Yeast – Dry (Envelopes or Bulk) or Fresh Compressed Cakes

Yeast!  That Magical Little Fungus

Yeast serves many purposes in cooking and baking.  In baking it produces carbon dioxide which causes breads to rise.  Sure the process is much more complicated, but it’s the carbon dioxide we trap to make the raised bread.

Type of Yeast

  • Active Dry – The old standby in yeast for the home baker.  It must be hydrated in hot water 105-120ºF for use in recipes.
  • Instant Dry – This yeast is more processed and smaller particle size than active dry yeast.  It does not require proofing, and can be added directly to the flour.
  • Rapid Rise Dry – Basically the same as Instant just a different package according to Fleischmann’s® Yeast website.
  • Pizza Dry Yeast – Designed for use in pizza dough.  Not recommended for bread.
  • Bread Machine – Small jars of an instant/rapid rise yeast.  Better than the envelopes because they tend to be cheaper.  These are usually sold in 4 ounce brown glass jars.  They should be refrigerated once opened.
  • Fresh Compressed – Numerous size “cakes” of fresh yeast compressed into blocks.  This must be hydrated to use.  Follow direction on converting to/from a dry yeast product.  Normal package size is 0.6 ounce or 2.0 ounce.  Also packaged in larger cakes of 1 pound sized to industrial customers.  Refrigeration required.  Very perishable and a short shelf life.

Trifold Packs – So Expensive

Well sure it is expensive if you buy those trifold packs.  Yeast - Envelope PackageYou know these packs where you get 3 envelopes each containing 1/4 ounce or 7 grams or about 2-1/4 teaspoons.  In my area you can pick it up on sale for $1.00 but it usually cost somewhere between $1.50 and $2.00 a package.


Bulk Yeast – Cheaper Alternative

Yeast - 1 lb bulk

If you check out a bakery/restaurant supply store or a warehouse club you will see that you can get yeast in a 1 pound packs (vacuum packed.)

At my local Sam’s Club, I can pick up a 2 pack. . . that is 2 one pound bags of yeast just like this on here for about $4.39. That is right it is only four dollars and thirty nine cents.

Now I know you are going to ask, what are we going to do with one pound of yeast.    Simple, put it in a storage jar.  I use an old spaghetti sauce jar.  I store my yeast in the refrigerator and measure it out as needed.  I look at it this way. . . . $4.39 for 2 pounds,   $1.00 for a 3 pack of 1/4 ounce. . .so if I use 4 and 1/3 packs or 17 envelopes, I have paid for my 2 pounds of yeast.  In my storage I have had no issues with the Yeast - Bulk Open and Storedyeast lasting up to a year.  If you want to extends the life longer, place it  in the freezer.

Now the 2 one pound packs are just that one pound packages.  Yeast generally has a 2 year shelf life from the date of manufacture when vacuum packed.  The stores do not order a lot since it does not turn over very fast so it usually is on the fresh side. It holds well, and if I feel generous I offer my friends some yeast.  A small jar will hold several ounces, just write down the measuring chart for their convenience.

What would it cost to buy my yeast in those trifold packs?

Lets see. . . .a trifold pack is 3/4 of an ounce.  A bulk bag is 16 ounces so there are 21-1/3 trifold packs in a pound. . . now we double it for 2 pound so there are 42-2/3 trifold packs. . . .

Cost Trifold vs Bulk Yeast

Ok, lets do the math. . .$1.00 a pack – $21.33 a pound       or    $42.67 for the 2 pounds.

. . . . . . . .  at $1.60 a pack it is $19.73 a pound  or $39.46 for the 2 pounds

Ok I have seen it in 2 pound bread machine jars. . .

Me too, but that cost $4.50 to $5.25 locally. . . .

. . . . . . .  at $4.50 per 4 ounce jar . .  you are paying $18.00 a pound or  $36.00 for 2 pounds.

. . . . . . .  at $5.25 per 4 ounce jar you are paying $21.00 a pound or $42.00 for 2 pounds.

Now you see the savings. . . even with the 4 ounce jar, you are paying more than the 2 one pound packages at the warehouse club.

What about Compressed or Fresh Yeast

Growing up this was the old staple.  If you pick up any cookbook dated before 1960 you will most likely see it used fresh or compressed yeast.  A yeast cake came in 0.6 ounce or a 2 ounce cake.  It required refrigeration and had a short shelf life.  Most of the time unless you bought it right before you needed it it would go bad in your refrigerator.  The dried yeast help solve that problem.  Locally, none of my supermarkets carry fresh yeast. . maybe at Thanksgiving or Christmas time you might see it.  Bakeries, pizzerias  and bulk users still use fresh yeast.  A 0.6 ounce cake is the equivalent to 1/4 ounce dry yeast which is 2-1/4 teaspoons or 7 grams or 1 envelope.  The 2.0 ounce cake is the equivalent to the trifold package of dry yeast (3 envelopes).

One comment

  • Miki H

    This is very informative and what a savings idea – I will have to print this one off for my records 🙂

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