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Help!!! Can I use flour mixed with yeast???

I have made bread all my life, and I use regular "fast acting" yeast. So, I had a new recipe from America's Test Kitchen, and I unthinkingly started following it. It said 4 cups of flour and 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast tossed together. So that is what I did, when I realized, "this is wrong". Sure enough, I was supposed to use something called "instant" yeast. I know that you always dissolve yeast in warm water and a little sugar and wait for it to bubble and grow to make sure it still works. It has always been one of my favorite parts of breadmaking. Question#1 -- Can I use this flour mixed with yeast for something else, like pancakes? It seems so wasteful to toss it out. Question #2 -- Why, oh why, do they have all these different kinds of yeast now?

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  1. Go ahead and make your bread; it will be fine.

    1. But if I have not soaked the yeast ahead of time, how will it rise?

      1 Reply
      1. re: carol1945

        It will get soaked when you mix the liquid in. It will be fine.

      2. I agree -- carry on with the recipe - you'll just have to leave it a little more time to come alive and proof.

        Different uses, different yeasts.....kind of like why you find all-purpose flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, whole-wheat, bread, cake, pastry, etc., et.c, etc.,

        1. Interesting conversation on the various yeasts and amounts to substitute ( they agree with you- too many yeasts) :

          Question 2: I would not use yeast in pancakes- it would potentially mess with the normal rise.I also don't know that the yeast wouldn't make them taste odd given that it hasn't risen/developed. if the above doesn't let you use /adjust what you already have to the original ATK recipe, I'd google 4 cups flour and 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast to find some other recipes to use it for.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Debinky

            There are yeast pancake recipes. Often they use an overnight rise. The yeast provides more flavor than lift in pancakes.

            I don't see how yeast would harm regular pancakes. It's not going to grow in the short time between mixing and cooking.

            1. re: paulj

              This was my thinking: instead of investing the huge amount of time into the bread that may or may not work, why not do a half recipe of pancakes to see if yeast infused flour makes a difference? It would be an interesting experiment and not too much time invested. I wonder if the yeast would be crunchy???

              1. re: carol1945


                You could just stir some water into the mixture to make a loose batter, let it sit an hour or even over night, and then add the other pancake ingredients.

            2. re: Debinky

              Here's a pancake recipe that uses only yeast for leavening and rises in one hour. They are delicious, especially with savoury toppings. It's what I'm having for dinner tonight.

            3. I have done this (mixed yeast with flour) many times with both fast-acting and "active dry" and instant yeasts. In fact, I learned to do it because one can use hotter water.
              Here is a good discussion of yeast types: http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/2815...

              1. Oh, thank you all!!! Just knowing someone has done this has given me courage. (I hate cooking failures.) It makes sense that I could use hotter water. This is a better solution than trying to use the flour in some other dish. And to find out traveler jim has made this error (which I am sure is common, the jars look exactly alike) but still got the bread to rise, well, I will report back.

                I did go to most of the yeast websites, and I even emailed Fleischmans!!!

                9 Replies
                  1. re: travelerjjm

                    Oh, that is really interesting. Does the bread turn out differently done that way? Maybe it really doesn't make a big difference.

                    1. re: carol1945

                      Not as I have done it. I now mostly use the recipes from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day.

                      When I have done more traditional bread I have mixed the yeast with about 1/3 of the flour and then added the warm water. I learned (a better expert can confirm this or not) that the reason we did the yeast alone for years was because there was so much bad yeast.

                      I don't know of any bread machine recipes that call for proofing yeast first.

                      1. re: travelerjjm

                        I do ABin5 as well. I've been using Health ABin5 for the last few months, and the method has changed from that in the 1st book. The first book tells you to mix the water and the yeast first; Healthy ABin5 tells you to mix all of the dry ingredients together, THEN pour it into the liquid -- usually just water, but could also be water+oil+honey. I buy my yeast in 2lb bags from KA, and keep it in the fridge. I've never had a problem mixing it in with the rest of the dry ingredients then adding the liquid.

                        1. re: PattiCakes

                          Hee Hee. That is what I have been doing all along. I sometimes mix a little flour with the yeast and then add water, and adding the flour and salt later.

                      2. re: carol1945

                        You don't have to proof yeast in water to start bread. If you have ever tried the no knead bread recipe, you mix flour, yeast and salt together. Water is then added. You get a slow rise due to the small amount of yeast. The bread will be fine. The rise time may be different.

                        1. re: Bkeats

                          +1 "Proofing" yeast is something done only by home cooks and is completely unnecessary (assuming you have viable yeast)
                          The caveat, IME, is that ADY does have a tendency to take longer to dissolve than IDY. This doesn't really matter if you are working with higher hydration doughs because there's enough exposure to enough liquid, but with very stiff doughs I would make a habit of grinding ADY in a mortar and pestle if adding it dry. I have experienced cases where there are still undissolved yeast granules present after kneading.

                          1. re: splatgirl

                            It has always been a great pleasure for me to watch the yeast bubble up, even though it was a hassle to dissolve it first. I see now it is not needed. It feels like a loss to me, though, sigh.......

                            1. re: carolee1945

                              Well by all means, don't let us change what you're doing if it makes you happy! I completely understand. I am the luddite who insists on using (and keeps in her purse) a waiters wine key even in the presence of those fancy "Rabbit" or electric wine openers simply because I enjoy the ceremony of the process.

                  2. I haven't bothered to dissolve yeast in water before mixing in many many years.

                    1 Reply
                    1. funny that your question was in regards to an Americas Test Kitchen recipe...
                      I got on looking for some of advice on exactly the same subject from a recipe from that same web site. Glad to see I wasn't as alone as I thought
                      Thanks to everyone for your help

                      1. I guess you guys are into bread. Just did a recipe where yeast is add to total water amount then salt, then add flour. Says it takes 1 1/2 hrs to rise. In 30 mins it had more than double. This is just for your info