Instant yeast is superior to active dry. Here’s why

Emergency bread making

You are not making yeast in this process. You’re cultivating the natural or wild yeast dormant on flour and in the environment to ferment a yeast leavening agent called poolish, levain, starter, or sourdough.

Scientifically speaking: sourdough starter occurs when natural yeast and lactic acid bacteria grow on a mixture of flour and water, fermenting into a yeast starter within 3 to 5 days.

Next up, what is a leavening agent?

Removing starter dough from the jar

Removing 1/2 of the yeast starter when feeding an established yeast starter or levain is common among some professional bakers because it makes a more robust or active starter. It also reduces the sourdough taste of the bread. Some will throw the removed starter in the trash, but not me.

When my jar is complete, I remove 1/2 of my starter and fry little pancakes in olive oil. I eat them with hummus or butter and jam.

If you decide to remove your dough, there are many recipes to use the excess dough.

So, what is yeast starter?

The story behind yeast starter

Starter-Yeast-bread or leaving dates back to the Egyptians, it’s how our ancestors did it, and it’s how professional chefs and bread-baking connoisseurs do it today.

One difference between home bread baking with yeast packets and the homemade yeast starter is the pros and connoisseurs measure ingredients by weight on a kitchen scale versus measuring everything with spoons and cups.

I don’t have a kitchen scale, but I need to make bread now! The stores are out! Don’t fret. I have a recipe down below that is made with measuring devices.

Making your bread yeast also called “levain” or “starter,” is super easy. This yeast-making technique comes in handy in an emergency or if you want to make bread like a pro. All you need to do this is flour, water, and a jar with a cover. Natural yeasts in the air will start the process.

Lets’s take a look at the tools you need to start making yeast.

  • Clean Container with a lid (I use a 32 oz Ball Jar)
  • Water (distilled or filtered: Chlorine kills yeast. If all you have available is chlorinated water, boil it and let it cool to dissipate chlorine.)
  • Flour (any kind will do)
  • Measuring Spoon
  • Stirring Device (I use the back of a long-wooden spoon)

These bubbles are an indication the yeast is active.

It’s time to make some yeast.

Baking sourdough, cinnamon rolls, banana bread, and other forms of carb-filled comfort foods from scratch has once again become a respected pastime. As a result, we’ve been delightfully inundated with questions about things like baking better brownies and flour-free desserts. Take yeast, for instance. Most of us are very familiar with active dry yeast or could at least spot the packets on a grocery store shelf if pressed. Beyond that, many are unaware that there are several types of yeast you can use when baking, and the one you choose will make a difference in your final product. Let’s break down the differences between instant vs. active dry yeast and how that differs from fresh yeast.

How to remove chlorine from water

You can’t use chlorinated water when making yeast or bread starter because it kills the microorganisms that cause the magic to happen.  If you don’t have unchlorinated water there are two methods use can use to remove chlorine, boiling water or treating it with Campden tablets used by brewers.

#1 Boiling

Remove chlorine from your fermenting water by boiling it for 20 minutes and letting it cool to room temperature. Chlorine will naturally dissipate from water, but boiling the water speeds up the process.

#2 Campden Tablets

Some municipalities treat drinking water with chloramine because it is more stable than regular chlorine, but it is harder to get rid of. To remove chloramine use Campden Tablets, because boiling doesn’t work.

Campden tablets will remove chlorine and chloramine from yeast- starter-fermentation water.

If you want to plan your emergency water storage, check out the Ready Squirrel Article, a Beginner’s guide to water storage, for a comprehensive discussion of prepping for clean water in case a disaster strikes.

But toilet paper wasn’t the only thing missing from grocery store shelves.

As people stayed home and supply chains came to a screeching halt, yeast disappeared.

If you aren’t a baker, this may not seem like a big deal. But it is.

Many Americans buy store-bought yeast instead of making their own, so when there was a yeast shortage, baking and brewing stopped.

As much as we’d like to believe 2020 is far in the rearview mirror, that isn’t the case.

We are still dealing with supply chain issues. Add in diesel issues and inflation, and people have plenty of reasons to worry about yeast and other items, such as bread, remaining on grocery store shelves.

For example, Yahoo reports, “with the continuation of Russia’s war in Ukraine (the countries account for nearly 20% of global cereal grain production), ‘many bakeries and factories may struggle to obtain the necessary ingredients to make bread, leading to a potential shortage in 2023.’”

The good news is that wild yeast exists outside grocery store shelves.

Yeast occurs naturally, so if you know different methods for making your own yeast starters, you can become self-sufficient in the kitchen.

I haven’t used active dry yeast in my homemade bread, rolls, and pizza for nearly three decades. Not a single granule. And it’s not because I’m a sourdough purist.

So, what’s the deal? How do I get my dinner rolls to rise?

Instant yeast: the only type of yeast I’ve used in my kitchen since King Arthur introduced it to home bakers over 25 years ago. Specifically, I use SAF Red instant yeast (or SAF Gold for sweet breads). And in all that time (over 1,000 bakes later), I’ve never had a yeast-induced failure — not even the times when I used some 6-year-old SAF I discovered in the bottom of my chest freezer!

And it’s not just me who prefers instant yeast – it’s been a staple in both our King Arthur Test Kitchen and King Arthur Bakery for over 20 years.

