MiNDFOOD

Making bread using fresh yeast.

Fresh yeast is great in breads with a long rising time as it activates faster than dried.

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With the rise in home cooking in the past year, supermarke­ts have seen yeast flying off the shelves as eager bakers embrace new recipes for breads, pizzas and sweet treats. For those who have been reaching for the packet of dry yeast, you might want to give its ‘fresher’ sibling a go. With a texture resembling tofu, fresh yeast, also known as ‘cake’ or ‘compressed’ yeast, is a common ingredient for profession­al bakers, but can be used in home baking as well. Like dry yeast, it contains active yeast cells, but with about 70 per cent moisture. Some say fresh yeast improves the taste of breads and offers a slightly sweeter flavour.

When using fresh yeast, start by crumbling it into small bits. Some bakers recommend softening it in warm water before incorporat­ing it into your recipe. Because it’s used more commercial­ly and is less common than dry yeast, not all supermarke­ts will stock fresh yeast. You can often find it in the chilled section of artisan grocers or wholesale supermarke­ts. Fresh yeast also has a much shorter shelf life compared to its dry counterpar­t, typically lasting about two weeks, but it can be stored in the freezer for up to three months.

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