Yeast Equivalents

A lot of people are confused about the different types of yeast and what to use if a recipe calls for one kind, but all you have is another.  There are three basic types of yeast:  fresh (or cake), instant, and active dry. 

Fresh yeast, as the name implies, is the freshest, most active yeast you can get.  Unfortunately, it has a very short shelf life and can be hard to come by. 

Active dry yeast is the least active of the yeasts, so you have to use more.   

Instant yeast is fairly new to the consumer market and is what many artisan bread books call for.  It is more active than active dry, but not as much as cake yeast.   It used to be marketed as Rapid Rise Yeast, basically because if you use the same amount as active dry, it will work faster.

So what do you do if you have one yeast and your recipe calls for another?  Easy — you convert it.  The table below will show you how.

Since the BBA recipes all call for instant yeast (except for the sourdoughs, of course), I’ll start with conversions for instant yeast if you want to use fresh or active dry:

Instant to Active Dry:  multiply by 1.36
Instant to Fresh:  multiply by 3
Active Dry to Instant:  multiply by 0.75
Active Dry to Fresh:  multiply by 2.2
Fresh to Instant:  multiply by 0.33
Fresh to Active Dry:  multiply by 0.45

To be clear, the first type of yeast listed is what the recipe calls for, and the second is what you have on hand and want to use.  So, for example, if you wanted to use Active Dry yeast for the Anadama recipe, you would use 2 3/4 teaspoons yeast (2 x 1.36 = 2.72).

If you want to be sure your yeast is viable, check out this quick and easy yeast test.

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16 Comments

  1. September 17, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    [...] What I didn’t know “back then” and is a “must know” now, is that the liquid (water or milk) needs to be between 105 degrees F. and 115 degrees F. when used to dissolve the yeast.  Any cooler the yeast won’t bloom, any hotter runs the risk of killing the yeast.  For me about 110 degrees F. is just perfect. I remember when recipes stated “water should be the temperature of a baby’s bottle.”  Oookkkkaaay …. whatever that means.  Trust me on this one, when making bread get an instant read thermometer, warm the water to 105 to 115 and you will be off to a GREAT start! Yeast, water, honey and a few minutes “resting” will cause the active yeast to bloom beautifully as it begins to bubble.  The rest of the ingredients are added into this incredibly fragrant liquid.  Often times bakers are confused about the different types of yeast and what to use if a recipe calls for one kind, but all you have is another.  There are three basic types of yeast:  fresh (or cake), instant, and active dry. One of my fellow Tuesdays with Dorie bakers wrote a very informative blog post about yeast.  Check it out at Of Cabbages and King Cakes. [...]

  2. June 4, 2012 at 12:07 am

    [...] recipe calls for active dry yeast. Since I always use instant yeast, I turned to my handy yeast conversion table and saw that I would need 0.75 teaspoon of instant yeast for every teaspoon of active dry [...]

  3. October 6, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    [...] made a few changes to the recipe. I used my yeast conversion chart to convert the active dry yeast called for in the recipe to instant yeast and ended up cutting back [...]

  4. November 20, 2010 at 8:08 am

    [...] I was using instant yeast, I didn’t have to dissolve it in water first, so I mixed the yeast with the flour, salt, and [...]

  5. November 14, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    [...] and bubbly. Rather than using yeast in the sponge, I added it to the dough. Since I was using instant yeast instead of active dry yeast, I added the yeast along with the [...]

  6. September 1, 2010 at 7:50 am

    [...] the remaining ingredients. I substituted instant yeast for the active dry yeast. Referring to my yeast conversion chart, I knew I needed just shy of two teaspoons of instant yeast. I mixed the dough, which was very [...]

  7. July 4, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    [...] across a recipe calling for active dry yeast. Although I usually just convert the yeast using my yeast converter, I happened to have some active dry yeast in the fridge, so I decided to use it. Since it had been [...]

  8. Emily said,

    February 1, 2010 at 9:47 am

    Thank you for this yeast conversion chart! I recently began my adventures with the Bread Bakers Apprentice and only have active dry yeast on hand. You saved me from a bit of arithmetic!

  9. January 18, 2010 at 4:39 am

    [...] feel like looking up the conversion (even though one of my fellow BBA Bakers has created this handy yeast conversion chart), I just guessed on the amount of instant yeast to use, and I’m pretty sure that I guessed [...]

  10. January 11, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    [...] feel like looking up the conversion (even though one of my fellow BBA Bakers has created this handy yeast conversion chart), I just guessed on the amount of instant yeast to use, and I’m pretty sure that I guessed [...]

  11. stephanie said,

    December 31, 2009 at 4:28 pm

    Oh, I LOVE this!! How helpful and oh, how I wish I had this months ago! :) Thank you!

  12. December 31, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    [...] feel like looking up the conversion (even though one of my fellow BBA Bakers has created this handy yeast conversion chart), I just guessed on the amount of instant yeast to use, and I’m pretty sure that I guessed [...]

  13. Madam Chow said,

    May 22, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for this incredibly helpful post. I have a bread baking book that calls for fresh yeast in every recipe, and I’ve been having some trouble converting.

  14. Devany said,

    May 21, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    This is excellent information. I always thought that you should not use instant yeast (Rapid Rise) because you wanted the dough to rise slowly. I buy my yeast in large packages and it is only available here in the active dry form. Your conversion table is a big help.

  15. Lynn said,

    May 20, 2009 at 10:07 am

    Ooh, I so could have used this when I was making rolls this month! Great post.

  16. Kayte said,

    May 19, 2009 at 2:53 am

    Congrats on the new blog. This has been a most wonderful and welcome gift to our group…this little chart of yours. Thanks for so much for providing it for our use.


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