Can you bake great bread with active dry, rapid, fresh compressed, or other kinds of yeast? Of course, and people did, for decades. But times change. Here’s why I always have instant yeast in my freezer — and why you should, too.

Making yeast bread? Instant yeast can be added to your mixing bowl right along with the other dry ingredients.

Instant yeast is simple to use

Mix instant yeast with your flour and other dough ingredients; there’s no need to dissolve it in warm water or another liquid first, as you might with active dry or other yeasts that need to be proofed (i.e., dissolved to ensure they’re alive). That’s one less step to take; 10 minutes proofing time saved.

Plus, instead of having to rip open the typical tiny pre-measured packet of active dry yeast — which might not even contain the amount you want to use — you simply have to spoon instant yeast from its 1-pound sack (or the container you’ve stashed it in).

Yeast dough made with equal amounts of instant yeast (left) and active dry yeast (right). After 1 hour, the instant yeast dough has risen higher.

Instant yeast works faster

Not only does it skip the proofing/dissolving step, instant yeast simply ramps up more quickly than active dry. Dough made with instant yeast and shaped into a loaf will rise to its optimal height significantly more quickly than a shaped loaf made with active dry yeast.

In fact, instant yeast is equivalent to rapid-acting yeast in initial speed, starting to raise dough almost immediately. But instant yeast will keep working long beyond the quick arc of rapid yeast, allowing you to refrigerate your instant-yeast dough for days and still get a good, strong rise at the end.

Instant yeast costs less

A pound of instant yeast is ridiculously inexpensive: you’ll only use about 11 cents of instant yeast (the equivalent of a standard 1/4-ounce packet) in each loaf you bake. Compare that to the $1.66 per one-loaf packet Amazon’s currently getting for active dry yeast; or even the 90¢ per packet charged at a typical supermarket. (Want to increase your savings even more? See How to bake bread using less yeast.)

If your recipe calls for active dry yeast, how do you substitute instant?

Substitute instant yeast 1:1 by weight or volume for any active dry yeast called for in your recipe. If your recipe calls for a packet of yeast (7g, a slightly heaped 2 teaspoons), use the same amount of instant. Simply add it to your bowl along with the flour and other dry ingredients; no need to dissolve it first. See? Quick and easy.

You don’t know how you’ll ever use up a pound of yeast? Stored in an airtight container in the back or bottom of the freezer, it can last for years. But honestly, you’ll love baking with instant yeast so much it won’t be around nearly that long!

Photography by John Sherman, food styling by Liz Neily

Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns are my family’s all-occasion favorite dinner and sandwich roll.

SAF instant yeast is used every day in the King Arthur Test Kitchen. It’s certainly my yeast of choice; and I hope from now on it’s yours, too. In case you’re curious, here are a few of my go-to (instant) yeast recipes:

Classic Sandwich Bread — This nostalgic pan loaf is close-grained, nicely sliceable, and perfect for sandwiches and toast.

Golden Pull-Apart Butter Buns — I’m absolutely required to make these soft white rolls for every family holiday dinner and gathering.

Grandma Pizza — Not super-thin, not ultra-thick, this crust is the perfect base for my favorite topping combo: sautéed portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, oven-roasted cherry tomatoes, and a mixture of mozzarella and provolone cheeses.

Soft Cinnamon Rolls – The tangzhong method (think Japanese milk bread) keeps these classic pull-apart-and-unravel rolls nice and soft for days.

Tuscan Coffeecake — Loaded with dried fruit and toasted walnuts, this rich, dense loaf features an inspired sugar-vanilla crackly glaze.

Want to know more? For a complete comparison of instant vs. active dry vs. rapid yeast, see Which yeast to use?

Cover photo and food styling by Kristin Teig.

About PJ Hamel

View all by PJ Hamel

When I posted this photograph from my Treasure Trove cookbook of a recipe for homemade yeast, I got a number of requests for the recipe. I was interested in the recipe, too, but sharing it wasn’t that simple. I had to decipher its meaning, track down its origins, and uncover its mysteries first.

Way back in the yonder mists of time, at some point people discovered there was this stuff in the air that worked magic to create goodies like bread and beer. I talked about capturing wild yeast in this post. In a nutshell, get a big jar or bowl (non-metal), 1-1/2 cups of warm water and 2 cups of flour. Stir it up good then let it sit undisturbed while you “catch” natural micro-organisms from the air. You can cover it with a mesh material, but be sure that it will allow air into the container. You need the fresh air. Let it sit for three or four days–if you have bubbles on the surface, you have yeast! If the mixture isn’t bubbling after three or four days, dump it out and start over. You might succeed on the first try or you might have to make a few attempts before getting a good mixture going. Alternatively, you can use “pre-captured” yeast from the store to start your sourdough. A sourdough starter is kept in a liquid form and has to be tended (fed) regularly. (You carry on feeding a mixture started with wild yeast the same as for a mixture started with store-bought.)

