Today I will answer the most frequent questions you ask me about brewer’s yeast (yeast types). Lately reading your comments on recipes with brewer’s yeast I have noticed a bit of confusion. “Blessed can I replace the dehydrated beer yeast with the fresh one? “Can I use instant yeast instead of beer yeast?” “Can I freeze the brewer’s yeast?” (yeast types) Many of you are approaching the world of cooking in this period of stay at home, so before you wasted the ingredients I wanted to clarify your doubts about the use of yeast.
CAN I REPLACE THE BEER YEAST WITH THE INSTANT YEAST?
Brewer’s yeast is used to make bread, pizza, focaccia, sweet and savoury brioche, croissants, etc (yeast types). It is therefore suitable for all those preparations that require a long leavening before being cooked in the oven. Instead, there are some preparations such as doughnuts, pies, some types of biscuits, sweet and savoury plumcakes, savoury pies, etc. for which it is necessary to use instant yeast. In this case, the leavening will take place during cooking in the oven. As for instant yeast, on the market, you can find both that for savoury and sweet preparations. So answering the initial question, the answer is … absolutely not! They are two completely different products born for different purposes and preparations!
FRESH BEER YEAST OR DEHYDRATED BEER YEAST?
Brewer’s yeast is usually sold fresh in loaves or dehydrated in sachets. Both have the same identical function or that of allowing long leavening. The only difference is that the dehydrated beer yeast has been removed from the water, thus weighing much less than the fresh one. And it is precisely for this reason that you often ask me how much to replace each other. The dehydrated yeast weighs approximately one third of the fresh brewer’s yeast. If the recipe, for example, requires 3 grams of dehydrated beer yeast and I want to replace it with fresh yeast, just multiply the quantity of yeast indicated in the recipe by 3,
so I will have to use 9 grams of fresh beer yeast. Although the rule tells us that the ratio is 1 to 3, i.e. that 1 gram of dehydrated beer yeast corresponds to 3 grams of fresh brewer’s yeast, it is good not to be too fiscal and not to hesitate to increase or decrease the dose recommended by the recipe.
HOW TO USE THE FRESH BEER YEAST?
Many recipes require dissolving fresh brewer’s yeast in a liquid, typically water or milk, before being used. It is important that the liquid is barely warm, as if the yeast is too hot, it risks being less vital, compromising its effectiveness. Other recipes require you to crumble the yeast dough directly into the flour: this method, although less used, is still effective, since the yeast will melt perfectly during the kneading process. To facilitate leavening, we can add a couple of teaspoons of sugar or honey to the dough (even in savory recipes) … the yeast will work better!
HOW TO USE THE DEHYDRATED BEER YEAST?
For my recipes I use the Brewer Yeast which I add directly to the flour and, as for the fresh yeast (yeast types), it is recommended to add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to make it work better. It is convenient because compared to the fresh one it is kept in the pantry for a long time and is immediately ready for use! As we have seen, fresh yeast and dehydrated yeast are exactly the same … therefore one is not better than the other. Rather, it is better to say that the dehydrated yeast is safer in efficacy than the fresh one, since the latter is extremely delicate and tends to “spoil” easily. Many times when the dough with fresh brewer’s yeast does not succeed, it is precise because the yeast was not “fresh” … in doubt, better to use the dehydrated one!
HOW CAN THE FRESH BEER YEAST STORE?
Many write to me that lately you find in supermarkets packs of half kg of fresh brewer’s yeast and you don’t know how to store it. I advise you to portion it in doses of 20 – 25 grams, wrap it in cling film or put it in bags for freezing and keep it in the freezer. When needed, you can take the dose you need out of the freezer and crumble it directly into the water or warm milk. There will be no need to defrost it, just lengthen the rising times a little.
CAN I DECREASE THE QUANTITY OF BEER YEAST REQUIRED IN THE RECIPE?
This is one of the questions you ask me most often, and the answer is absolutely yes! You can also halve the dose of yeast required in the recipe, just increase the rising times.
HOW IS THE DEHYDRATED BEER YEAST STORED?
Often the yeast recipes require only a small part of dehydrated yeast as in the case of comfortable bread 2 grams of yeast. So how do you store the remaining yeast in the sachet? Just close the bag well and put it in the fridge where it will be kept for about 5 – 6 days ready to be used for another recipe.