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Baking with Yeast – Beginners Guide

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Are you intimidated when you hear people talk about working with yeast? Don’t be! Working with yeast is an essential baking skill for all at-home bakers and is surprisingly easy when you know the basics.

A loaf of bread on a wooden cutting board
No Knead Bread – Artisan Bread Recipe

In this article you’ll learn everything you need to know to make delicious bread, rolls, and pastries. You’ll learn how to classify, store, and activate different types of yeast, as well as how to work with yeast to make delicious recipes. We’ll even cover proofing, which is the process of making sure your baking turns out perfectly every time. Working with yeast can be an intimidating prospect, but with this beginners guide you’ll be ready to make delicious treats in no time at all.

What is yeast made of?

Yeast is a single-celled microorganism belonging to the fungus kingdom. It is commonly used in baking and brewing processes. The primary component of yeast is the species Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is widely utilized in food and beverage production.

The structure of yeast cells consists of several elements:

  1. Water: Yeast cells, like most living organisms, contain a significant amount of water necessary for their metabolic processes.
  2. Proteins: Yeast cells contain various proteins that serve as enzymes, structural components, and regulators of cellular functions.
  3. Carbohydrates: Yeast cells store energy in the form of carbohydrates, such as glucose and glycogen, which are essential for their growth and survival.
  4. Lipids: Lipids, including fats and sterols, are present in yeast cells and play a role in maintaining the integrity of the cell membrane.
  5. Nucleic acids: Yeast cells contain DNA and RNA, which are responsible for the transmission of genetic information and the synthesis of proteins.
  6. Minerals and vitamins: Yeast requires essential minerals and vitamins for its growth and metabolism. These include elements like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins from the B-complex group.

During the fermentation process, yeast consumes sugars and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol as byproducts. This gas production is what causes bread dough to rise and is also a critical step in the production of alcoholic beverages.

Prepare the dough for croissants
Easy Croissants Recipe from Scratch

Yeast and gluten

Yeast and gluten are two distinct components with different roles in baking.

  • Yeast: Yeast is a microorganism, specifically a type of fungus, that is used as a leavening agent in baking. It is responsible for the fermentation process, where it consumes sugars and produces carbon dioxide gas and alcohol as byproducts. The carbon dioxide gas gets trapped in the dough, causing it to rise and giving baked goods their light and airy texture. Yeast is gluten-free, meaning it does not contain gluten.
  • Gluten: Gluten is a protein complex found in certain grains, primarily wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten gives dough its elastic and stretchy texture, allowing it to trap gas bubbles produced by the yeast during fermentation. This elasticity contributes to the structure and texture of bread and other baked goods. Gluten is not present in yeast itself, but it is formed when wheat flour comes into contact with water, forming gluten strands that give dough its characteristic properties.

In baking, yeast and gluten work together to create the desired texture and structure in bread. Yeast provides leavening by producing carbon dioxide, while gluten helps trap the gas and gives the dough its elasticity and structure. However, it’s important to note that yeast and gluten are separate entities, and individuals with gluten-related disorders, such as celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, need to avoid gluten-containing grains, including wheat, barley, and rye, regardless of whether yeast is present.

A cast iron pan with sourdough focaccia dough.
Focaccia with Sourdough Starter

Yeast and proofing

Yeast and proofing are closely related in the context of baking. Proofing is a crucial step in the bread-making process that involves allowing the dough to rise before baking. Yeast plays a significant role in this process.

When yeast is mixed with warm water and a source of sugar, it becomes active and starts feeding on the sugar. As the yeast consumes the sugar, it produces carbon dioxide gas and alcohol as byproducts through a process called fermentation. The carbon dioxide gas gets trapped in the dough, causing it to rise and expand.

During the proofing stage, the dough is left to rest in a warm and humid environment, typically for a specific period of time. This allows the yeast to continue fermenting, producing more carbon dioxide and allowing the dough to rise further. The dough becomes lighter, more airy, and increases in volume during this time.