When our great-grandmas were baking bread, commercial yeast wasn’t available the way it is today and they made either a liquid yeast (similar to sourdough starter) or their own dry yeast, the benefit of the dry yeast being it didn’t have to be tended. For a dry yeast similar to what we commonly use today, they made a thick starter concoction, rolled it out, and cut it out in yeast cakes of a comparable size to what is in a packet of store-bought yeast today. (Sometimes they crumbled it–then just measured it out from there, the way we use bulk yeast.) At some point, they had to start with capturing their own wild yeast, but the effort (and potential failure) of that process would have made it so it was in their best interest to carry their yeast from batch to batch using a little of the old batch to start the new and thus avoid having to capture wild yeast as much as possible. They were scrubbing laundry on washboards and they didn’t have time for that. They needed to make sure they had yeast for their bread every day. And so this recipe isn’t so much about “making” yeast as it is about “extending” yeast post-capture. (You can’t actually “make” yeast–you have to get it from nature. Or get it from someone who got it from nature for you, such as Fleischmann’s.)

Whether you begin with capturing your own yeast from the air or use some store-bought yeast, that’s your starting point from which you can carry on your yeast forever. The recipe in the Treasure Trove book assumes you have some yeast to begin with (whether you captured it wild or not). The purpose of the recipe was to carry on the yeast. In the effort of deciphering this somewhat mysterious recipe (clearly written by someone who expected everyone to understand the basic principles, which many of us don’t today), I searched down numerous homemade yeast recipes. Every recipe was different in the measurements and sometimes in the ingredients. People made what they could make where they were, and everyone developed their own process that worked for them. This led me to the conclusion that it was not only okay but in keeping with old-time practice to develop my own process based on my best understanding of the recipe I have and what is available to me where I am.

Various ingredients were used to enhance fermentation in these old recipes, such as hops, peach leaves, and potatoes. The particular recipe I’m working with here uses peach leaves and potatoes. As it happens to be February and peach leaves aren’t available to me at the moment, I had to figure out what the peach leaves were about anyway. I constantly found peach leaves used interchangeably with hops in different recipes. Hops provide fermentation, flavoring, and a preservative quality.

As a result, I decided it was okay to leave the peach leaves out, at least for now as I have no peach leaves in February. Starting with store-bought yeast, I know I have a strong yeast at hand and I shouldn’t have trouble with fermentation. The flavoring seems inconsequential (or at least something I can do without under the circumstances), and as for preservation, yeast can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. With modern-day appliances at our disposal, we don’t have the same preservation concerns as our great-grandmas. That said, I’m going to tell you how to use the peach leaves if you have some available to you, and I intend to try it with peach leaves when I have some.

Here is the complete (and I use the term complete loosely) recipe as it appears in the book:

Some of the old recipes include salt, some don’t. The one I was using didn’t, so I didn’t add it. As a side note, there are also various old recipes that used buttermilk to start yeast. I might have to give that a try sometime, too.

Printer-FriendlyHow to make Homemade Yeast:

1 large potato*
a handful of peach leaves–if you have them
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ginger
3 cakes yeast (3 scant tablespoons or 3 packets–don’t use rapid-rise)
2 cups cornmeal

*How many potatoes you’ll need will depend on the size of your potatoes. I used one large potato. You want to end up with one cup of mashed potatoes.

Slice the potato thinly and boil. (IF USING PEACH LEAVES–boil the peach leaves along with the potato.) Strain the potato water into a bowl and set aside. (Remove the peach leaves, if using, at this time and discard.) Mash the potato with a small amount of the potato water and measure out one cup.

Place mashed potatoes in a large bowl and add the flour, sugar, ginger, and yeast.

Pour 1/2 cup of the reserved potato water over the mixture. Stir just enough to get everything mixed together. What you should have now is something akin to a pancake batter.

NOTE: Be sure to let the potato water cool to the temperature you would use if combining water and yeast when making bread before adding it to the bowl. Water that is too hot will kill yeast. If you don’t trust yourself to the fingertip test, use a thermometer. The water should be about 110-115 degrees. Set mixture aside to rise.

While the yeast mixture is rising, spread two cups of cornmeal in a large baking pan and dry it in a low oven for about an hour. Keep an eye on it–you don’t want it to brown, just dry.

When the yeast mixture is good and bubbly and growing up in the bowl, it’s ready.

How quickly that will happen will depend on the temperature in your house. For me, this took a couple of hours. You’re not making sourdough and letting it ferment for days here. Stir it down and start working in the cornmeal.

Work in as much as it will take. I used about two cups. You want it to the point where you can roll it out, so don’t work in so much you get it too dry to roll out. I reserved about a tablespoon of the dried cornmeal to dust on top while I was rolling it out.

Roll out thinly–as with pie pastry. At this point, you can cut it into “cakes” with a cookie cutter, or you can crumble it. Crumbles dry faster–I made crumbles. How long it takes to dry will depend on the temperature and humidity in your house. It could take a day, or several days. Cover loosely–it needs air to dry. (Use cheesecloth or paper towels–something light that breathes.) As it dries, start crumbling it apart with a fork occasionally to speed it along (if you’re making crumbles).

If you’re making cakes, just leave them alone until they’re dry. You can store the dried crumbles in a jar. Dried cakes can be wrapped separately or placed between layers of waxed paper. (Crumbled, this makes one quart jar.)

Use as you would any yeast from the store! By the way, you can use it before it’s dried and make bread right away if you want.

To store, you can keep it in the freezer for up to a year. (The freezer is the best place to store any yeast.) Take out what you need and bring it to room temperature before starting your bread. When you get near the end of it, take three tablespoons (or three cakes) and make the yeast recipe all over again.

