as crazy as that sounds. If its in a mixer, 10 - 15 minutes at medium speed might be too much. If you are using a mixer, try low speed for a good while. It still builds gluten but is more gentle on the dough and on your mixer. The recipe also might be a little short on liquid, so if your dough feels tight and rough, try adding some more liquid, drop by drop to hydrate it. The rising issue is curious and that certainly may be a problem with the yeast's activity. Using fresh (as fresh as the store has), active dry/instant yeast and proving it ahead of time will help with that...or will at least rule out the yeast as the culprit. If the proportions in the recipe are out of balance though, not even strong yeast will help.
HalfPint July 17, 2017
How old is the yeast that you used? Some times the yeast is old or improperly stored and not much of it is active. If your yeast is a little slow, I would give it another hour or so.
Recommended by Food52