Yeast: Everything You May Not Know

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Yeast is a type of fungi commonly used in recipes. While plenty of people use yeast to prepare bread, muffins, and other baked goods, they don’t typically think about what it is or where it comes from. Learn everything there is to know about yeast in one place with this convenient guide. You can have all the questions you’ve ever had about east answered here.

Yeast: Everything You May Not Know

Yeast

The Different Foods Containing Yeast

Many of the foods you usually consume contain yeast. You can bake these foods at home or buy them from a store. So whether you’re preparing them from scratch, buying them from someone, or somewhere else like a store or bakery, these are some of the different foods that typically contain yeast.

Bread

When baking bread, it’s essential to get it to rise. So, if you want to make bread at home, you’ll need some baker’s yeast. If you’re not baking bread at home, expect any bread you buy to contain some yeas, unless otherwise stated. By now you know, I only use Saf Instant Yeast.

In case you missed this post, How To Make A Sourdough Starter + Bread

Pastries

Some of your favorite pastries and baked goods contain yeast. These foods include honey buns, donuts, and other decadent treats baked in an oven before they’re served.

Rolls/Buns

The rolls and buns which you use to make sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs will typically contain some yeast. It’s added to the dough to get the dough to rise with ease before the rolls and buns get baked, packaged, and sold. You may never have known that something you eat often contains yeast, but it does.

Biscuits

Most biscuits contain yeast. The reason it’s commonly used to prepare biscuits, whether made from scratch or canned biscuit dough, is because it helps to get them to rise to perfection. When you want to eat a biscuit, you want something full, flavorful, and fluffy, not flat and dense. The yeast gives the biscuits that perfect size and texture.

Milk

Yep, you can even find yeast in the milk you drink! It’s included as an additive during the filtration process before the milk ever gets sold to the consumer. It’s part of the process of preparing the milk to sit on the shelves, where people will have access to it and can buy it at their leisure.

Where to Easily Find Yeast for Baking

Yeast

If you need baker’s yeast for a recipe, it’s not hard to find. Most grocery stores sell yeast. However, don’t always expect to see it in a large bag like you would when shopping for sugar or flour. In most instances, yeast is available in individual packets or in vacuum-sealed bags like SAF Instant Yeast.

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A small amount of yeast goes a long way when added to different recipes. It’s good to have it stored in your refrigerator or freezer because you never know when a recipe might call for yeast. And, when it does, you’ll be prepared by having it at home.

Why You May Need to Use Yeast in Certain Recipes

When looking through your recipe book, you might notice that several of the recipes throughout the book call for yeast as an added ingredient. There are a few good reasons to add such an essential component to a recipe. When using yeast, you can enjoy some of the following benefits:

  • It Adds Even More Flavor. It may not seem like a big deal, but most people don’t realize that adding yeast to a recipe can give it an even better flavor. If you’d like to take the flavor of your favorite food to the next level, especially if it’s a baked product, consider using yeast. It can make your food taste better than it did before.
  • Get the Dough to Rise. When you’re preparing foods from dough, such as donuts, biscuits, and loaves of bread, you want the dough to rise. Your recipe might even tell you to place the dough in a bowl, cover it, and set it off on the kitchen table for at least an hour to give the dough a chance to rise. If you’re not using yeast in these recipes, the dough won’t rise to perfection, and it can negatively impact the outcome of your food after baking the dough. So, be sure to add yeast as directed. It can provide you with the perfect dough to use when making all kinds of things, including homemade bread and deliciously sweet donuts from scratch.
  • It Stretches the Dough. Make your dough last longer to get more servings out of it by adding yeast. The yeast will stretch the dough out even more, making it easier to work with when you’re rolling it out with your rolling pin.

As you can see, yeast is beneficial for different reasons. For centuries, people have used it as an ingredient in many foods, including plenty of baked goods. So if you have a recipe that calls for yeast, it’s important to use it instead of leaving it out. If you don’t include it, things might not turn out as well as you anticipated.

How many teaspoons are in a packet of yeast?

One packet of yeast usually contains 1/4 ounce or approximately 2-1/4 teaspoons of yeast.

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Why does my bread or dinner rolls taste like yeast?

This is a common question by breadmakers. I have been making bread for over 50 years and my experience has been if the bread tastes like yeast, the bread dough may have sat too long on the counter “rising” before baking it. I have tasted dinner rolls with that yeasty taste and I can’t eat them.

What is brewer’s yeast?

I quote, Healthline “Brewer’s yeast is an ingredient used in the production of beer and bread. It is made from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a one-celled fungus. Brewer’s yeast has a bitter taste.

Brewer’s yeast is also used as a nutritional supplement. It’s a rich source of chromium, which may help your body maintain normal blood sugar levels. It’s also a source of B vitamins.”

What is nutritional yeast?

I quote Healthline, “While brewer’s, baker’s, and nutritional yeasts are technically made from the same species of yeast, they are very different products.