Making your own yeast, you can turn three tablespoons of yeast into a whole quart jar of yeast–and that’s just on the first batch. You can carry it on forever and never buy yeast again. Is this truly necessary today as it was for our great-grandmas? Not really. However, it’s both frugal and satisfying nonetheless. And fun. If you want to experiment, start researching old yeast recipes and you can come up with your own method! There’s no right or wrong as long as your bread rises in the end. What’s interesting to me about it is that this is something every housewife everywhere knew how to do and probably taught their daughters to do as children. The process was so commonplace, they didn’t even need the details in the directions. Today, we look back on these recipes as if deciphering ancient hieroglyphs. Our mothers and grandmothers were quite happy to throw the whole thing out the window for Fleischmann’s packets on their way to the automatic dishwashing machines, TV dinners, and linoleum. And who could blame them. They’d had it hard enough. But for us, with so many conveniences in our lives, there’s something charming about the old ways–because we can pick and choose the ones we want to keep. Try homemade yeast–it’s fun!

Oh, and for the real test?

Grandmother Bread–made with homemade yeast. Very good, tender bread. Some of the best bread I think I’ve ever made.

Notes: I didn’t find the yeast proofed up in five minutes the way store-bought yeast does when I placed it in the bowl with water and sugar as I prepared to make bread, but I went ahead with the bread and it rose. So, be not afraid! If you’re unsure whether your concoction is good or not, go ahead and make a loaf of bread right away and you’ll know! Also, the dough took longer to rise as well. I suspect this is why it didn’t proof in five minutes like I expected–it needed more time. (Maybe they were using the sponge method.) I intend to continue experimenting with this recipe, trying the peach leaves when they’re available, and also trying less water. Next time, I’ll use 1/3 cup water, which will then require less cornmeal. That might make a stronger (faster-acting) yeast mixture. I’m also going to try the sponge method with it. I’ll update this post with results as I have them. In the meantime, go forth and experiment! Let me know what works for you. This homemade yeast made excellent bread.

There are a few home remedies that may help relieve vaginal yeast infection symptoms. These include garlic, vinegar, boric acid, and others. That said, it’s important to use them correctly and see a doctor if the symptoms don’t resolve.

A vaginal yeast infection (vaginal candidiasis) is a common condition caused by an overgrowth of a fungus that naturally lives in the vagina, called Candida albicans.

This overgrowth can trigger irritation, inflammation, itching, and painful discharge. Most folks with a vulva and vagina experience a yeast infection at some point during their lifetime.

If this is your first time experiencing the symptoms of a yeast infection, a good first step involves visiting a gynecologist or other healthcare professional to confirm you actually have a yeast infection and not another vaginal health condition.

Symptoms of a yeast infection

Common symptoms of vaginal yeast infections include:

How to diagnose a yeast infection

If you’ve never had a yeast infection before, it’s best to make an appointment with a healthcare professional to get a diagnosis.

Your clinician will ask about your health history and perform a pelvic exam, which involves examining your cervix, the walls of your vagina, and the surrounding area for external signs of infection.

They’ll also recommend some treatment options if they diagnose a yeast infection.

If you’ve previously had a yeast infection and suspect you have another one, you can try several home remedies to get relief. Some of these remedies use ingredients you might already have in your home.

Just keep in mind that the effectiveness of these remedies can vary, and evidence for their success remains mostly anecdotal.

Below, we’ll explore 11 home remedies for yeast infections and how they work.

Greek yogurt

Probiotics can be effective against C. Albicans — and yogurt can be considered a probiotic because it contains live bacteria, such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. These bacteria help promote a healthy environment in your vagina, and they can help address an overgrowth caused by an imbalance.

A 2017 study suggests that eating yogurt helps expand your gut microbiome, which can help reduce yeast in your body. If you don’t like yogurt, you can take a probiotic supplement or try other probiotic foods.

When it comes to using yogurt for a yeast infection, opt for plain Greek yogurt. Make sure the yogurt doesn’t contain any added sugar, flavoring, or fruit. Added sugar can fuel the growth of the Candida fungus.

To reap the benefits, try:

  • eating the yogurt
  • applying it to your vulva around your vagina
  • inserting it vaginally using a clean tampon applicator or your fingers

Boric acid

Boric acid is a powerful antiseptic, and some people claim it can help clear up yeast infections resistant to other remedies.

Boric acid vaginal suppositories may be used in combination with medications to treat vaginal infections.

However, boric acid is toxic in large amounts. It can lead to kidney damage, acute circulatory system failure, or death if you absorb too much. Avoid using boric acid on broken skin, and never take it orally.

If you’re pregnant, don’t use boric acid in any form. You may also want to consider another remedy if you have sensitive skin.

Discontinue use if you notice any discomfort.

Essential oil of oregano

Oil of oregano isn’t the same as common oregano, or Origanum marjoram, which you’ll usually find in your grocery store’s spice section.

To ease a yeast infection, search for oregano oil made from wild oregano, or Origanum vulgare.

A 2017 study suggests oregano essential oil may prove effective for altering the growth of C. Albicans.

Never ingest essential oils. Essential oils are meant to be inhaled as part of aromatherapy, or diluted with massage oil to use during massage. They’re also not meant to be used internally–external use only!

