Author Topic: Fresh Yeast  (Read 4219 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MWTC

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 516
Fresh Yeast
« on: December 10, 2007, 04:44:19 PM »
Peter, 

I am looking at a recipe by Richard Bertinet and it calls for 1/2 oz fresh yeast. As you know I am now using a starter instead of ADY or IDY in my recipe. What would you recommend that I use when he asks us to use fresh yeast in a recipe? Where would I look for fresh yeast or is that a starter that he is calling for? If it is a starter, how much starter would be equivalent to 1/2 oz. fresh yeast? Or if it really doesn't matter do you recommend ADY or IDY or a starter substitution. If so, what would be the conversion?

MWTC  :chef:


Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21164
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Fresh Yeast
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2007, 07:34:27 PM »
MWTC,

"Fresh yeast" is the same as "cake yeast" or "wet yeast" or "compressed yeast". They are just different names for the same thing. It used to be that you could find fresh yeast in just about any supermarket. However, that is no longer the case. None of the supermarkets near me carry fresh yeast anymore. Where found, the most common brand is the Fleischmann's fresh yeast. The Fleischmann's fresh yeast comes in a small cube wrapped in silver foil and weighs 0.6 ounces, or 17 grams. If you can locate it, it is usually in the refrigerated section near the refrigerated doughs.

Some people swear by fresh yeast but Tom Lehmann says that they have done tests at the AIB (on pizza dough) using fresh yeast, ADY and IDY and could not detect differences in the end product.

As far as conversion from fresh yeast to ADY or IDY is concerned, I could tell you that to convert from fresh yeast to ADY you would use half the weight of the fresh yeast, and to convert from fresh yeast to IDY you would use one third the weight of the fresh yeast. However, in general, it is much easier to use this (more accurate) conversion table: http://www.theartisan.net/convert_yeast_two.htm. In your case, you will have to do a little math extrapolation since 0.5 ounces of fresh yeast is not on the table. Technically, if you use ADY or IDY in lieu of fresh yeast, you should subtract the difference in weight between the fresh yeast and the dry yeast from the formulation water. In your case, the differences should be de minimis. It all depends on how much fun you want to have playing around with all the numbers.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 10, 2007, 07:59:52 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline jimd

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 131
  • I Love Pizza!
Re: Fresh Yeast
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2007, 09:23:38 AM »
When I want to feel that I am adhering to the "traditions" of pizza napoletana, I will try and use Fresh Yeast. It is very hard to find it---Peter Reinhert has often advised that local bakeries, if run by true artisans or others who love baking and not just running a business, will often be a good source for supplies you cannot find in local stores.

A local baker has been kind enough to provide fresh yeast whenever I have a need---and refuses to take any money for it. I have also bought freshly milled flour from them, and they are really gracious.
Might be worth a try to introduce yourself to a good local baker--in my limited experience they are really generous with their knowledge and are pleased to talk with and help someone who has an appreciation for what they do and an awareness of how difficult it is to do it well.


Jim

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21164
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Fresh Yeast
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2007, 09:46:15 AM »
For many bakers and pizza operators, especially those who make lots of dough, fresh yeast actually turns out to be the cheapest for them on a comparable basis. They buy the fresh yeast in bricks, so parting with small quantities would not be a hardship for them. Because fresh yeast deteriorates very quickly, once the yeast is out of the refrigerator, it has to be used very quickly and the unused portion promptly put back in the refrigerator. If used in a recipe, the fresh yeast can just be crumbled into the mixer bowl with the rest of the ingredients, although some bakers still prefer rehydrating the yeast in water (lukewarm) even though it is already partly rehydrated.

Like Jim, there are times where I have wanted to use fresh yeast but was not able to locate any. I thought that I might find it in the in-house bakeries of large supermarkets, even high end ones like Central Market, but discovered that most if not all of their doughs are delivered pre-made to the stores from commissaries. Unfortunately, there are no artisan bakeries near me. I would have to hunt one down in Dallas. It's a lot easier for me just to use dry yeast.

Peter

Offline MWTC

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 516
Re: Fresh Yeast
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 11:32:13 AM »
Thank-you for the information guys.