The proofing time and temperature can vary depending on the recipe and desired outcome. A longer proofing time generally results in more flavor development and improved texture. The warmth of the proofing environment helps accelerate the fermentation process, but too much heat can be detrimental to the yeast’s activity.

Proper proofing allows the dough to reach its optimal rise and development before baking. It helps create a light and fluffy texture, enhances flavor, and improves the overall structure of the bread. After proofing, the dough is ready to be baked, and the heat of the oven further activates the yeast, causing additional expansion and creating the final product.

Two main types of yeast

  1. Wet yeast – often referred to as fresh yeast, cake yeast, or compressed yeast.
  2. Dry yeast – known as active dry and instant yeast.

Wet yeast and dry yeast are two different forms of yeast that are commonly used in baking. They have some differences in terms of composition, handling, and usage:

  1. Composition: Wet yeast, also known as fresh yeast or cake yeast, is a moist and perishable form of yeast. It contains a higher water content compared to dry yeast. On the other hand, dry yeast is dehydrated and has a significantly lower water content.
  2. Handling: Wet yeast is typically sold in compressed blocks or cubes and needs to be refrigerated to maintain its freshness. It has a shorter shelf life and should be used within a few weeks. Dry yeast, on the other hand, has a longer shelf life and can be stored at room temperature. It is available in granular or powdered form.
  3. Activation: Wet yeast requires activation before use. It needs to be dissolved in warm water (around 105-115°F or 40-46°C) along with a small amount of sugar to help stimulate its activity. This step, called proofing or blooming, allows the yeast to activate and start fermenting. Dry yeast, on the other hand, can be directly added to the dry ingredients in the recipe without prior activation. However, some recipes may still call for proofing dry yeast as a precautionary step.
  4. Substitution: Wet yeast and dry yeast can be substituted for each other in recipes, although some adjustments may be necessary. As a general guideline, you can typically use one-third of the amount of dry yeast when substituting for wet yeast. For example, if a recipe calls for 30 grams of wet yeast, you would use approximately 10 grams of dry yeast.
  5. Availability: Dry yeast is more commonly available and widely used compared to wet yeast. It is often the preferred choice for home bakers due to its convenience, longer shelf life, and ease of use.

Both wet yeast and dry yeast serve the same purpose of leavening bread and other baked goods by producing carbon dioxide during fermentation. The choice between wet yeast and dry yeast depends on personal preference, recipe requirements, and availability.

Types of wet yeast

There are a few different types of wet yeast, also known as fresh yeast or cake yeast. The specific types may vary depending on regional availability and naming conventions, but the following are some commonly encountered varieties:

  1. Fresh Compressed Yeast: This is the most traditional form of wet yeast, typically sold in block or cube form. It has a moist and crumbly texture and requires refrigeration to maintain its freshness. Fresh compressed yeast is commonly used in commercial baking operations and can also be found in some specialty baking stores.
  2. Cream Yeast: Cream yeast is a variation of fresh compressed yeast that has a softer and smoother texture. It is usually packaged in tubs or tubular forms, making it easier to measure and handle. Cream yeast is often used by professional bakers and in industrial-scale baking applications.
  3. Brewer’s Yeast: Brewer’s yeast is another type of wet yeast that is primarily used in beer and wine production. It is a byproduct of the brewing industry and is often available in liquid or paste form. Brewer’s yeast can also be used for baking, although its flavor profile may differ slightly from standard fresh yeast.

It’s important to note that the availability of different types of wet yeast can vary depending on your location and the specific supplier or brand. If you are unsure about the specific types of wet yeast available to you, it’s best to check with local baking supply stores or inquire with professional bakers in your area.

