One of the seemingly odd ongoing scarcities that has resulted from the pandemic is that of instant yeast. I sort of get the way in which both yeast and flour ran out early on – people suddenly had plenty of time on their hands and the one thing that bread-making needs is time. I also understand how the supply of flour still hasn’t quite recovered but I find the lack of yeast a little perplexing still.
I make a lot of sourdough so I only need a little yeast and could probably get away with none. But the fact that I cannot get it means I am all of a sudden desperate to stock up. Alas I cannot. We have recently discovered that Morrisons has started to sell fresh yeast from their in-store bakeries. I had never used fresh yeast – I did once try dried but not instant and it was too much of a faff to activate it prior to use. Besides, I could get instant easy-bake yeast very easily so why bother?
Anyway, we got some fresh Morrisons bakery yeast and I tried it in some pizza dough at the weekend with positive results. So much so that today I baked my first loaf with it. The trick, it seems, is in using a bit of sugar to activate it before mixing it in.
Today I baked the loaf and it tastes amazing.
I am sure I will return to instant yeast once it becomes available again but this is a fine substitute and the longer it goes on the more likely I am to stick with it.