If you're an avid baker, you'd know how essential yeast is for breadmaking. Without it, our favourite breads, pizza doughs, and pastries would lack the flavour that makes them so delectable. Yeast also helps add volume to baked goods, which is why it is a must-have ingredient for bakers. However, while shopping for yeast, you must've noticed labels such as 'active dry yeast' and 'instant yeast' on packets. Deciding which one to choose can become a bit confusing, especially if you've just ventured into baking. What are these ingredients all about? What is it that sets them apart? Let's find out below so that you can make the correct choice.
What Is Instant Yeast?
As the name suggests, this yeast is meant to be used instantly. It does not require proofing in warm water. You can immediately add it to the dry ingredients to make your baked goods. Since instant yeast has smaller granules, it dissolves quite easily, which helps save time in the kitchen and results in faster baking.
What Is Active Dry Yeast?
Unlike instant yeast, active dry yeast needs to be activated prior to use. It is mixed in water along with some sugar in order to proof it. This can take anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes. Active dry yeast has slightly larger granules and a coarser texture.
Also Read: Want To Bake But Don't Have Yeast? Make These Yeast Substitutes At Home
Instant Yeast Vs Active Dry Yeast: What Are The Differences Between The Two:
1. Activation process:
The difference in activation processes is the major point of dissimilarity between the two. Instant yeast is made for instant use and does not require activation. On the other hand, active dry yeast needs to be activated in water for effective use.
2. Rising Time:
Since instant yeast does not require any activation, it naturally results in faster rising. It's perfect for times when you're running short on time. Active dry yeast involves the process of proofing, which makes the rising time longer.
3. Shelf Life:
Instant yeast generally has a longer shelf life as compared to active dry yeast. It can last for anywhere from 2 to 3 years. Active dry yeast can also be stored for a few years, but once opened, it can quickly get spoiled, which reduces its shelf life.
4. Quantity Required:
The quantity of yeast required to make baked goods also differs greatly. When using instant yeast, you can use a smaller quantity as it is more potent. And if the recipe calls for active dry yeast, you may need to add more in to enable it to proof effectively.
Also Read: Watch: How To Make Restaurant-Style Pizza From Scratch In 30 Mins (No-Yeast Recipe)
Can You Substitute Instant For Active Dry Yeast:
The answer is yes! Instant yeast can certainly be substituted for active dry yeast. Your baked goods will rise just as well if you swap one for the other. However, you may need to adjust the quantity of yeast used in the recipe as per what you decide to opt for. Additionally, there might also be a slight difference in flavour, but it's not something you need to worry about as it's not noticeable.
So, the next time a recipe calls for either of these two ingredients, you'll know exactly what sets them apart.
About Vaishali KapilaVaishali finds comfort in eating parathas and rajma chawal but is equally enthusiastic about exploring different cuisines. When she's not eating or baking, you can often find her curled up on the couch watching her favourite TV show - FRIENDS.