Fresh yeast in a bowl.
A Practical Guide to Bakers Yeast, Baking Yeast Bread

Types of dry yeast

There are a few different types of dry yeast commonly used in baking. The specific types may vary depending on the region and brand, but the following are some widely available varieties:

  1. Active Dry Yeast: Active dry yeast is one of the most common types of dry yeast. It is composed of dehydrated yeast cells that have been granulated into small particles. Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved in warm water (around 105-115°F or 40-46°C) to activate before adding it to the dough. It has a longer shelf life compared to wet yeast and can be stored at room temperature.
  2. Instant Yeast: Instant yeast, also known as rapid-rise yeast or quick-rise yeast, is a type of dry yeast that is formulated to have a faster fermentation process. It is made up of smaller particles than active dry yeast, allowing it to activate quickly when mixed with the dough ingredients. Instant yeast can be directly added to the dry ingredients in a recipe without prior proofing or activation.
  3. Rapid rise yeast – Rapid rise yeast, also known as quick-rise yeast or instant yeast, is a type of dry yeast that is formulated to have a faster fermentation process compared to regular active dry yeast. It is often used in recipes that require shorter rising and proofing times.
  4. Bread Machine Yeast: Bread machine yeast is a type of instant yeast that is specifically designed for use in bread machines. It is finely granulated and dissolves quickly, ensuring reliable and consistent results in bread machine baking.
  5. Wild yeast – Wild yeast, also known as natural yeast or sourdough starter, refers to the yeast naturally present in the environment rather than commercial yeast strains used in baking. It is a collection of wild yeast species and beneficial bacteria that can be captured and cultivated to create a natural leavening agent for bread and other baked goods.
  6. Pizza Yeast: Pizza yeast is a specialized type of yeast formulated to produce dough with excellent rise and texture for pizza crusts. It is often a combination of instant yeast and other ingredients, such as ascorbic acid (vitamin C), which helps improve dough elasticity and oven spring.
  7. Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a deactivated form of yeast often used as a condiment or ingredient in vegan and vegetarian cooking. It has a cheesy and nutty flavor and is commonly used as a topping or seasoning for various dishes.

It’s important to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer when using dry yeast in recipes, as different types of dry yeast may have slightly different requirements in terms of activation and usage. The choice of dry yeast depends on the recipe, personal preference, and availability in your region.

A bowl of dry yeast.
A Practical Guide to Bakers Yeast, Baking Yeast Bread

Yeast substitutions

Can you substitute dry yeast for instant yeast

Yes, you can generally substitute dry yeast for instant yeast in recipes. However, there are a few things to keep in mind when making this substitution:

  1. Conversion ratio: When substituting dry yeast for instant yeast, you will typically need to use a slightly larger amount of dry yeast. As a general guideline, you can use 1.25 to 1.5 times the amount of instant yeast called for in the recipe. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of instant yeast, you can use approximately 1.25 to 1.5 teaspoons of dry yeast.
  2. Activation: Unlike instant yeast, which can be added directly to the dry ingredients, dry yeast usually requires activation or proofing before using. Dissolve the dry yeast in a portion of the warm liquid (around 105-115°F or 40-46°C) from the recipe, along with a small amount of sugar, and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy and bubbly. This step ensures that the yeast is active and will ferment properly.
  3. Timing: The proofing time for dry yeast may be slightly longer compared to instant yeast. Allow for a bit more time during the rising stages of the dough if you are using dry yeast.

It’s important to note that while you can generally substitute dry yeast for instant yeast, the reverse is not always true. Instant yeast is formulated to activate more quickly and does not require proofing. If a recipe specifically calls for instant yeast, it is generally best to use instant yeast to ensure optimal results.

Can I substitute dry yeast for fresh yeast

Yes, you can substitute dry yeast for fresh yeast in recipes. However, there are a few important considerations when making this substitution:

  1. Conversion ratio: The conversion ratio from fresh yeast to dry yeast is typically 1:3. This means that for every 1 gram of fresh yeast called for in the recipe, you can use approximately 0.33 grams (or 1/3 of a gram) of dry yeast. Similarly, if the recipe calls for 15 grams of fresh yeast, you can use around 5 grams of dry yeast.
  2. Activation: Fresh yeast needs to be activated or proofed before using, while dry yeast does not require proofing. To activate dry yeast, dissolve it in a portion of the warm liquid (around 105-115°F or 40-46°C) from the recipe, along with a small amount of sugar, and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy and bubbly. This step ensures that the yeast is active and will ferment properly.
  3. Adjusting liquid content: Fresh yeast contains more moisture compared to dry yeast. When substituting dry yeast for fresh yeast, you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in the recipe slightly. Dry yeast requires less liquid, so you may need to reduce the liquid content by a small amount to compensate. However, the adjustment is usually minimal and may not be necessary for most recipes.
  4. Timing: The rising and proofing times may be slightly different when using dry yeast instead of fresh yeast. Dry yeast may take slightly longer to ferment and rise, so you may need to allow for a bit more time during the rising stages of the dough.

