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Yeast Problems

tekno_peasant's picture

Yeast Problems (post #70771)


I am having an ongoing problem with my instant yeast not rising.  I have tried twice to make croissants but after the croissants are removed from the fridge after all their turns, they never rise, despite being allowed to sit on the counter for hours.  I am baffled, as my yeast is not expired, and when I proof it by adding it to warm water with some sugar it froths away happily.  I have had this issue in the past and have thrown out and replaced my instant yeast many times over the years.  I don't seem to have the same problem with with active dry yeast.  Is there any way that instant yeast can be somehow de-activated or does it weaken far faster than active dry yeast?  Is there any other way to determine if my instant yeast will work?


carolrv's picture

yeast problems (post #70771, reply #1 of 4)

How disappointing to waste all that work and all that BUTTER!  I have not experienced your particular problem (instant yeast+croissant dough).   I have refrigerated yeast doughs for many years and I am amazed  at how LONG it takes for the dough to reach room temperature and then EVEN LONGER to reach the yeast-activity temperature required for rising. I believe that the difference in the yeast types is their onset of action.  The yeast stays alive until it is killed by the heat of baking.  But I have had many anxious moments poking that inert blob which refuses to expand after being chilled.  I primarily bake peasant breads like focaccia and baguettes and hard rolls.  I learned from a friend that if you leave the dough in the fridge for a few days,  it develops a tangy flavor like sourdough.  I also learned from that same friend to use sea salt or kosher salt (no iodine)  and also not to use chlorinated water.  That said, I have made bread successfully with iodized salt and all-purpose flour and chlorinated tap water if that is all I have in the house.  There are many "bread purist" ideas floating around, which probably have some merit. 

I have heard that "Cooking is an art but baking is a science" and I do believe it.  Have you ever seen Alton Brown on TV?  He has a cooking show that explains the science in the recipes.  Here is his Very Basic Bread:, 1946,FOOD_9936_30263_RECIPE-...

I copied the above from the bottom of the page that I printed out.  If it doesn't work you could search the Food Network

I am 66 years old and have been baking bread since I was a teenager.  I have had great successes and spectacular failures and I am still learning about baking bread.



GretchenTHE FIRST's picture

Why are you using instant (post #70771, reply #2 of 4)

Why are you using instant yeast if you have good results with regular yeast? Just a thought. I think you are "misusing" the yeast. Instant/rapid rise yeasts are formulated to be mixed into the ingredients with the flour and not "proofed". So I think by proofing you may have used it up to some extent. You might google for the ins and outs of the various yeasts--and the differing amounts that are required/recommended. And Robin if you happen to read this, while I can sign in to Fine Woodworking on IE, when I sign it here it says I may not have access to this. Just another bug for you.
cakebiz's picture

Instant Yeast (post #70771, reply #3 of 4)

Hi, If you are using "instant yeast" you do not need to start it like other yeasts. All you need to do is put it in dry, with the dry ingredients. By starting it with warm water and feeding it with sugar, you are killing it so to speak.

Most yeast companies make 2 kinds of yeast, one for savory and one for sweet. Which brand are you using?

GretchenTHE FIRST's picture

I have never seen two kinds (post #70771, reply #4 of 4)

I have never seen two kinds of yeast, at least in supermarket use. Maybe you are referring to yeast for  professional use.  I think this poster is gone.