Active Dry Yeast vs. Fast Rising Yeast: What’s the Difference?

by Charlie
Active Dry Yeast and Fast Rising Yeast

Yeast is a kind of fungus we can use for baking bread (baking yeast) and brewing beer (brewer’s yeast). Beer manufacturers use yeast to produce alcohol content and carbonated beer. On the other hand, bakers use yeast to give their products a good texture and appearance. A well-risen piece of donut that’s airy and light on the tongue can make you eat all of it in one go.

Baker’s yeast is either fresh or dry. Now dry yeast is 2 types: active dry yeast or fast rising yeast. And there’s a difference between these two.

What’s the difference between active dry yeast and fast rising yeast? The main difference between active dry yeast and fast rising yeast is the method of use. You have to dissolve (proof) and activate the yeast in lukewarm liquid before combining it with other ingredients. But you can instantly use fast rising yeast and directly combine it with other dry ingredients.

What are Other Differences Between Active Dry Yeast and Fast Rising Yeast?

There are more differences between active dry yeast and fast rising yeast. Firstly, they differ in size and texture. Active dry yeast is granular and larger in size. It is readily available in stores in small sachets or bottles.

Fast rising yeast is also called instant yeast, rapid or quick-rise yeast. Fast rising yeast is ground and finer in particle size. That’s why it dissolves and activates faster. Fast rising yeast also easily mixes with other dry ingredients.

Secondly, they differ when it comes to rising periods. Active dry yeast needs a longer time to rise, and normally in two periods. Fast rising yeast can cut the rising time to half, depending on the season and room temperatures. Some types have enzymes or additives that make the dough rise faster, so you can skip the first rise. This means you can go ahead and shape your dough right after kneading.

Which is Better: Active Dry Yeast or Fast Rising Yeast?

Yeast is yeast. You can use any type when you bake yeast bread or pastry. Both function in the same way. They make your dough rise and give that raw, sour, bready, and gut-friendly taste and quality. In saying that, one type of yeast may be better to use depending on the situation.

If you are pressed for time, you could use fast rising yeast. Some varieties have enzymes and additives that allow your dough to achieve one strong rise. If you use this kind, you won’t need to wait for a second rise on your dough.

If you are baking recipes that are meant for a long and slow rise, then it’s better to use active dry yeast. This lets you achieve a great-tasting and well-textured bread or crust. No-knead bread and pizza dough are some recipes that turn out best using active dry yeast.

Can You Substitute Active Dry Yeast for Fast Rising Yeast in Recipes?

Yes. You can use active dry yeast instead of fast rising yeast in recipes and the other way around. Whatever type of yeast you have on hand, you may use it to bake any recipe that requires yeast. However, you need to note the measurements. A ¼ ounce packet of active dry yeast contains 2 ¼ teaspoons of yeast.

You may likely need to adjust the waiting periods, too. Substituting with active dry yeast will increase the rising time of your dough, so it’s best to wait a little bit longer (about 15 minutes more) to let your dough rise some more before shaping it. Substituting with fast rising yeast will shorten the rising time. So consider shortening the waiting period by at least 15 minutes, then go ahead with shaping the dough.

How Do You Keep Yeast Active?

Keep your dry yeast and rapid rising yeast active by storing them in an airtight storage jar once opened. Keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator and away from the door. You may also freeze it to extend the shelf life. When proofing an active dry yeast, remember to use lukewarm liquid. If you use a very hot liquid to dissolve your yeast, you will kill it.

How Do You Check if Your Baker’s Yeast Is Still Active?

Baker’s yeast should last a good three months before it starts going bad. But depending on your storage method, you may extend the life and quality of your baker’s yeast. Do the sugar test to check your baker’s yeast.

Dissolve one packet or 21/4 tbs. of active dry yeast or fast rising yeast in warm water. Then add 1 teaspoon of sugar. If you see some activity (bubbling or foaming) within 10 minutes, your baker’s yeast is still very active. If it takes longer than 10 minutes or you see no activity, then it’s time to use a new batch of baker’s yeast.

How Do You Substitute Fresh Baker’s Yeast for Dry Yeast?

Some people love using fresh baker’s yeast to make bread because it results in a subtle yeasty taste in their baked products. Since fresh yeast has a lot of moisture, you need to use a whole lot more fresh baker’s yeast in place of dry yeast.

Triple the amount to substitute for instant yeast. That means, for every 2 1/4 teaspoons of fast rising yeast, use 6 ¾ teaspoons of fresh yeast. That is equivalent to 21 grams or ¾ ounce of fresh baker’s yeast.

Moreover, use 2.5 times the amount of fresh yeast to substitute for active dry yeast. That is equivalent to 17.5 grams of fresh baker’s yeast for every 7-gram packet of active dry yeast.

Final Thoughts

  • Active dry yeast is granular and larger in particle size.
  • Fast rising yeast is finely ground and smaller in particle size.
  • Active dry yeast needs time to proof and activate before you combine it with other ingredients.
  • You can immediately use and combine fast rising yeast with other dry ingredients.
  • Active dry yeast needs a longer rising time for your dough, but fast rising yeast shortens the rising time. It can cut the rising time by half.

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