What you need to know when working with yeast. First of all there are 2 different types of yeast; active dry yeast and instant (rapid rise) yeast. Both yeasts can be used interchangeably. But there are a few extra steps that you need to take in order for the recipe to work out:
1. To use instant yeast instead of active dry, you need to decrease the amount of yeast needed in the recipe. If substituting instant for active dry, you need to decrease the amount by 25% and vice versa. Let’s say the recipe calls for 1 tsp of active dry yeast, to convert to instant you would need ¾ tsp. And if the recipe calls for 1 tsp instant yeast, you would need to use 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast.
2. When using active dry yeast you need to let it activate before you use it in your dish. To activate the yeast you need to sprinkle it in warm sugar water (around 95-115 F) and let it activate for 5-7 minutes or until the mixture starts to foam. Once the yeast is foamy, you are ready to use it. If you are using instant yeast then you don’t need to put it in any water to activate. You can just dump it in and continue with the recipe.
Other than that there isn’t anything else too different about the yeasts. Both need a warm environment (75 F-100 F) to rise. The warmth will effect the speed of the yeast rising. And lastly, the liquid temperature. One of the most crucial steps for yeast to rise. The liquid in your recipe should be around 95 F-115 F. If the water is too cold the yeast won’t activate, and if the water it too hot the yeast will die. You can use a digital cooking thermometer or candy thermometer to check water temperature. And of course, both yeasts need time to rise. But how long they should rise all depends on what you’re trying to make.
The very first time I every made bread and used instant yeast was interesting… I got the recipe from my mom. I followed the recipe down to the T, except one part. Timing! Everything was going smooth, I kneaded the bread, let it rise, and scored it. The final step was to let the bread rise for another 30-40 min and then pop it in the oven. I put the bread in a loaf pan and let it rise while vacuumed and got a few chores done. I came back to the kitchen to find the bread has overflowed out of the pan and onto my stove top! From that I learned to always let the bread rise for the time stated in the recipe and to just stick with the original recipe since it was tested and true.