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Baker's Yeast in Toronto?

justints Feb 2, 2009 09:19 AM

Hello All,

I've been working on my bread making and want to take things up a notch past using the dried yeasts. I am wondering if anybody has a source for fresh baker's yeast in Toronto? I'm told it produces a better flavour and comes in a little fresh cube that you have to keep refrigerated

Please let me know.


- J

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  1. j
    justints RE: justints Feb 25, 2009 05:49 AM

    OK...on the chase for this yeast still. I have tried all the health food stores in Kensington, many of the bakers in kensington (Cobbs said that they have it, that everyone asks for it, they refuse to sell it...hmmm) Swinging in wild desperation, I've even asked the bakers at Metro - big fat "no" there.

    Alas, the search continues. Anyone have any leads?

    - J

    4 Replies
    1. re: justints
      embee RE: justints Feb 25, 2009 06:43 AM

      Try contacting betterbaking.com. Marcy Goldman used to respond to this type of question, but seems to have developed attitude lately since her baking books became successful.

      Incidentally, don't be seduced by her books or recipes. They sound great, but are carelessly edited and apparently not tested before publication. Many recipes that sound wonderful and are described with great precision do not actually work.

      Bonnie Stern might also have some leads, or even be willing to sell you some, but she probably doesn't use it these days. She's hard to catch, but very approachable.

      Another source - perhaps a better one - is Lallemand Inc in Montreal, 514 - 522 - 2133,
      email: mdion@lallemand.com

      While I doubt that they sell retail, you never know, and they should be able to direct you to a retail outlet. The smallest quantity they package is two pounds, which is a helluva lot of fresh yeast. It doesn't keep well.

      I admit baking isn't my greatest culinary skill, but I've had very good luck with SAF instant yeast. I used to buy little cubes of fresh yeast in the dairy dept at Steinberg's (Miracle Foodmart), but haven't looked since that chain disappeared.

      1. re: embee
        MatiFrancis RE: embee Sep 10, 2009 06:16 PM

        I have not been able to SAF instant yeast in Toronto, ON. Please let me know where to find it.
        Thank you,


      2. re: justints
        Abbeshay RE: justints Mar 8, 2009 04:24 PM

        Please call a Fortino's location near to you and speak to someone in the bakery department. If they still make thier own big, square pizzas, chances are good that they're using fresh yeast for the dough. I know that they used to sell it, cut in pieces like a block of butter. Someone told me that Lady York Supermarket sells it , as well, and I think some people recommend trying italian bakeries that make thier own pizza dough.

        1. re: Abbeshay
          lamaranthe RE: Abbeshay Mar 22, 2009 08:56 AM

          Yes, you'll find it at Lady York, fresh cheese section.

      3. k
        kaka RE: justints Feb 25, 2009 06:27 AM

        You can try going to European grocery/deli stores. The one I used to go to is Karpaty Pastry & Deli Ltd in Mississauga. Not sure if they still carry it. It was about $2 for a cube.

        1. t
          T.O.chowfan RE: justints Feb 25, 2009 06:35 PM

          in the far past, i've been able to buy it at Haymishe on Lawrence and Bathurst.

          Also, just ask at any bakery that actually bakes on premises - some still use fresh yeast. (i was able to get it once at a bakery that does bake in the store - but they don't sell it, it was just a really nice gesture from the staff - so they probably won't do it again)

          1. c
            Carruthers RE: justints Feb 26, 2009 07:44 AM

            I'm pretty sure that I've seen it at the Leslieville Bulk Barn. I didn't buy any though so I'm not certain if it is what you'relooking for. Maybe call first.

            1. y
              yaddayadda RE: justints Feb 26, 2009 10:17 AM

              Try any of the more "traditional" bakeries, the small ones run by older established immigrant families. I think Serano on Pape will sell you some yeast, if I'm not mistaken. Otherwise, wherever they bake bread, they can sell or give you some if you ask nice.

              7 Replies
              1. re: yaddayadda
                jkmanosque RE: yaddayadda Mar 1, 2009 06:31 PM

                Keep this a secret and don't tell anyone.....you can buy fresh yeast at tre marie bakery on st. clair ave west its about a half a block east of oakwood on the south side. They sell it in the cheese area, to the public, individually wrapped for about two bucks - no need to try to smooze the bakers or the owners, its all out in the open.
                Happy bread baking!!!