Probiotic suppositories and supplements

Probiotics can help restore the bacteria-yeast balance throughout your body.

Taking oral probiotics that contain strains of the Lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria can offer a number of health benefits, including helping bring your digestive tract and vaginal flora back into alignment.

Oral supplements can take several days to a few weeks to reach full effect, so some people use probiotics as vaginal suppositories to get results more quickly.

Evidence suggests probiotic suppositories can also help treat bacterial vaginosis (BV).

Coconut oil

Coconut oil is a fatty oil derived from the flesh of the coconut. The oil has many health benefits, including antifungal properties.

Research suggests coconut oil is effective against C. Albicans, making this home remedy one of the few with supportive evidence behind it.

To treat a vaginal yeast infection using coconut oil, be sure to buy pure, organic coconut oil. You can apply the oil directly to the affected area.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is an essential oil used to help kill fungi, bacteria, and viruses. In fact, research supports tea tree oil’s antifungal properties.

Research from 2016 suggests a combination of probiotics and vaginal suppositories containing tea tree oil may help treat vaginal infections.

More recent lab findings continue to support the antimicrobial activities of tea tree oil.

Tea tree oil is an incredibly powerful essential oil. So, you’ll always want to make sure you dilute it with a carrier oil, such as jojoba or coconut oil, if it’s going to touch your skin — undiluted tea tree oil should never touch your skin. And just as a reminder, essential oils should never be used internally!

If you can, opt to purchase prepared tea tree vaginal suppositories — this is the safest option.

Only use tea tree oil occasionally, and never swallow it. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll generally want to avoid using tea tree oil. Discontinue use if you experience any discomfort or irritation after using it.

Apple cider vinegar

One popular yeast infection remedy is an apple cider vinegar bath.

Vinegar has many medicinal uses, some more supported by research than others.

But when you add a half cup of apple cider vinegar to a lukewarm bathtub and soak for 20 minutes, the acidic component of the vinegar may help eliminate any harmful microorganisms, including yeast.

An apple cider vinegar bath is not the same as douching, which aims to flush out all bacteria (good and bad) from your vagina. Douching leaves you more prone to a recurrence of the yeast infection, so avoid douching with apple cider vinegar — or any other substance.

You’ll want to dilute vinegar in water before it touches your skin. In addition, you could also try adding apple cider vinegar to your diet.


Evidence suggests garlic may also help kill Candida, though some strains may prove more effective than others.

While more studies are needed, research from 2019 examined the effect of using a garlic solution on sores of the mouth and found it could effectively help curb the growth of Candida. That said, garlic was less effective than nystatin (Nystop), an antifungal medication.

If you want to try garlic to treat a yeast infection, it’s best to simply add more garlic to your diet.

Some websites recommend inserting garlic into your vagina, but we do not recommend this approach. That’s because the active compounds in garlic can cause burns and pain when applied to your skin or mucosa. Mucosa, or mucous membrane, is the type of moist tissue that lines your mouth, and yes, the walls of your vagina.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic that can kill bacteria and yeast. Lactobacillus bacteria in your vagina produce hydrogen peroxide as part of natural biological activity.

Some people swear by using hydrogen peroxide topically when they get a yeast infection.

Adding it to a bath or diluting in water before applying to your skin may help with yeast growing on the genitals. You can dilute by combining equal amounts of water and hydrogen peroxide.

Just keep in mind that hydrogen peroxide may not work on every species of yeast, and no strong research supports the use of hydrogen peroxide to treat vaginal infections.

Always avoid douching with hydrogen peroxide, never use hydrogen peroxide internally, and avoid using it for an extended period of time.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an immune system booster that also has a role in skin health. A strong immune system allows your body to bring itself back into balance.

Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, has antimicrobial components, so some people add it to their diet to treat Candida overgrowths.

Try increasing your intake of vitamin C to boost your body’s ability to beat the yeast infection. Don’t apply the acidic vitamin C to the sensitive vaginal tissue.

Vitamin E

Some doctors recommend vitamin E for certain types of vaginal inflammation. In fact, lab research suggests vitamin E can help reduce inflammation caused by Candida albicans.

Evidence also suggests vitamin E suppositories may help address atrophic vaginitis (aka, vaginal atrophy), which is the thinning of the vaginal walls caused by a lack of estrogen. Atrophic vaginitis causes changes to the vagina’s acidic environment, increasing the risk for bacterial and yeast infections.

You can also purchase vitamin E suppositories intended for vaginal use, or apply vitamin E oil to your vulva or vagina. Vitamin E may help soothe itching, burning, and inflammation.

The main cause of a yeast infection is the overgrowth of yeast on an area of the body.

You could get a yeast infection for any number of reasons, including:

  • Hormones: Changes during pregnancy, nursing, your menstrual cycle, or menopause can change the balance of yeast in your vagina.
  • Sex: Yeast can be passed from person to person during physical sexual contact. Plus, sexual intercourse can change the bacterial balance of your vagina.
  • Diabetes: An increase in sugar in the mucus membranes of your vagina can create a place for yeast to grow.
  • Antibiotics: These drugs can kill off many of the “good” bacteria that live in your vagina.
  • Douches and vaginal sprays: These products can change the balance of yeast in your vagina.
  • A weakened immune system: If you are HIV-positive or have another immune system disorder, the yeast may also grow uncontrolled.