Always refer to the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer and adjust the quantities and proofing times as necessary when substituting dry yeast for fresh yeast in a recipe. Additionally, be aware that fresh yeast has a shorter shelf life and should be used within a few weeks, whereas dry yeast has a longer shelf life and can be stored at room temperature.

Active yeast in a jar.
A Practical Guide to Bakers Yeast, Baking Yeast Bread

How to activate yeast?

To activate yeast, follow these general steps:

  1. Check yeast freshness: Ensure that your yeast is fresh and within its expiration date. Expired or old yeast may not activate properly.
  2. Warm the liquid: Heat a portion of the liquid called for in the recipe. This is typically water, but it can also be milk or other liquids. Heat it to a temperature of around 105-115°F (40-46°C). Using a thermometer is recommended to ensure accuracy. The liquid should feel warm but not hot to the touch.
  3. Dissolve yeast and sugar: In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the yeast in a small portion of the warm liquid. Add a small amount of sugar (about 1 teaspoon per 1/4 ounce or 7 grams of yeast) to provide food for the yeast to activate. Stir gently until the yeast and sugar are dissolved.
  4. Proofing time: Let the yeast mixture sit undisturbed for about 5-10 minutes. During this time, the yeast should become foamy and start to bubble. This indicates that the yeast is active and ready to be added to the recipe.
  5. Add to the recipe: Once the yeast is activated, you can incorporate it into your recipe. Add the yeast mixture to the remaining ingredients, following the specific instructions in your recipe.

It’s important to note that the above steps are a general guideline for activating yeast. Different types of yeast may have specific instructions provided by the manufacturer, so it’s always a good idea to refer to the packaging or any accompanying instructions for the yeast you are using.

Additionally, the temperature of the liquid and the proofing time may vary depending on the type of yeast and the recipe. Following the specific instructions provided by the yeast manufacturer or the recipe you’re using will ensure the best results.

Progress pictures making focaccia dough.
Progress pictures making Focaccia.

What does it mean to let the dough rise?

Allowing the dough to rise, also known as proofing, is a crucial step in bread and dough preparation. During this stage, the yeast in the dough ferments the sugars present, producing carbon dioxide gas, which causes the dough to expand and rise. It allows the dough to develop flavor, texture, and structure before baking.

Here’s a general process for letting the dough rise:

  1. After kneading: Once you have finished kneading the dough, place it in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. The oil prevents the dough from sticking to the bowl as it rises.
  2. Covering: Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap to create a warm and humid environment for the dough. This helps prevent the dough from drying out during the rising process.
  3. Warm spot: Place the bowl in a warm spot with a consistent temperature, ideally around 75-85°F (24-29°C). A slightly warmed oven (turned off) or a draft-free area in your kitchen can work well. Avoid placing it in direct sunlight or near cold drafts.
  4. First rise: Allow the dough to rise until it doubles in size. The duration can vary depending on the recipe, ambient temperature, and the type of yeast used. Typically, it takes about 1 to 2 hours, but it may take longer if the conditions are cooler.
  5. Punching down (optional): After the first rise, you may need to punch down the dough gently. This releases the excess carbon dioxide, redistributes the yeast, and helps improve the dough’s texture.
  6. Shaping and second rise (if applicable): Depending on the recipe, you may need to shape the dough into the desired form (such as a loaf or rolls) before the second rise. Place the shaped dough on a baking sheet or in a baking pan, cover it again, and let it rise for a second time until it increases in size.
  7. Preheating the oven: Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature specified in the recipe during the final stages of the dough’s rise.

