How to Substitute Instant Yeast For Active Dry Yeast

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If you’re into baked goods, you likely know the power of active dry yeast. But have you ever wondered how to substitute instant yeast for active dry yeast? If so, you aren’t alone. The two are vastly different yet they typically achieve the same results. Want to know more? Keep reading.

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yeast bread

Active Dry Yeast vs Instant Yeast

Questions when baking are bound to crop up.

From “Can I Use Yeast Instead Of Baking Powder?” to “What’s the Difference Between Brewer’s Yeast vs Baker’s Yeast For Bread?”, chances are, you’ve got questions when your baking in the kitchen.

Thankfully, we’ve got the answers you need!

In order to know how to propely use yeast when baking, it is first important to define the difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast.

Yeast, in and of itself, is defined as a single-celled organism that is often used in bread, wine, and beer. It requires moisture, warmth, and food to thrive. 

Active dry yeast is a type of yeast that needs to be “proofed” before it can be added to whatever it is that you are making. This means you will need to dissolve it in warm, but not hot, water for it to activate.

Instant yeast, on the other hand, does not require proofing. This means that you can put your yeast directly into your recipe.

You will, however, still need to add any amount of water or liquid that your recipe calls for, especially if you are converting a recipe that uses active dry yeast into a recipe that you can use your instant yeast for. If you neglect to add this water, you could end up ruining your dish!

Instant Yeast to Fresh Yeast

Remember, instant yeast does not require proofing, unlike its active yeast counterpart. As such, instant yeast is often marked at a higher price point in grocery stores as it allows you to skip the proofing process.

Still, active dry yeast has its benefits, especially given that it is more cost-effective and doesn’t take much time to proof

Homemade bread

Can You Use Instant Yeast in Place of Active Dry Yeast?

Yes, you can!

It is perfectly fine to use instant yeast in place of active dry yeast.

In most cases, you may be able to use the two yeast interchangeably at a 1:1 ratio. Just be sure not to proof instant yeast and be sure to allow for an extra 10-15 minutes of rise time if you use active dry yeast as substitute for instant. The same goes for using instant yeast instead of active dry yeast– be sure to decrease rise time by 10-15 minutes when swapping the two in this order.

Confused? Don’t worry. You can simply buy both and use whichever of the two your recipe calls for!

Is Quick Rise Instant Yeast the Same as Active Dry Yeast?

No.

Active dry yeast requires proofing while instant yeast does not. 

And in case you were wondering — “quick rise” yeast is the same as instant yeast, though they sometimes go by different names in the store. Instant yeast, rapid-rise, bread machine yeast are all the same! 

How Do I Convert Instant Yeast to Active Dry Yeast?

How Much Instant Yeast Is Equal to Active Dry Yeast?

It is usually okay to substitute your instant yeast for active dry yeast at a 1:1 ratio.

Having said that, some sources recommend that you slash the amount of instant yeast you use to about 25 percent less when substituting for dry active yeast.

Whichever you choose to do, the results shouldn’t be too different.

1 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast to Instant Yeast

One tablespoon of active dry yeast is the equivalent of one tablespoon of instant yeast.

However, if you plan to reduce your instant dry yeast, try using only ¾ of a tablespoon instead of the full tablespoon and check your results.

2 oz Fresh Yeast to Dry Yeast Conversion

Two ounces of fresh yeast will typically convert to about 1 ½ tablespoons of dry yeast.

That’s because in order to convert fresh yeast in a recipe to dry you’ll take the fresh yeast quantity and multiply it by 0.4. Thus, when you multiply 2 o.z by 0.4, it yields 0.8 ounces which is, roughly, equivalent to 1 ½ tablespoons. 

Can You Activate Instant Dry Yeast?

You don’t need to activate instant dry yeast; at least not in the traditional way.

You don’t need to soak instant dry yeast to “proof” it before mixing it with other ingredients. All you need to do is put your yeast directly into the mixing bowl.

You do, however, still need to add the liquid component of the recipe you are using in order for the dish to turn out correctly.

Make sure also that the water is warm, but not too hot, when adding. 

brown wooden rolling pin on black textile

How to Use Instant Yeast

Still unsure of how to use instant yeast: It’s simple!

Follow the directions below to get started.

  1. Gather your ingredients.
  2. Look over the recipe that you’re using. 

If the recipe requires dry active yeast and a designated amount of water or other liquid, be sure to add the liquid to the recipe but do NOT proof your yeast in the water. Simply pour the granulated instant yeast and your liquid into your mixing bowl. 

If your recipe requires instant yeast, simply follow the recipe directions as stated. Remember that instant yeast does NOT require proofing. 

3. Add the rest of your ingredients. 

4. Continue with your recipe as normal.

FAQ

Which is better: Active dry yeast or instant yeast?

That depends on the type of recipe you are using. For artisan bread and other bread types, it may be preferable to use active dry yeast. Quick-rising breads, however, are generally made with instant yeast. Nevertheless, for many recipes, you will likely find the results of both yeasts to be similar when used correctly.

Instant Yeast and Active Dry Yeast: Same Results, Different Process

In general, instant and active dry yeasts are interchangeable in recipes and can be used at a 1:1 ratio. Just remember that your instant yeast will not need to be proofed in warm water and that your active dry yeast will. We hope this has answered your questions about the two different types of yeast. Happy baking!

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

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