Yeast is what makes bread rise, but how does it do that? It’s made up of small, single-celled organisms. Yeasts eat simple sugars and give off carbon dioxide and alcohol. The carbon dioxide it gives off is in the form of tiny bubbles that make the dough expand and stretch.
Most of the recipes in this site use bread machine yeast. Those that don’t use rapid rise yeast. What’s the difference between the two?
Bread Machine Yeast
Bread machine yeast is specifically made to do well in bread machines. It can be directly added to the dry ingredients in your machine.
Most bread machine manufacturers recommend that the bread machine yeast be placed in a sort of nest in the bread machine pan when you’re adding ingredients. Here’s a picture of how my bread machine pan looks when I’m making raisin bread. See the yeast nestled in the flour?
Rapid Rise Yeast
Rapid rise yeast is more finely ground than regular bread machine yeast. Its smaller size enables it to get a jump start on making carbon dioxide.
Many bread machines (including my Zo) come with a quick or rapid cycle. Use the quick/rapid cycle along with rapid rise yeast to bake bread or to create dough more quickly.
An important point is that unless specified by the yeast manufacturer, bread machine yeast and rapid rise yeast are not directly interchangeable. Here’s an example, my sour milk bread recipe, calls for 1 and 3/4 teaspoon bread machine. However if you want to use the quick or rapid cycle, you’d use 3 teaspoons rapid rise yeast.
But What About Active Dry Yeast?
Historically, active dry yeast needed to be dissolved in water before using. Changes in the manufacturing of active dry yeast enable some brands to be used interchangeable with bread yeast. However, I use bread machine yeast just to be sure that my bread will rise properly.
How to Store Yeast?
I buy my bread machine yeast at Costco. It comes in a large package that I transfer into two glass jars once I get home. I keep both of the glass jars in the refrigerator.
I buy rapid rise yeast at the grocery store. Again, I put the jar in the refrigerator after opening it.