Once the dough has completed the rising process, it is ready to be baked. The rising time can vary depending on factors such as the recipe, yeast type, room temperature, and desired flavor development. It’s important to follow the instructions provided in the specific recipe you’re using for accurate rising times.

Allowing the dough to rise properly is crucial for achieving a light, airy texture and well-developed flavor in your baked goods.

Let the dough rise for 60 to 90 mins
Place the dinner rolls into the baking pan
Let the dough rise until double in volume
let the dinner rolls proof for 45 mins

What if my dough isn’t rising?

If your dough isn’t rising with the yeast, it can be due to several factors. Here are some common reasons and troubleshooting tips:

  1. Yeast activation: Ensure that your yeast is active and alive. Check the expiration date on the yeast package and make sure it has been stored properly. If the yeast doesn’t activate during the proofing stage (step 4 in the previous answer), it may be inactive or old. Try activating a small amount of yeast in warm water with sugar separately to verify its activity before using it in the dough.
  2. Liquid temperature: Yeast is sensitive to temperature. If the liquid used to activate the yeast was too hot or too cold, it can affect the yeast’s performance. The ideal temperature for yeast activation is around 105-115°F (40-46°C). If the liquid was too hot, it might have killed the yeast. If it was too cold, the yeast might not have activated fully. Use a kitchen thermometer to ensure the proper temperature.
  3. Proofing conditions: Yeast requires a warm and draft-free environment to ferment and rise properly. If the ambient temperature is too cool, it can slow down or inhibit yeast activity. Choose a warm spot in your kitchen or create a warm environment by placing the dough in a slightly warmed oven (turned off) or covering it with a damp towel. Make sure not to overheat the dough, as excessive heat can also harm the yeast.
  4. Amount of yeast: Check if you used the correct amount of yeast as stated in the recipe. Using too little yeast can result in slow or insufficient fermentation. Measure the yeast accurately using a kitchen scale or the appropriate measuring spoons.
  5. Quality of flour: The type and quality of flour used can impact yeast activity and dough rising. Some flours have lower gluten content or are bleached, which can affect yeast performance. Use high-quality bread flour or all-purpose flour suitable for bread baking.
  6. Salt and sugar levels: Too much salt can inhibit yeast growth, so ensure you’ve used the right amount of salt as per the recipe. Conversely, sugar acts as food for the yeast and helps it ferment. If there isn’t enough sugar in the dough, it can affect yeast activity. Check the sugar quantity in the recipe.
  7. Patience and time: Sometimes, yeast can take longer to activate and ferment, especially in cooler conditions. Give the dough more time to rise and double in size. Be patient and allow for extended rising times if needed.

If you’ve checked all these factors and your dough still doesn’t rise, it might be helpful to consult a trusted recipe or a baking expert to troubleshoot further.

A slab of braided dinner rolls on the table.
Single Braid Challah Bread Rolls
How much yeast do I need? What is typical yeast-to-flour ratio?

As a general guide, you will need
– One packet of yeast for every pound of flour OR
– 9 grams for every 510 grams of flour OR
– 2 1/4 tsp for every 4 cups of flour.

Can I store dry yeast in the freezer?

Yes, in fact, it is recommended to store dry yeast in the freezer to increase its shelf life. It is also recommended to store it at the back of the freezer so the yeast is not exposed to changes in temperature every time you open and close the fridge.

How do I store an open package of yeast?

Dry yeast in a package once opened is perishable. Keep it in the fridge sealed in an air-tight container. Use within 3 months or less.

What does activation yeast mean?

Dry yeast is usually in its dormant form and needs to be revived with food and water. It is best hydrated in a bowl with warm water and sugar. The yeast dissolves in the warm water and feeds on the sugar. This makes it foamy and you see bubbles develop. This is a good indication that the yeast is active.

Do I need a thermometer for the yeast activation?

