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Where to find fresh or cake yeast?

  • b
  • 9

I want to try Todd English's pizza dough recipe, which calls for fresh yeast. I looked in Shaw's, Trader Joe and Whole Foods and can't find it. (The late Bread & Circus used to have it.)


* Does anyone know where I can buy it in the Waltham/Watertown/Belmont/Arlington area?


* Can I successfully substitute active dry yeast?


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  1. Check in the yellow pages and call your local commercial bakery, especially if they have a retail window. Piantedosi's in Malden would sell you a frozen pound block of yeast that you could then cut into appropriate weights.

    1 Reply
    1. re: EMDB

      A google search yields a website indicating that Piantedosi's does still sell the yeast.


    2. f
      formerly grueldelux

      As far as I know, active dry yeast is basically cake yeast that's half dormant. The rule of thumb I used to use was one packet for 1 of the small cakes (around half ounce), but I'm out of practice with both kinds so I could be wrong. As for local cake yeast sources, good question. Have you tired the Harvest?

      1. From FoodSubs.com:

        fresh yeast = compressed yeast = active fresh yeast = cake yeast = baker's compressed yeast = wet yeast Equivalents: 2-ounce cake = 3 X 0.6-ounce cakes Notes: This form of yeast usually comes in 0.6-ounce or 2-ounce foil-wrapped cakes. It works faster and longer than active dry yeast, but it's very perishable and loses potency a few weeks after it's packed. It's popular among commercial bakers, who can keep ahead of the expiration dates, but home bakers usually prefer dry yeast. To use, soften the cake in a liquid that's 70° - 80° F. Store fresh yeast in the refrigerator, well wrapped, or in the freezer, where it will keep for up to four months. If you freeze it, defrost it for a day in the refrigerator before using. Substitutes: active dry yeast (Substitute one package or 2 1/4 teaspoons for each .6-ounce cake of compressed yeast) OR instant yeast (Substitute one package or 2 1/4 teaspoons for each cake of compressed yeast) OR bread machine yeast (Substitute 2 1/4 teaspoons for each cake of compressed yeast)

        In the Figs Table cookbook I don't remember the pizza dough calling for fresh yeast & I know I've made recipe before. If it does, I successfully subbed fresh dry yeast.

        1. Stop & Shop has it. At least the Super Stop & Shop in Waltham (Watertown?) near Russo's has it.

          1. the best source for this in the boston area is a place in watertown called 'paper and provisions'. it is located not far from russo's a block away from the corner where boston scientific is located.

            it's a foodservice store that has some of everything. you can get a 1 pound block of fresh yeast for $1.00. it's in the fridge case to the right of the registers as you walk in.

            you can taste the difference, btw.


            1. I have found cake yeast at Pennsylvania Macaroni Co.
              412-471-8330. They will ship to you. 1 pound is $1.99. Email www.pennmac.com and place an order online.

              1. Dredging up a very old post, but does anyone know if a. Paper and Provisions still sells fresh - compressed - yeast? and b. if there are other places in the Boston area that do. I've e-mailed a place in Malden, but that's not exactly right next door... There won't be any pain au chocolat if I can't track down a source...

                1 Reply
                1. re: Radiothomas

                  Call Savage & Co (baking supply) in Waltham to see if they carry it (781) 893-6600. Not certain about Paper and Provisions since the similar store in Somerville closed a long while ago, but if you can get access to Restaurant Depot (office supplies, affiliation with a restaurant) they do have it in their cooler section and are also in Needham. I think Paul Marks also carried it, but that is in Chelsea.

                  The small cubes are available all over the place if you need something to hold you over.