Yeast: The Scariest Thing In The Kitchen

Interesting notes about yeast and how to work with it.

My Foray Into Food Storage

Yeast.   Just the word instills fear into the hearts of cooks everywhere.  Since fear is often rooted in mystery, I’m going to dispel some of the mystery surrounding baking yeast.

What is yeast?

Yeast is “a microscopic fungus consisting of single oval cells that reproduce by budding, and are capable of converting sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide” (

Yeast. Yeast proofing.

What does yeast do?

Simply put, yeast makes bread rise.  The gas it expels creates bubbles within bread dough making it lighter in texture than an unleavened bread (think flat bread: tortillas, matzo, etc.).

See the bubbles?  That's from the yeast! See the bubbles? That’s from the yeast!  Want to make this bread?  Here’s the recipe.

Is there more than one kind of yeast?

Yes.  This post focuses on baker’s yeast, but there is also nutritional yeast and brewer’s yeast.  There are three basic types of baker’s yeast: Cake (fresh) yeast, Active Dry yeast…

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