×

Our Pitmaster Club can up your game!
Benefits include:

• No more ads, faster page loads!
• "The Pit" forum with tons of info & scores of recipes
• Monthly newsletter
• Video seminars with top pitmasters
• Weekly podcast with news and interviews
• Comprehensive Temperature Magnet ($10 retail)
• Monthly giveaways of Gold Medal grills and smokers
• Discounts on products we love
• Educational and social Meat-Ups
• Support for Operation BBQ Relief
• Support for Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
• Support for AmazingRibs.com!

AmazingRibs.com BBQ Logo

yeast spong pizza dough

The Science Of Yeast

Yeast is a living fungus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and it is everywhere in the air. Yeast eats carbohydrates, farts carbon dioxide, pees alcohol, and gets hot.

When making pizza dough and bread, the CO2 is captured in pockets of the "sponge" of wet dough (shown above), a process called leavening (remember, Moses didn't have time to let the bread leaven so they ended up with matzohs, flat crackers). The small amounts of alcohol make the sponge smell like fermenting beer, but it evaporates during the baking process.

There are several different types of yeast. There's yeast for baking, for brewing, for making wine, and for nutrition. For my recipes, I standardize on instant. When you bring it home, store it in the refrigerator, and keep an eye on the expiration date. After a while, the cells die.

Active Dry Yeast (ADY). This is the most popular and it can usually be found in grocery stores. It is live yeast that has been dehydrated into tiny granules and it goes into dormancy. It often comes in convenient small packets. You rarely use a whole packet so I recommend you decant it into a small spice jar with a tight lid. No harm, no foul. It remains viable for up to two years. To use it most people "proof" or "bloom" it by dissolving the granules in warm water with a bit of sugar. When it starts to foam, usually within minutes, they mix it in with the dry ingredients. But if you are lazy like me, you can skip this step. You can just mix it in with the dry ingredients and the slightly warm water. The moisture therein is enough to wake up the cells.

Instant Yeast (a.k.a. Quick Rise Yeast or Fast Rise Yeast). Similar to ADY, but the granules are more porous and it reproduces faster. It also has an expiration date of about two years.

Fresh Yeast (a.k.a. Cake Yeast or Wet Yeast). Fresh from the factory, you'll find it in the refrigerator of your grocery, and you must use it soon. The expiration date is only about eight weeks after packaging. You can crumble it right into the dough.

Sourdough Yeast. This is a type of yeast that produces a particular flavor and an intriguing acidity. It is usually kept alive in a jar of sponge called "starter" or "mother" in the fridge, and you make more sponge by mixing the starter with flour, salt, and water.

Return to top

Please read this before posting a comment or question

grouchy?1) Please use the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help, then please post your question on the appropriate page.

2) Please tell us everything we need to know to answer your question such as the type of cooker and thermometer you are using. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you. Please read this article about thermometers.

3) If you post a photo, wait a minute for a thumbnail to appear. It will happen even if you don't see it happen.

4) Click here to learn more about our comment system and our privacy promise. Remember, your login info for comments is probably different from your Pitmaster Club login info if you are a member.

Return to top

Return to top

LeaderDog.org Ad on BBQ site

About this website. AmazingRibs.com is all about the science of barbecue, grilling, and outdoor cooking, with great BBQ recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, and unbiased equipment reviews. Learn how to set up your grills and smokers properly, the thermodynamics of what happens when heat hits meat, and how to cook great food outdoors. There are also buying guides to hundreds of barbeque smokers, grills, accessories, and thermometers, as well as hundreds of excellent tested recipes including all the classics: Baby back ribs, pulled pork, Texas brisket, burgers, chicken, smoked turkey, lamb, steaks, chili, barbecue sauces, spice rubs, and side dishes, with the world's best all edited by Meathead Goldwyn.

Brought to you by readers who support us with their membership in our Pitmaster Club. Click here to learn more about benefits to membership.

Advertising. AmazingRibs.com is by far the most popular barbecue website in the world, still growing rapidly, and one of the 25 most popular food websites in the US according to comScore, Quantcast, and Alexa. Click here for analytics and advertising info.

© Copyright 2016 - 2017 by AmazingRibs.com. All text, recipes, photos, and computer code are owned by AmazingRibs.com and fully protected by US copyright law unless otherwise noted. This means that it is a Federal crime to copy and publish or distribute anything on this website without permission. But we're easy! We usually grant permission and don't charge a fee. To get reprint rights, just click here. You do not need permission to link to this website.