                1. re: jkmanosque
                  justints RE: jkmanosque Mar 4, 2009 03:31 PM

                  Fantastic feedback everyone! Thanks. I will go yeast hunting again this weekend and report back. I have a couple of pork bellies curing - one maple and one panccetta-style and will hopefully be making a home smoked bacon sandwich on bread made with fresh yeast this weekend. MMMM.

                  - J

                  1. re: justints
                    iamafoodie RE: justints Mar 7, 2009 07:24 AM

                    J. for a little added inspiration this blog could be of interest.

                    Happy baking.


                    1. re: iamafoodie
                      justints RE: iamafoodie Mar 10, 2009 08:52 AM

                      This is a great article! Nicely written - like a hero's journey in search of micro organisms! I have to say that my search has been similar - I've been met with confusion, indignation, and contempt. I will find it! A friend of mine just reported that her boyfriend found it in Kensington of all places.

                      I could not locate the Tre Marie Bakery on St Clair. Perhaps they've closed down. I drove by a couple of times this weekend and resigned myself to trying a rye bread with instant yeast - I did a 24 hour sponge in the fridge and that seemed to give it a bit of a kick. It was a success and went great with the home cured/smoked bacon I did this weekend!

                      The search continues.

                      - J

                      1. re: justints
                        jkmanosque RE: justints Mar 11, 2009 10:49 AM

                        1311 St. Clair Ave West. check the cheese section - it will be wrapped in saran wrap. it's an excellent bakery.


                        1. re: jkmanosque
                          justints RE: jkmanosque Mar 21, 2009 01:57 PM

                          Success! Thank-you jk.

                          I am in possession of a lovely chunk of fresh yeast! They told be that I can freeze it which is fantastic...looks like I have enough for a dozen loafs. The proprietor told me that I can cube it and freeze it.

                          Not only did I get the yeast, but they have those great whole cured anchovies and a couple doors down, there's a really good store called Diana's in which they have all manner of artisan pasta and Italian groceries. I managed to find Farrow wheat flour there so tomorrow I'll be baking a loaf of farrow bread with fresh yeast.

                          Thanks everyone for all your help locating this. It turned out to be a very worthwhile search.

                          - J

                          1. re: justints
                            jkmanosque RE: justints Mar 21, 2009 07:44 PM

                            great news, tre marie has excellent ciabatta bread; what the heck is farrow wheat flour?

                            happy bread baking!!!!

              2. f
                FrenchSoda RE: justints Mar 2, 2009 05:40 AM

                Does anyone know of any locations to purchase fresh yeast in Peterborough?

                1. l
                  lamaranthe RE: justints Mar 10, 2009 01:20 PM

                  Lady York, 2939 Dufferin, North of Glencairn. Look at the fresh cheese section.

                  1. i
                    iloveoliveoil RE: justints Mar 21, 2009 04:25 PM

                    i've found it before at a bakery on bloor just a half block west of runnymede, (north side) i think its called astra or something.........

                    1. e
                      eljardinero RE: justints Mar 22, 2009 08:13 AM

                      The Jamaican bakery in Kensington sells it at $2 a half pound, or you can get the whole $4 brick but it's not a good idea. You can freeze it, sure, but it'll probably be flat dead if you leave it for more than two months. If you decide to freeze some, don't keep it tucked into the shelf on the freezer door.

                      1. BeeRich RE: justints Aug 13, 2013 07:02 AM

                        Try a Brew-Your-Own or a microbrewery for leftover yeast. Since the moderators won't let me post about culturing your own (they probably don't understand what that means), so I'll have to send you somewhere instead of giving you instructions to save you time, hassle, and money. You can do it yourself, but I've been told not to suggest that.


                        2 Replies
                        1. re: BeeRich
                          jayt90 RE: BeeRich Aug 13, 2013 07:41 AM

                          I could try that, but realistically, a microbrew could have liability problems selling leftover yeast. Brewer's yeast (consistency of cheese) is a commercial product for bakeries, and has to be processed, tested and packaged to be safe.

                          The biggest boost to my home baking came when I discovered the 1 kg bricks of Red Star yeast ($4) at Costco. Haven't looked back.

                          1. re: jayt90
                            Nevy RE: jayt90 Aug 13, 2013 08:22 AM

                            +1 for the large yeast bricks at Costco. It's a steal if you have a Costco membership.

                            If you don't have one, I strongly suggest the SAF yeast found at vanilla food company. I may actually like the SAF yeast better than the Red Star but it's more expensive. Vanilla food company has been fantastic. Often it's next day delivery when I order from them (which includes some really wonderful flavourful and moist vanilla bean selection).


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