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Feb 2, 2009 09:19 AM

Baker's Yeast in Toronto?

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. 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

      Try contacting 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,

      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

        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

        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

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

      3. 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. 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. 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. 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

                Keep this a secret and don't tell 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

                  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

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

                    Happy baking.


                    1. re: iamafoodie

                      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

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


                        1. re: jkmanosque

                          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

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

                            happy bread baking!!!!