This recipe for poppy seed rolls calls for 1 large yeast. How much yeast am I supposed to use? I usually see recipes measure it in teaspoons, but I can’t guess how much “large” is. I am also assuming this is active dry yeast, maybe it’s not and that’s the reason why the size is weird.

2 Answers 2


This is short for “1 large cake of yeast.” According to this investigation, cakes of yeast traditionally came in two sizes:

  • Small, around 3/5 of an ounce
  • Large, around 2 ounces

This similar recipe gives the substitution “1 large yeast or 3 envelopes dry yeast.”’

  • I got around to making this over the weekend and the amount of yeast listed here for substitution worked out great! Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 22:37

A typical conversion I know of is to use 1/3 as much dry yeast as fresh yeast. If we take James McLeod's answer, then a "large" yeast should be replaced with roughly 18 g of dry yeast (close enough to 3 envelopes á 7 g) and a "small" yeast cake should be replaced by 0.2 ounces dry yeast, or 5.6 g yeast (most recipes will tolerate a full 7 g envelope).

I grew up in the 80s and 90s with 42 g cubes of fresh yeast, if you have a recipe for one of these, use 14 g dry to replace. Sadly, I don't know of any way to make sure whether a recipe refers to the sizes James McLeod's answer uses, or the 42 g size - you will have to take your best guess based on the time and place the recipe was written down.

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