Not really. The temperature is given to you as a guide. While a thermometer is very handy in baking you don’t need to buy a thermometer just for the water.
How do you know the right temperature? Often these are used as guides
Lukewarm or barely warm
It’s the same temperature you would give baby milk.
If you put your clean little finger in the milk you should be able to hold it there comfortably without it feeling too warm.
When in doubt it is best to make it less warm than hot.

What is the best way to knead dough?

You can knead the dough by hand or using a stand mixer. Kneading by hand can be therapeutic but it takes longer. Ideally, a dough with 4 cups flour would take about 5 to 6 minutes kneading by hand, while the same dough in the stand mixer would take about 3 minutes.

What does kneading the dough do?

Kneading the dough incorporates air into the dough, it strengthens the protein and encourages the formation of gluten. This is essential for the fermentation or proofing stage, where gas is produced by the yeast. This gives the bread it’s chewy characteristic.

What is the best place for the yeast dough to rise?

Ideally, at room temperature, around 70°F to 100°F, unless you have very hot summers or very cold winters.
In summer, I prefer to keep the dough in my oven that is turned off.
And, in winter, I keep the oven light on to raise the temperature a bit.
And, in case the temperature is very cold, I turn the oven on at 100°F for 5 minutes. Switch it off, then place the bowl of dough in.

How long should you proof the dough?

Ideally, in warm temperatures of about 100°F, a dough will take between 60 to 90 minutes. In winter it can take up to 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Similarly, in hot summer it can take as little as 30 minutes.

Is it ok to use expired yeast? How do I know if my yeast is dead?

All products have a before and after date on the package. It is very important to keep track of these dates because in some products it can be critical.
Bread yeast is a living organism and can lose its potency. There is a possibility that the dough may not rise at all or it may take much longer than stated in the recipe.
To know if your yeast has expired – add a small amount of yeast in warm water and let stand for 5 minutes. If it forms up – you are good to go. If not, toss it out and use a new package of yeast.

How is yeast made?

For those of you interested I thought it would nice to read how yeast is made.
Bread yeast, also known as baker’s yeast or Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is typically commercially produced on a large scale. The process of making bread yeast involves several steps:
Isolation: Yeast strains suitable for bread production are selected and isolated. These strains are typically chosen for their ability to produce carbon dioxide gas, which helps dough rise, as well as their flavor profile and other desired characteristics.
Propagation: The isolated yeast strains are then grown and propagated in a controlled environment. This involves creating a suitable growth medium that provides the yeast with the necessary nutrients, such as sugars, amino acids, and minerals. The yeast is allowed to multiply and thrive in this environment.
Harvesting: Once the yeast has multiplied to a desired level, it is harvested. This can be done through various methods, such as centrifugation or filtration, to separate the yeast cells from the growth medium.
Washing: The harvested yeast is then washed to remove any impurities or unwanted substances that may have accumulated during the growth process.
Drying: After washing, the yeast is typically dried to reduce its moisture content and increase its shelf life. There are different drying methods used, such as spray drying or drum drying, to remove the moisture from the yeast while preserving its viability.
Packaging: The dried yeast is packaged into appropriate containers, such as packets, jars, or vacuum-sealed bags, to protect it from moisture and ensure its freshness.
It’s important to note that commercial bread yeast production is typically carried out by specialized yeast manufacturers using controlled and sterile environments to ensure consistent quality and purity of the yeast. The process may vary slightly between different yeast manufacturers, but the overall principles remain similar.
Home bakers can purchase commercially produced bread yeast in various forms, such as active dry yeast or instant yeast, to use in their bread baking.

What is sourdough yeast?