  • Baker’s yeast: Baker’s yeast is purchased alive and used to leaven bread. The yeast is killed during cooking but adds an earthy, yeasty flavor to bread.
  • Brewer’s yeast: Brewer’s yeast can be purchased alive and is used to brew beer. The dead yeast cells leftover from the brewing process can be consumed as a nutritional supplement but have a very bitter taste.
  • Nutritional yeast: This yeast is grown specifically to be used as a food product. The yeast cells are killed during manufacturing and not alive in the final product. It is used in cooking and has a cheesy, nutty, or savory flavor.”

Can I make bread without yeast?

Yes, you can, it’s basically called “natural yeast” which consists of two ingredients, flour, and water. Some people call it Sourdough bread. I have step-by-step instructions on how to make natural yeast, or you may call it a sourdough starter. In case you missed this post, How To Make A Sourdough Starter + Bread

Final Word 

Knowing that yeast is a type of fungi, it’s easy to understand why most people would feel disgusted about the idea of using it to make different recipes. However, it’s in a lot of the foods you’re already eating without even realizing it. The good thing about having yeast in many of the foods you eat is that it’s good for you. It’s an excellent source of vitamin B, an essential nutrient for the body. It also provides the body with zinc. Not only can you reap the health benefits associated with consuming yeast, but you can also enjoy the added texture and flavor it brings to different foods, including cakes, bread, pastries, and so much more. May God Bless this world, Linda

Copyright Images: Yeast Deposit photos_8482461_s-2019

16 thoughts on “Yeast: Everything You May Not Know

  • August 10, 2021 at 8:05 am
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    There is a type of bread that does not use yeast. Bannock bread. I add 1 tsp. Baking soda. I also knead the bread for about 5 minutes until it is smooth. Put it in an oiled pan. Oil and cut an x slit on the top. I have done this in a covered Dutch oven on top of the stove. It has turned out great. No egg, no yeast. Simple and very basic.

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    • August 10, 2021 at 9:39 am
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      Hi Mary, wow, and on the stove! I will look for this recipe! I LOVE this kind of thing, thank you! Linda

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      • August 10, 2021 at 5:52 pm
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        When I make it the baking soda helps it rise. I sometimes add 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, even some garlic. It is round like an artisan bread. You could add just about anything you like. Butter, mmm.

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        • August 10, 2021 at 6:46 pm
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          Hi Mary, it sounds yummy! I love artisan bread and butter tops it off like frosting on a cake! Linda

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  • August 10, 2021 at 12:46 pm
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    SAF is the best. But if you have a strong yeast smell, you may have put too much in your recipe . I have had that happen only when they call for more too get the bread to rise faster. That isn’t always the case, but that is when that has happened to me.

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    • August 10, 2021 at 3:22 pm
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      Hi Cheryl, I can’t eat the bread or rolls some people make, I get my nose close to it and I can smell the yeast, it’s nasty. This could be the case, great comment. Linda

      Reply
  • August 10, 2021 at 4:08 pm
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    When it comes to the smell of bread, I love the smell and taste of Sourdough. It tastes great and keeps well. I have many recipes using it and they are all good. Yes, yeast can be very off-putting at times.

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    • August 10, 2021 at 4:17 pm
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      Hi Cheryl, I love sourdough bread as well. There is nothing better than the smell of bread baking in the oven! Linda

      Reply
  • August 11, 2021 at 8:30 am
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    My wife does a lot of baking and last year we couldn’t find yeast at the stores for several weeks so I ordered a 2 pound block online and froze it to keep it good. Now, when she needs yeast she just cuts off what she needs and puts the rest back in the freezer.

    I don’t use yeast when I make my blueberry zucchini bread or banana bread, whether I bake them in my sun oven or my regular oven (which I don’t use often in the summer as it heats up the house, and then I have to pay for AC to cool it down).

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    • August 11, 2021 at 9:22 am
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      Hi Ray, you were smart to buy a 2-pound block of yeast! I keep hearing about shortages, not yeast, at least not today. Nothing would surprise me! Homemade bread is so good! Oh, I love zucchini bread, I will have to add blueberries to mine! We buy so many bananas that make it easy for me to make banana bread! Life is good when we can bake! Linda

      Reply
  • November 18, 2021 at 7:47 am
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    Hello Linda. I glad you sent this one out.
    I’ve been building my pantry slowly each month and need more shelves. I had collected food stamps from Oct. and had a sufficient amount to purchase BULK stuff this month. I have most of the items you’ve got on your list; preparing for winter, but running out of space. You’ve been a wonderful person with all your suggestions and advice. Don’t know what winter will be like anywhere on our continent, so ‘ be prepared’ and stay safe.

    Reply
    • November 18, 2021 at 7:54 am
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      Hi Pamela, yay for building up your pantry!!! Thank you for your kind words, my friend! It feels so good to have extra food! Good job! Linda

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      • November 18, 2021 at 8:23 am
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        It’s wonderful knowing I’ve got plenty of food to live of of ‘just in case’. The only problem is ‘what to eat now’. LOL. I know one thing, if I move next spring the first thing I want to get is a chest freezer. THANK YOU, again.

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        • November 18, 2021 at 8:50 am
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          Hi Pamela, oh a chest freezer would be so nice!! Just in case helps us sleep at night! Linda

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        • November 18, 2021 at 10:17 am
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          It surely does. I still need to get a few more things, but I think I’ve done pretty good at building my pantry.

          Reply

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