Learn about different types of yeast and their functions in simple words in this post so that you are able to use them easily in your baking. Also, a conversion chart is shared so that you can replace one type of yeast with another type of yeast if need be. 


Baking bread at home is common nowadays and seeing the trend you also decide to bake one for your family. Fully geared up, browse through the internet. So many eye-catching pics of bread, so many easy recipes. After a lot of comparisons, reading, struggling with everything, you finally make up your mind on one recipe. But, what this ‘one packet yeast’ means? What is instant yeast? What is active dry yeast? Are they different? Or just different names of the same thing? One recipe says proof yeast other doesn’t… Why so? And what does proofing means?

Friends, this is my story. Around 10 years back, when I decided to try my first bread, many such questions popped up in my mind. I am sure, you too must have faced such questions… if not all at least some, Right?

So, let us try to understand this complex yeast. Understanding yeast in baking is very important. Once you have mastered that, half the battle is won.

As you all know through my earlier article that there are three main leavening agents— Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Yeast. The first two we have already discussed in the post titled Difference Between Baking Soda and Baking Powder. Now let us discuss yeast.


Must Read:  Basic Steps Involved In How To Make Bread


What Is Yeast?

Yeast is a single-celled microorganism related to mushrooms. Out of more than 1500 species of yeast, just one, Saccharomyces cerevisiae  (which means sugar-eating fungi), is used in the kitchen. Other than baking bread, the same species of yeast is also used for brewing beer, making wine, and other food products such as soy sauce and vinegar. It is called both Baker’s yeast as well as Brewer’s yeast.


What is the Function of Yeast in Baking?


What are Different Types of Yeast?

Baker’s yeast is available in various forms, which differ mostly by the content of moisture in it.  There are mainly two types of yeast:

We will see how they are different from each other but before that let us see what these terms mean.

Fresh Yeast


Active Dry Yeast

1 Package Active Dry Yeast = 2.25 tsp or 7 gms or 0.25 ounce


Instant Yeast


Rapid Rise Yeast


Difference Between Different Types Of Yeast

To summarize, Fresh Yeast, Active dry yeast, and Instant yeast are more or less the same except for the following two differences :

They all follow the same principle of dough rising once, then punched down, then rising again, and finally going into the oven.

These can be used interchangeably, with variations in measurements.


Conversion Chart

Or, in more simple words,

1 tsp Active Dry Yeast   =  3/4 tsp Instant Yeast

1 tsp Instant Yeast   =  1.25  tsp Active dry Yeast.

8.5 Grams Fresh Yeast = 1 tsp Instant Yeast

5.7 Grams Fresh Yeast = 1 tsp Active Dry Yeast




Q) How much yeast is to be used in baking bread?

The Lower the amount of yeast more is the rising time hence the more flavor in the bread.

The exact amount of yeast needed to rise bread dough depends on three things:

Q) How to proof yeast?

Read in detail in my post: Basic steps involved in making bread


Q) What is meant by terms like proofing, knockdown, kneading the bread dough, etc?

Read in detail in my post: Basic steps involved in making bread


 Q) Why my bread didn’t rise?

You took utmost care in everything yet your bread didn’t rise. Why?

Look for the possible reasons…


Q)  Can Baking Soda/Powder Be Used In Place Of Yeast?

The short answer is “No” for the simple reason that both of them work in fundamentally different ways and should not be used as a substitute for each other.

Recipes that use Baking soda/powder rely on a chemical reaction for their rising properties. They react with acid/liquid and heat to create gases and create rising action. To aid this process many times we add lemon juice or buttermilk to the recipe, to support the rising action. The dishes need not be pre-prepared. And rising takes place during baking only.

Whereas, in the case of yeast, the dough needs to be allowed to “rise” before baking. In the process, they act on the sugar in the dough to create gases and alcohol, something which lends a very distinctive flavor and aroma. Yeast is most effective when used with a dough which is high in gluten, a starchy substance found in wheat which also aids in trapping the gasses in the dough. And that is why it is most effective with wheat flour dishes.

This was regarding some aspects of baker’s yeast.


Related Articles:


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Gratitude: My heartfelt gratitude to the following websites as the above article on the understanding of yeast is based on the information given therein:-


16 Responses

  1. Thank you Samira, for sharing recipes & information with integrity. I liked your recipes and found easy to follow with accurate steps. Tahnk you again 🙂


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