It may take several days to notice results when using a home remedy to improve your yeast infection.

It’s always wise to connect with a healthcare professional if your symptoms get worse or if you notice new symptoms appear at any time during treatment. You’ll also want to make an appointment if you have persistent irritation that’s separate from yeast infection symptoms.

If your infection goes away with a home remedy but then returns, it’s best to contact a doctor for advice. You may need a prescription-strength treatment to get rid of the infection for good.

Keep in mind that some yeast infections can be severe. You’ll typically want to make a doctor’s appointment if:

  • you’re pregnant
  • you’ve had more than four yeast infections over the last year
  • you have a weakened immune system from medications
  • you have uncontrolled diabetes
  • you have HIV
  • you’re experiencing redness, swelling, or itching severe enough to create sores or tears in your vaginal tissue
  • several doses of fluconazole, an oral tablet or suspension used to treat candidiasis, a fungal infection
  • treatment with a topical antifungal medication, like miconazole (Monistat)
  • a prescription suppository or tablet vaginal treatment, like terconazole (Terazol)

These tips may help prevent future yeast infections:

  • Limit the amount of sugar and processed foods you consume. Yeast thrives on sugar.
  • Include yogurt or supplements with Lactobacillus in your diet.
  • Wear loose-fitting, cotton underwear. When doing laundry, wash them in hot water, using mild, unscented detergent.
  • Avoid spending extended periods of time wearing wet bottoms or bathing suits. Yeast grows in warm, moist environments.
  • Only use antibiotics when necessary.
  • Don’t use douches unless advised by a doctor, and avoid vaginal deodorant sprays and scented vaginal lotions. These products may alter the balance of good bacteria and yeast in your vagina.

What is the fastest way to get rid of a yeast infection?

The fastest — and most reliable — way to get rid of a yeast infection is to visit a doctor if you suspect you have one. They will likely prescribe fluconazole, an oral treatment that may take 1 week to get rid of the infection.

Can yeast infections go away on their own?

A mild yeast infection may go away on its own, but this is rare. It’s always a good idea to treat a yeast infection, even if it’s mild. If yeast infections are not treated properly, they’re more likely to return.

What happens if a yeast infection is left untreated?

It may go away, but it is likely to return. Your symptoms may also get worse without treatment.

How do I know if it’s a yeast infection or a urinary tract infection (UTI)?

Yeast infections and UTIs occur in the same area, but they have very different symptoms.

With a vaginal yeast infection, you may have unusual, generally odorless, vaginal discharge that has a thick and milky appearance. You may also have pain or itchiness in your genital area.

With a UTI, you may notice pain and burning when urinating and foul-smelling urine, as well as fever, chills, nausea, and pain in your pelvis.

What is the difference between a yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis?

BV and vaginal yeast infections have similar symptoms, but different causes and treatments. Both cause inflammation of the vagina, or vaginitis.

One of the differences between BV and a yeast infection is that BV produces a foul-smelling, fishy odor, while a yeast infection produces no vaginal odor. Additionally, a yeast infection may cause redness and inflammation of the vulva, while BV doesn’t produce such symptoms.

To determine whether a vaginal infection is BV or a yeast infection, a doctor may:

  • perform an examination to look for signs of infection and vaginal discharge
  • take a sample of the discharge for analysis to check for an overgrowth of harmful bacteria or fungi
  • test the pH of your vagina — a pH of 4.5 or above can point to BV

Can I take over-the-counter (OTC) medicine for my yeast infection?

Yes. Most simple vaginal yeast infections improve with OTC vaginal creams or suppositories. You can find these products in 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day treatments.

The effectiveness of a home remedy varies depending on the person, the severity of your infection, and the quality of the treatment used. For recurring vaginal infections, talk with a doctor about additional natural approaches to prevention and treatment. It’s also best to consult a healthcare professional if you’ve never had a yeast infection before.

Keep in mind that any product, natural or otherwise, may irritate sensitive vaginal skin. Stop using the remedy and call a doctor if you experience any irritation or discomfort.

Is my yeast alive

If you see bubbles, that indicates active yeast off-gassing Carbon Dioxide. Usually, by day 3 to 5, your yeast will start bubbling and become active. If you don’t see activity, make sure you use unchlorinated water.

An excellent healthy star will smell like sweet vinegar but won’t smell nasty. If the starter smells really off (you will know it,) throw it out and start over.

Growing your own yeast is an excellent survival skill to pair with long-term wheat storage. First, mill bulk wheat into flour and then grow yeast to provide your survival group with leavened bread. Get started now, check out the Ready Squirrel article, Best Wheat Berries For Long Term Storage

Scott, Ready Squirrel

I usually only make a couple of loaves of bread at a time but what if you want to make bulk bread? Let’s take a look at how to make a large batch of yeast starter.

How to make large amounts of yeast for bread

  • To make a large batch of yeast starter, weigh equal parts of water and flour on a kitchen scale.
  • Before weighing the ingredients, zero the scale with the empty container on the scale.
  • After zeroing the scale, you can weigh your ingredients.
  • After weighing, add the ingredients to the yeast starter in your container and mix it in.
  • Let the mixture start bubbling before you use it.

