Substituting Active Dry Yeast for Instant Yeast

By: Bob's Red Mill | May 12 2022

If you're always baking up something new, you've probably discovered the importance of keeping yeast stocked in your kitchen pantry. That being said, there's always a time when we run out of essential ingredients and require a quick 1-to-1 substitution. For example, if you're baking a recipe that calls for active dry yeast and have not replenished your stock of it yet. Don't worry. With just a few tips and tweaks, instant dry yeast can be substituted for active dry yeast to produce the same results. Continue reading to learn more about replacing active dry yeast for an instant in your favorite recipes.

How to Substitute Active Dry Yeast for Instant Yeast

For several decades active dry yeast was the most common dry yeast used. The main thing separating active dry yeast from other types is that it must be rehydrated in liquid before being added to the dough. Along with liquid, a pinch of sugar can also be added to proof the yeast and ensure it is still alive. Typically, if it bubbles within minutes of adding the sugar and warm water, the yeast is still active and will produce excellent results.

Active dry yeast is most commonly sold in small envelopes in grocery stores and is not as concentrated as instant yeast. This being, when substituting active dry yeast for instant yeast, you'll need a bit more active dry yeast to produce the same results. Therefore, to properly use active dry yeast instead of instant yeast in a recipe, we recommend multiplying the amount of yeast by 1.25. This being so, the usual measurements will be as follows:

Active Dry Yeast vs. Instant Yeast Measurements

1 tsp of instant yeast = 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp active dry yeast = ¾ tsp instant yeast

How to Substitute Instant Yeast for Active Dry Yeast

Artisan Bread

Instant yeast is undoubtedly the easiest type of yeast to bake with. Also known as fast-rising, rapid rise, quick rise and bread machine yeast, instant yeast is slightly different from active dry yeast. Because instant yeast granules are much smaller than active yeast, they absorb water quicker. As a result, the yeast cells begin the fermentation process faster and enhance the bread rise in just minutes. Additionally, instant yeast can be added directly to dry ingredients without proofing or rehydrating. Unfortunately, this convenience comes with a price tag, as instant yeast is usually more expensive than active dry yeast.

Instant yeast is also more enduring than active dry yeast and won't die off as quickly. Because instant yeast is added directly to the dry ingredients of the recipe, those same ingredients absorb some of the heat when water is applied. This being so, instant yeast can withstand water temperatures of 120°F to 130°F without risk of damage. That being said, if the yeast you are using is old or past its expiration date, you might want to proof the yeast before using. To do this, use some warm liquid and proof instant yeast just as you would active dry yeast.

Measurements for Substituting Instant Yeast for Active Dry Yeast

When substituting instant yeast for active dry yeast, multiply the amount of active dry yeast in the recipe by 0.75 to determine how much instant yeast you should use.

1 tsp active dry yeast = 3/4 tsp instant yeast

Substituting Dry Yeast for Fresh Yeast

Aside from active dry yeast and instant yeast, fresh yeast is another form of yeast that's often used to make great-tasting baked goods. Fresh yeast, sometimes called cake yeast, is a type of yeast that has never been dehydrated. Its freshness enhances baked goods by adding a subtle, yeasty aroma that dry yeast doesn't offer. Beyond that, fresh yeast functions in the same ways that dry yeast does.

Where to Find Fresh Yeast

When purchasing fresh yeast, you likely won't find it on the same aisle as active dry yeast. This is because fresh yeast requires refrigeration or freezing. Typically packed into small squares, its shelf life is much shorter than dry yeast, and its price tag is also more expensive. Fresh yeast can be found in the refrigerated section near the milk and butter and is often used by professional bakers and bakeries.

Measurements for Substituting Instant Yeast for Fresh Yeast

Just as active dry yeast and instant yeast are interchangeable, fresh yeast can also be used as a substitute for the two. When substituting dry yeast for fresh yeast, you'll want to consider the moisture content. As a rule of thumb, you should use three times the amount of fresh yeast in weight to achieve the same rising ability of instant yeast and 2.5 times the amount of active dry yeast.

How to Proof Fresh Yeast

Buckwheat Pancakes

To proof fresh yeast, begin by crumbling it into warm water with a bit of sugar and stir to dissolve. After ten minutes, the mixture should start to build foam if active.

Active Dry Yeast Recipes

Whether you've run out of instant dry yeast or prefer using active dry yeast in your baking recipes, you'll be happy to know that several baked goods can be made with active dry yeast. To begin using the active dry yeast in your pantry, choose from one of the delicious recipes below.

Bob's Yeasted Buckwheat Pancakes

There's nothing better than starting your day off with a comforting and delicious breakfast, and pancakes are just that. Here at Bob's Red Mill, breakfast is one of our favorite meals, which means that we've made our fair share of pancakes and Bob's Buckwheat Pancakes top our list of favorites. Made with active dry yeast, they're light, fluffy and full of rich and nutty flavors. Prepped and cooked in under 20 minutes, they're the perfect breakfast to make on mornings when you're craving something sweet and simple. Top them with a bit of maple syrup, or enjoy them with fresh fruit like strawberries and raspberries, any topping you choose is sure to be delicious.

No-Knead Artisan Bread

Fresh bread straight from the oven is the perfect comfort food. Toast it up for breakfast, top it with avocado, or turn it into a flavor-filled grilled cheese sandwich. This No-Knead Artisan Bread is the perfect way to use active dry yeast. Made with just four ingredients—Artisan Bread Flour, water, salt and Active Dry Yeast—it's simple to make and tastes delicious when combined with anything. Plus, with no kneading required it's a great recipe for beginners looking to make their first loaf of bread.

Gluten Free All Purpose Pizza Crust

Gluten Free Pizza Crust

It's no secret that crust can make or break a pizza recipe. Without a sturdy crust to add all of your favorite toppings to, you'll be left with a gooey mess. Luckily, making a great pizza crust is easy with the help of a bit of active dry yeast. As the yeast ferments, it will build a light and bubbly crust, fit to hold everything from pepperoni to pineapple. What's more, by following this Gluten Free All Purpose Pizza Crust recipe, you can create a pizza that even those with celiac disease can enjoy. Make a batch of this pizza dough for your next movie night in, or deliver a great-tasting dinner to family and friends.

Parmesan No-Knead Skillet Bread

Active dry yeast is an essential ingredient in nearly all bread recipes. While the no-knead artisan bread recipe mentioned above tastes delicious, there may be times when you're searching for something a bit more flavorful. To create a delightful dish that adults and children will rave about, make this Parmesan No-Knead Skillet Bread. Made with active dry yeast and our Unbleached White All-Purpose Flour, it's topped with flavorful grated and shredded parmesan cheese to create a treat perfect for pairing with marinara. All of the ingredients in this recipe are combined in one skillet, making for a quick and easy clean-up. 

Now that you know how to substitute instant yeast for active dry yeast, we hope you feel more confident baking with this ingredient. To use up the active dry yeast you have on hand, choose from one of the recipes above or visit our online recipe book to find one that sounds great to you. From pizza crust to pancakes and waffles, active dry yeast can be used to make an endless amount of great-tasting baked goods. From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, we wish you the best on your baking journey!

Do you enjoy using active dry yeast in the kitchen? We'd love to hear about the unique ways that you put this ingredient to good use. Share your favorite active dry yeast recipes with us in the comments below.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *