Prepare Your Yeast
Yeast is the essential ingredient in bread baking. Since yeast is a living organism, having fresh yeast and using it properly will help you be successful at baking.
Yeast activity may decrease if it comes in direct contact with salt or sugar.
Always use dry yeast at room temperature.
Using a thermometer is the most accurate way to determine the correct liquid temperature. Any thermometer will work as long as it measures temperatures between 75°F and 130°F.
Two ways to incorporate yeast into your dough
1. Yeast can be added directly to dry ingredients.
Use liquid temperatures of 120°F to 130°F for dry yeast.
Use liquid temperatures of 90°F - 95°F for cake yeast.
2. Yeast can be dissolved in liquids before mixing with the rest of the dry ingredients.
Rehydrating Dry Yeast before using gives it a "good start" - the yeast feeds on the sugar allowing it to become very active and ready to work in your dough.
Water is recommended for dissolving yeast.
Dissolve 1 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup 110°F-115°F water.
Add up to 3 packets of yeast, depending on your recipe, to the sugar solution.
Stir in yeast until completely dissolved.
Let mixture stand until yeast begins to foam vigorously (5 - 10 minutes).
Add mixture to remaining ingredients.
Remember to decrease the total liquids in your recipe by 1/2 cup to adjust for the liquid used to dissolve the yeast.