Up next, getting your starter out of the jar.

How to Make Your Own Yeast from Apples

Here is a recipe for yeast using apples from Little Cooks Reading Books:

  • Clean glass jar (with lid or cheesecloth)
  • Cut-up apple (with skin)
  • Filtered tap or bottled water
  • Fill up a glass jar a 1/4 to 1/2 full of cut-up apples (skin on).
  • Pour water over the apples until the jar is 3/4 way full. (Do not fill up to the top!)
  • Place the lid loosely on the jar (or use cheesecloth) and place the jar in a warm area. (A windowsill that gets sun is perfect!)
  • Around day 3, you will start to see bubbles forming in your water. This is an indication that the yeast is reacting to the carbohydrates in your apple.
  • If you are using a lid, shake the jar each day and then open the lid to allow some air to get in.
  • After you see a lot of bubbles forming and a foam around the top, your yeast has formed!
  • Use the yeast water where recipes call for yeast!

How To Measure Baking Ingredients By Weight

  • Turn on your kitchen scale
  • Place your mixing bowl on your electric scale
  • Push the “tare” or “zero” button (“z/t”). Your scale will show “0.0” (adjusting for and removing the weight of your mixing bowl or container)
  • Add each baking ingredient until you reach the desired weight.

This is the most popular type of yeast for home bakers and is typically sold in quarter-ounce packets or jars. Its texture is granular, not unlike cornmeal or very finely-ground coffee. Because active dry yeast is alive but dormant in its packaged state, you must rehydrate it via proofing or dissolving the granules in warm water (ideally between 105 F and 115 F). It finishes blooming when the yeast is dissolved and small bubbles rise to the top of the water glass. If the mixture doesn’t bloom, this is a telltale sign that your yeast is dead.

5 reasons to use homemade yeast (how to make yeast for bread)

You don’t have commercial yeast, and it isn’t available at the store

#2 Freshness

The bread stays fresh longer when made with homemade yeast.

#3 Easier to digest

Flour is pre-digested by the natural fermentation process reducing gluten

#4 Higher quality

Making bread from scratch allows for different flavors and textures, and a better-tasting bread.

#5 Nutrition

Nutrients are more bio-available when you make your own

Ok, let’s bake some bread!

How to make yeast for bread in 10 easy steps

Ready, set, go! Learn how to make yeast for bread with just flour and water. Especially helpful knowledge to have during a food shortage or emergency when you can’t buy yeast. if you have wheat or flour but no store-bought yeast. This article will take you through making homemade bread with flour and water, including a recipe at the end. Let’s learn how to make sourdough yeast called levain.

Step #1 Ball Jar

Get a clean ball jar or a large cup you will use for your levain container. Next, get your flour ready.

Step #2 Flour

Place 3 Tablespoons of wheat flour in the ball jar or whatever container you are using.

Step #3 Water

Add 2 Tablespoons of unchlorinated water to the flour. Don’t use chlorinated water because the yeast won’t grow.

Step #4 Stir

Stir the mixture of flour and unchlorinated water until it is well mixed.

Step #5 Cover

Cover the jar lightly to leave room for air circulation. I use a tea towel.

Step #6 Cool & Dark

Store the flour and water mixture in a cool dark place like a pantry and prepare for tomorrow.

Step #7 Repeat Steps

Every day, repeat steps 2 to 4 (every 24 hours) by adding 3 Tablespoons of flour and two tablespoons of water to the starter mixture and stirring. Cover the mixture up and put it back in a cool dark location.

Step #8 Waiting

It will take 3 to 5 days for natural yeast to start bubbling. Expect the starter to smell pleasingly sweet with a hint of sourness. This is your starter.

Step #9 Increase Starter

Increase the amount of yeast starter by adding more flour to the mixture but keep it moist.

Step #10 Bulk Starter

Five days of fermentation is sufficient for pancakes. If you want to create a strong starter (for fluffy bread), continue to feed (steps 2-4) for a couple of weeks before use.

You might be a little nervous the first time you do this, but don’t be. It’s a very forgiving process, and it’s cool. You are making bread as they did 1000 years ago; if I can do it, anyone can.

Now that the yeast is made let’s learn how to keep it alive.

Instant yeast is another form of dormant dry yeast with smaller granules than active dry and a faster absorption rate. Instant yeast does not need to be proofed or rehydrated before you bake with it, so you can mix it straight into your dry ingredients. Rapid-rise and quick-rise yeasts are two forms of instant yeast that may contain extra enzymes and additives to make your dough rise faster.

How to Determine If Yeast Is Still Good

You likely won’t be able to tell from looking at it if your yeast is spoiled.

Inactive yeast doesn’t look strange or put off odors, but if you use it, your recipes won’t work.

You can avoid this by testing to see if your yeast is active.

  • Mix 1 tsp. white sugar into ½ cup of warm water (around 110 degrees).
  • Mix in 2¼ tsp. of yeast.
  • If the mixture has risen to the top of the container within 10 minutes, the yeast is active and does not need to be replaced.

Keeping Bread Yeast Alive

Keep feeding your yeast or bread levain to keep it alive. Maintain yeast by adding a 1:1 ratio of water and flour every day if stored at room temperature. You can also keep your yeast in the refrigerator and feed it once weekly. Keep the lid placed closely over the jar, and don’t worry too much if you miss a day or two.

