Instant Dry Yeast
Instant dry yeast (IDY) is a dream come true for every home baker. It is a powdered yeast consisting of millions of dehydrated single-celled organisms. When these organisms encounter water, they feed on sugar and starch in the dough, producing carbon dioxide and alcohol. This will cause your dough to rise. Thanks to modern science, this type of yeast can be added directly to flour or water and therefore does not need to be activated first, unlike its brother active dry yeast (ADY).
The word “instant” in IDY refers to the rate of hydration of the yeast. IDY is more concentrated than ADY. Because of the differences in moisture content between IDY and ADY, the rule is to use 25% less IDY than ADY to achieve similar fermentation rates.
IDY is flexible in the ways you can use it. A common way to make hand-kneaded dough is to start with water, then mix in the salt and a bit of flour. Once these are mixed together, add the yeast, then add the rest of the flour. The small amount of flour that you first added acts as a buffer between the salt and the yeast.
If you are kneading with a machine, start by adding flour and yeast to the bowl. Next, turn your dough machine on at a low setting and start mixing. Slowly add 90% of the water. Once the water is absorbed by the flour, add the salt. Finally, add the last bit of water to the dough and mix it for a few more minutes on a higher setting.
IDY loses its potency when stored incorrectly or when stored after the expiration date. Always store in a cool, dry place and check the use-by date.
Yeast is not a big fan of salt, so keep them separated when you make your dough.
Since temperature is the number 1 driver of fermentation, it is very important to use the right temperature for yeast fermentation. The optimum temperature range for yeast fermentation is between 90˚F – 95˚F (32˚C – 35˚C). Temperatures above 130°F (54°C) can seriously damage your yeast, so use caution.
When you make a dough with IDY, you can choose to add the yeast with your dry ingredients or with your wet ingredients. Both will work.