Earlier this week I blogged about my run ins with active dry yeast. I decided to do an experiment to see if merely increasing the amount of active dry yeast would give the same results as using a smaller amount of instant yeast.
According to The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, all of the recipes call for instant yeast. A recipe using instant yeast is using 33% of the amount of fresh yeast that would otherwise be used. A recipe using active dry yeast is using 40 to 50% of the amount of fresh yeast that would otherwise be used. Hence, you should be able to use the same proportions to figure out the amount of active dry yeast to use.
Using my phenomenal cross-multiplication skills (spoiler: I used a calculator) and, as my 7th grade math teacher would say, “divide by the lonely guy,” I was able to determine the amount of active dry yeast to use (1/2 teaspoon became, roughly, 3/4 teaspoon).
I applied this new found knowledge (suddenly I feel like I’m writing an academic or scientific whitepaper…) to a batch of pâte fermentée and then a batch of baguettes. I was also more cognizant of the called for water temperature. While making the starter, I added the yeast directly to the water and then into the dry ingredients. For the baguettes, I added everything together and did nothing special.
The results were three normal but misshapen (through no one’s fault but my own) baguettes. Oh and tasty. Three normal, misshapen, tasty baguettes.