Sourdough yeast, also referred to as wild yeast or natural yeast, is a type of yeast that is naturally present in the environment and used specifically for sourdough bread baking. It is different from commercial yeast strains typically used in conventional bread baking.
Sourdough yeast is a collection of wild yeast species, primarily Saccharomyces cerevisiae, along with lactic acid bacteria, such as Lactobacillus and Pediococcus. These microorganisms are naturally present in the air, on the surface of grains, fruits, and other natural sources.
To make sourdough bread, a sourdough starter is used. The starter is a fermented mixture of flour and water that captures and cultivates the wild yeast and bacteria naturally present in the environment. When flour and water are combined and left at room temperature, wild yeast and bacteria from the environment start to colonize and ferment the mixture.
The fermentation process in sourdough starter is complex. The wild yeast and bacteria feed on the sugars in the flour, producing carbon dioxide gas and organic acids as byproducts. The carbon dioxide causes the dough to rise, while the organic acids, particularly lactic acid, contribute to the characteristic tangy flavor of sourdough bread.
The use of sourdough yeast and the natural fermentation process it entails offer distinct characteristics to sourdough bread. Sourdough bread tends to have a more complex flavor profile, a chewy texture, and a longer shelf life compared to bread made with commercial yeast.
Sourdough yeast can be maintained and perpetuated by regularly feeding the sourdough starter with fresh flour and water, which provides a food source for the yeast and bacteria to continue fermenting. Many bakers take pride in their own unique sourdough starters, which can develop and evolve over time, producing bread with unique flavor nuances.
It’s worth noting that working with sourdough yeast and sourdough starters requires some practice and understanding of the fermentation process. The activity of sourdough yeast can be influenced by factors such as temperature, hydration, and feeding schedules, and may require adjustments and experimentation to achieve desired results. You can make your own sourdough yeast at home in just seven days. Once made you can then feed and use it for the rest of your life?


  • My yeast does not become foamy?
    • Check the temperature of the water. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast, and if it is too cold it will not revive the yeast. The right temperature for the yeast is around 110F. If it still does not rise, give it a few more minutes. Start over.
    • Alternatively, the yeast itself may be expired, which can happen when yeast is not stored properly or has past its expiration date.
  • My dough does not rise? A few things could be the problem.
    • Perhaps the room is not warm enough. Keep the dough in a warm place like the oven with the light turned on.
    • The yeast is not active, perhaps it’s expired. This can happen if the water used was too hot or the yeast itself has passed its expiration date. You may need to start over.
    • The ratio of yeast to flour is not correct. It is very important to read your recipes and use the right type of yeast for the right quantity of flour. Too little yeast for a big batch of dough will not make a good loaf of bread
    • You did not knead the dough enough. This is not always an issue with every bread because we do have no-knead dough recipes. But it works only if the ratio of yeast to flour is correct. So kneading is as important as the quantity of the yeast.
  • My dough does not stretch?
    • Working with dough needs patience and tack. If you overwork the dough it will start to resist. This means that the gluten strands need a bit of rest. All it takes is just five to ten minutes to rest the dough and it will cooperate again. Often, we try to work quickly and don’t give the dough time to relax, which can compromise the final results of our baked bread.
  • Is baking bread easy?
    • Absolutely, not all bread is hard to work with. There are many simple, easy and less complicated recipes that you can start with.
    • Now that you know all about yeast, it would be a great time to start. Start with simple easy recipes. And, I have some wonderful basic recipes that are perfect for novice bakers. Here are a few of my favorite easy yeast bread recipes to start with.
Slices of Pullman bread on the plate.
Pullman Bread with Brioche Dough

Bread recipes for beginners

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A bowl of dry yeast.
A Practical Guide to Bakers Yeast, Baking Yeast Bread

I hope you found this guide useful. Of course, I have shared many bread recipes along with videos to encourage you to try homemade bread recipes. If you do try any of my recipes I would love to hear from you about it.

Are you a bread-baking novice trying to tackle the task of bringing homemade bread to the dinner table? Working with yeast can seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! Let this guide be your launching pad to a world of freshly-baked loaves of bread that will soon become a part of your regular mealtime routine. With a few simple steps and just a bit of patience, soon you’ll be able to create bakery-quality bread in your own kitchen. Happy Baking!

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  1. Day 1 completed. Very interesting. Learned things I never knew and I bake!

  2. Kavitha thillai says:

    Pastry day 5 done

  3. Pastry Day 5 Yeast- Done
    I would really like to learn more about the Nucleic Acid. Thank you for such great content and instructions.

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