Peter,

What would be the conversion if I used My 50/50 starter for the 1/2oz. fresh yeast?

MWTC  :chef:

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21164
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Fresh Yeast
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 12:19:00 PM »
What would be the conversion if I used My 50/50 starter for the 1/2oz. fresh yeast?


MWTC,

That's a type of quesition that comes up fairly frequently but there is no really accurate way of converting commercial yeast quantities recited in dough recipes into natural sourdough (starter/preferment) quantities because each starter/preferment is unique in terms of its inherent “DNA”, the way it is refreshed, its hydration, and its degree of readiness.

What I usually do is to convert the basic dough formulation to a preferment version by determining how much preferment I want to use, either as a percent of total formula flour, total formula water or total dough weight (which usually is determined by the type of preferment I want to use—e.g., poolish, sponge, biga or prefermented dough), and calculate what remaining ingredients will go into the final mix. For natural preferments, I use the preferment dough calculating tool at http://www.pizzamaking.com/preferment_calculator.html since it is set up to do the kinds of math involved. You will still have to do some number crunching with pencil and paper with a dough formulation that needs conversion, but the tool does most of the heavy lifting beyond that point. Not all dough formulations fit the tool. It is limited to those formulations that include a natural preferment (with possible supplementation with commercial yeast), flour, water, salt, sugar and oil. Not knowing your specific recipe, it is hard to say whether the tool will be of any help.

For bread dough recipes, it is not uncommon to see a preferment usage that is about 20-40% or more of the total formula flour. When in doubt, I usually start at around 20% preferment as a percent of total formula flour. I have done this on many occasions when converting commercial yeast pizza dough formulations into preferment versions. I had had less experience with bread dough because I spend most of my time with pizza doughs.

You might find this item of interest as you consider reformulation of your commercial yeast recipe to preferment usage: http://www.nyx.net/~dgreenw/howdoiconvertyeastbreadrec.html.

Peter

Offline MWTC

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 516
Re: Fresh Yeast
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2007, 10:55:46 AM »
Thank-you Peter  :)

I really like the preferment dough calculating tool. Very cool. Did you consider adding an area for honey as an option at the sugar section?

http://www.pizzamaking.com/preferment_calculator.html

MWTC  :chef:

Offline Pete-zza

  • Lifetime Member
  • Global Moderator
  • *
  • Posts: 21164
  • Location: Texas
  • Always learning
Re: Fresh Yeast
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2007, 11:47:44 AM »
Did you consider adding an area for honey as an option at the sugar section?

MWTC,

When Mike (Boy Hits Car) and I were designing the preferment dough calculating tool, we tried to keep it as basic and simple as possible while still having broad utility. So, our focus was on the use of natural starters/preferments which many of our members were using with the Neapolitan style (although the tool can be used for other very basic dough formulations, including those for breads). Since honey is not a common ingredient used with the Neapolitan style, we did not include it. As you may have already noted, we did make a concession to using commercial yeast along with natural starters/preferments because several members (and even many professionals) were already doing that. We included oil and sugar among the ingredient choices--which are also not ingredients used in the Neapolitan style—simply because we knew that many members were using oil and/or sugar to make their versions of the Neapolitan style pizza in their standard (unmodified) home ovens. We offered several salt choices because not all of our members use the same type of salt.

In your case, there is nothing to stop you from substituting honey for sugar. Honey is wet (it includes 17% water) and table sugar is dry, and honey is about 121% sweeter than table sugar, but I think you can do a swap weight wise and not create any adverse effects. Since it is unlikely that you will know exactly how much water is in your preferment at any given moment, you are not likely to notice the slight amount of water in the honey when used at normal levels. FYI, a teaspoon of ordinary honey weighs about 0.25 ounces. At 17% water, that comes to 0.0425 ounces, which is about ¼ teaspoon of water. If you use a tablespoon of honey, then you might lower the amount of water you use in your dough formulation by about ¾ teaspoon.

Peter

Offline MWTC

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 516
Re: Fresh Yeast
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2007, 02:22:39 PM »
OK, that works for me.