Instant Yeast

Instant yeast is a form of active dry yeast, just a bit more technologically advanced. Like active dry it’s grown in the fermenting tank, then centrifuged and filtered to remove much of the water. Then it’s mixed with a little oil and extruded in thin threads which are then dried, cut and packaged. The difference is that in the case of instant yeast, the mixture that’s extruded has more live cells, a result of a faster drying process that’s not as stressful on the critters. It’s also cut into very thin little oblong shapes (maybe you can see them there in the picture) that are highly porous, so they both soak up water faster and dissolve quicker than active dry granules. They also have a little ascorbic acid mixed into them, which the yeast also like.

As you probably already know instant is my go-to yeast. I love the stuff. It’s easy to find, easy to use…what’s not to love? I buy it in bulk and freeze it in a tub, then just scoop it out as I need it for the next many months. You simply add it to the dry ingredients in any recipe that calls for yeast…there’s no proving, no messing around of any kind. It’s off to the races as soon as it gets wet. It’s 15-20% more potent than active dry, but for all intents and purposes it works as a one-to-one substitute (it’s not as important to be accurate with yeast as it is to be accurate with chemical leaveners…a slightly faster rise may cost you a small amount of flavor, but that’s about it).

It’s said by some that instant yeast is so advanced it’s impervious to damage by sugar or salt when it’s in its dry state. Me I don’t believe that, so I keep it separate in the mixer bowl to be safe.

11 thoughts on “Instant Yeast”

    1. One day soon, perhaps Mari! Until then active dry really does work just fine.

      – Joe

  1. Oh good I had been noting all the yeast products you covered, hoping instant was coming. It is the only type I have ever used and have seen here in Australian stores. Granted my yeast use is mostly limited to pizza dough and monkey bread! I do hope to try new things soon though!

    1. Hi Danika!

      Instant is just about the only packaged yeast I use and I love it. So I wouldn’t worry too much…it’s fabulous stuff!

      – Joe

  2. I love and use instant yeast as well. I think you may be overestimating how easy it is to find though. We have lived in 4 different states and have never been able to find it in any grocery store. I always had to order it and I too buy it in bulk and store it in the freezer. I have finally found one place that sells it locally where I currently live. Buying it by the pound is much cheaper though and it was always worth ordering it, even when you added in the shipping!

    1. No kidding. That’s interesting. I can usually find it in grocery stores, but I may be blinded by the fact that I mostly order it and keep it in bulk. Thanks, Rachel!

      – Joe

    2. If all else fails, use the King Arthur online baking supplies store. They have a couple different ones including one that’s reported to be superior for sweet doughs.

      You’ll get a huge package. But it keeps next to forever in the freezer. I use so little actual dried yeast that I’m still working from a package that’s at least 18 months past its expiration date. =o But, no prob. It still does the job.

      Maybe there’s someone you could split it with.

      1. I’m always giving away some of my stash to friends and neighbors, so I go through it at a fairly decent clip!

        – Joe

      2. Thanks Rainey! I have ordered it from KAF and I manage to go through it in less than a year. I know you can also order through Amazon but I haven’t gone that route, especially now that I am able to find it at the store. What is strange is that the only store that carries it is sort of a discount grocer. I’ll take it though! Until we relocate at which point the search will be on again! Oh! I also would share but I don’t seem to know anyone who bakes. They are always happy to get treats from me though!

    1. So it has! Thanks Ted, I’ve had a few problems like this since the conversion. I appreciate knowing where the holes are.


      – Joe

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