Thursday, August 23, 2012

What You Need to Know If You Decide to Use Active Dry Yeast

I like to use quick rising yeast (also known as instant yeast or rapid rise yeast) in my allergen-free and gluten-free recipes bread recipes. This choice is both practical and functional; using instant yeast means that my baking projects will take less time, and since I’m not using gluten there is no second rise and no need to use the slower acting yeast.

But like Heidi Bayer, who blogs at Brooklyn Allergy Mom, you might feel more comfortable with active dry yeast. This is the most commonly used yeast in traditional recipes, and the one that most of us learned to bake with.

When I met Heidi a couple weeks back she shared that the first time she made my English Muffins recipe from Learning to Bake Allergen-Free: A Crash Course for Busy Parents on Baking without Wheat, Gluten, Dairy, Eggs, Soy or Nuts, she had some difficulty. She had chosen to use active dry yeast, and didn’t give it enough time to rise. (She has since made them successfully at least a dozen times, and was raving about them!) Of course, we both laughed about the fact that she picked one of the most difficult recipes from my book to try first, but it’s one of my favorites too!

My first suggestion is always to use instant yeast when baking gluten-free, but you might be like Heidi and prefer active dry yeast. When you use instant yeast, you can mix it right in with your dry ingredients. When using active dry yeast, you must activate it first. Here’s a video that shows you how:

If you want more, there are crash courses in the book on how to adapt a recipe to use active dry yeast, and how to activate yeast.

Do you bake with yeast? What’s your favorite yeast?


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bklynallergymom said...

Colette - you didn't tell me you were writing about me (grin!). Yes, we did have a good laugh over yeast, didn't we?! Thanks for the book and for all you do