How to Make One Bag of Yeast Last

Being stuck at home has inspired many of us to try our hand at baking. As a result, there are now widespread reports of yeast shortages because the pandemic is destroying all that is good and pure. If you’re one of the lucky ones with a few packets of yeast left in the back of your closet, here’s an easy way to make the most of your limited supply.

It turns out that if you are careful and use the following strategies, you can make up to 18 (!) Loaves of bread or pizza crusts from one bag. What’s more, stretching the yeast doesn’t mean the recipes take more work. They may even take a lot less! So how do you make this magic happen?

Wait for the dough to rise

The easiest, easiest and most reliable way to stretch the last bag of yeast is to give the dough more time to rise. This gives the yeast more time to work, which means you don’t need to use it.

What’s more, all recipes requiring less yeast do not require kneading, which means they also require less active work. This means that those of us who are already manipulating a million things at once can enjoy fresh bread while maintaining a little more of our sanity.

The Budget Bytes website has a ciabatta recipe that uses just 1/8 teaspoon of instant or bread maker yeast to make a full loaf of bread. (I used active dry yeast, which works great too.)

To prepare this ciabatta, mix two cups of flour, ¾ teaspoon of salt and 1/8 teaspoon of yeast with one glass of water, and then let it brew at room temperature for 14-18 hours. This longer rise time allows less yeast to be used. Once it rises, shape the dough into a loaf, let it sit for another 2 hours, and bake at 425 ° F for 25 minutes, until it turns golden brown.

One standard packet of yeast contains about 2 ¼ tsp. According to my calculations, this means that you can make 18 loaves of this aromatic ciabatta from it. Given that one packet of yeast typically yields about one large loaf or two smaller loaves of bread for a standard recipe, this is a significant difference. This also means that one packet of yeast that sits so miserably in your closet can actually make quite a lot of bread.

Result: airy ciabatta with a chewy crust.

For this bread, I used a 3: 1 mixture of all-purpose flour and whole wheat. (The original recipe just used all-purpose flour.) The result was a light, fluffy, chewy bread that barely had time to cool before being dipped in olive oil. and ate it. Best of all, I was able to fit this bread into a schedule that also includes caring for an extremely energetic toddler and regular deadlines. It took all ten minutes of work to create it, including cleaning. I suppose this does not include the 18 hour wake-up time, but it does take sleep.

I should also point out that I am not, in any form or form, an experienced baker, which means that ten minutes was actually ten minutes, as opposed to ten minutes in Martha Stewart’s recipe time, which rightly implies a chef – the chef. ability level and sous-chef to handle all the prep work.

My own baking experience is that I have often watched The Great British Baking Show while on maternity leave, while my criteria for the recipe are that it must be completely reliable; otherwise I will find a way to screw it up. The fact that this loaf of bread turned out to be just as good is a testament to how easy it is for beginners.

Use a little yeast to make lots of focaccia and pizza.

Besides the ciabatta, Budget Bytes also has focaccia and pizza dough recipes that work in a similar way. The focaccia recipe, which bakes the entire baking sheet, uses just a teaspoon of yeast, while the pizza dough recipe requires only 1/8 teaspoon. All of these recipes are basically the same: flour, salt, yeast, and water for the dough, as well as some olive oil and cornmeal for baking. Simple but effective – and effective.

We hope the yeast is back in stock in a month or so, once we all take control of our baked goods. Until then, you now know how to get this last batch of yeast to produce a lot more than you imagined.


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