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I am used to baking with fresh yeast like this:

fresh yeast

Where I live now I can't buy this, so I have to make do with this:

not yeast

In accordance with the instructions I use 2 g of the "yeast" per 500 g flour.

How I tried using it:

  • Mix it with the dry flour before adding water
  • Dissolve it in water before mixing with the flour
  • Dissolve it in water with a teaspoon of sugar before mixing with the flour

I none of my attempts I got the dough to rise.

So before I bake my next brick bread, I wanted to ask: is it worth trying to add some baking powder?

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    When you dissolve it in water, are you proofing it (warm water, and letting it sit 10 minutes to see if it bubbles)? Or just mixing it right into the dough? Based on the end results it does sound like it might just be dead, but proofing tells you pretty clearly. – Cascabel Apr 6 '17 at 18:10
  • Can you pay for some (international) site to ship you a kilogram of dry yeast, or have a friend living abroad send it to you? If yes, you will have a long-time supply, it can sit in the freezer for months without getting bad, and one kilogram is enough for 15 kg flour. – rumtscho Apr 6 '17 at 18:26
  • @Jefromi Hm, seems so... here's half a tablespoon of yeast, half a tablespoon of sugar, 10 min, water starting at 45°C: i.imgur.com/nSaOVzL.jpg The little granules have swollen a bit and are swimming on the surface but there are no bubbles really. – AndreKR Apr 6 '17 at 18:57
  • @rumtscho You mean fresh yeast because dry yeast is what I have, isn't it? I will look into it. – AndreKR Apr 6 '17 at 19:00
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    I bake bread with dry yeast all the time with no troubles, but as @Jefromi points out, I proof it first and I keep it in the freezer. Not that this exactly helps your problem if your dry yeast is dead, but is making a sourdough starter an option? – Chris Macksey Apr 6 '17 at 23:18
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No, it is not worth trying baking powder. If your yeast is not working, it won't start working because you added baking powder, so you will get the same result as leaving out the yeast and using pure baking powder. Recipes meant for yeast cannot work properly with baking powder, so this is not a solution. You need a source for working yeast.

You seem to have concluded that dry yeast never works, but this is not true. You must have happened upon a bad brand, or maybe even a bad batch from an otherwise OK brand. Dry yeast works very well, and is even lower risk than fresh yeast, because it is less sensitive to bad storage. Just try a different source of dry yeast.

  • The taste with sufficient baking powder is very off-putting. – Wayfaring Stranger Feb 13 at 0:35

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