I forgot about some established yeast starters in my cupboard for almost two weeks. After a good feeding of water and flour.

Baker’s Tip: The day before you bake, take the starter out of the fridge, feed it, water it, and leave it in a cool dark place to give the yeast a chance to wake up.

Tip: Place your lid on loosely, enough for oxygen transfer; otherwise, 1. your yeast won’t start, or 2. it will explode.

Next up, how can you tell your yeast starter is alive?


According to Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Bread and bread-baking expert, you can use a few simple equations to convert one style of yeast into another. “If you have instant yeast, but need active dry, simply multiply by 1.33; if you have active dry yeast, but need instant, multiply by 0.75, he says. “The conversions are easy, and the difference is so nominal in small batches that it will have little or no effect on the bread.”

How to Make Your Own Yeast from Flour

You can make fresh yeast using only water and flour.

Keep in mind that, if you make fresh yeast, you will need to refrigerate it and use it within two weeks.

Here is a recipe for fresh yeast from MasterClass:

Note – Making your own starter takes about five days.

  • All-purpose flour
  • Water
  • In a large mixing bowl at least twice the size of your mixture, combine three tablespoons of all-purpose flour and three tablespoons of water and mix with a spatula until evenly combined. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
  • The next day, add another three tablespoons of flour and three tablespoons of water and mix to combine. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for another 24 hours.
  • On day 3, add six tablespoons of flour and six tablespoons of water and combine them. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for another 24 hours.
  • On day 4, remove a fourth of the mixture from the container and discard it. Loosely cover and leave at room temperature for another 24 hours.
  • By day 5, your yeast starter should be ready to use. It should be light, bubbly, and fluffy and have a pronounced, almost sweet, fermentation aroma without any acidity. To double-check, pinch off a small amount of starter and place it in a bowl of warm water. If it floats, it’s an indication that the starter is ready.

4 Ingredients for homemade bread

  • Flour 3 Cups
  • Salt 1.25 tsp
  • Water 3 Tbsp
  • Stiff Starter 1 CUP (Feed the day before and leave at room temperature)

If you find that you don’t have enough starter for a recipe or for the number of loaves you want to cook, add the amount of flour and water you need to your starter jar on a 1:1 ratio (by weight),  plus some extra to keep the starter going and wait 24 hours at room temperature.

Useful Links

Ready Squirrel Videos: Long-Term Wheat Storage (Wheat Berries)

Video Summary of Easily Make Bread Yeast From Flour And Water

Thanks for stopping by Ready Squirrel! If you have any thoughts please leave them in the comments section.

Keep on prepping.

Kind Regards, Scott

How to Make Your Own Yeast from Dried Fruit

Here is a recipe for DIY Yeast from Sudeep Agarwala (a yeast geneticist):

  • Flour
  • Water
  • Dried Fruit (i.e., grapes, raisins, prunes)
  • Place dried fruit into a jar.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of water to the jar and stir.
  • Add an equal mass of flour (should be enough to make loose, wet dough).
  • Once the flour paste loosens (between 24-48 hours), take a tiny bit of the mixture, and add to 30-40 mL water, add flour, and repeat.

Emergency Bread Recipe In 5 Easy Steps

During a recent food shortage, I had a substantial pantry with more than enough flour to make bread to keep us going. One problem: I didn’t even think about yeast when planning my emergency pantry. The store was out of yeast so I had no choice but to make my own. That is when I found out about Levain or yeast starters.

The recipe below is basic and uses the yeast starter described in this article. It will allow you to make bread if you can’t get yeast but have flour and clean water. Let’s get to it!

#1 Mix Your Ingredients

  • In a large bowl, dissolve the starter into the 3 cups of water and add 1/4 tsp of salt.
  • Add 3 cups of white flour

#2 First Rise

  • Cover the mixture with a tea towel or plastic wrap
  • Let it rise for 3 to 4 hours at room temperature

#3 Shaping Your Dough

  • Cover your work surface and hands in flour. This helps keep things from getting sticky. Don’t be stingy.
  • Remove your dough from the bowl and gently shape it into a round. You are not kneading. You are shaping, so go easy)
  • When you’re done shaping, place the dough in a well-floured bowl for the second rise (flour will keep the dough from sticking to the container)

#4 Second Rise

  • Cover the dough with a tea towel or plastic wrap
  • Let the dough sit at room temperature for 2 to 3 Hours in the covered bowl.

Bake Your Bread

  • Preheat Your Oven to 450° F
  • Bake your bread on a greased cookie sheet, in a dutch oven, cloche, or baking stone.
  • Bake at 450° F for 35 to 40 Minutes

What is a leavening agent?

A leavening agent is a substance used in dough and batter that lightens, raises, and softens dough made from hard and soft grains. In the case of breadmaking, flour isn’t a leavening agent. It’s the food for the yeast that creates the gas. The gas is the leavening agent.

6 Other Leavening Agents

  • Air
  • Steam
  • Baking Powder (sodium bicarbonate)
  • Baking Soda
  • Dry Yeast (regular-active-dry or instant)
  • Cream of Tartar

You don’t need a leavening agent. In an emergency, or if you choose to, you can make unleavened bread like johnnycakes, crackers, hardtack, or any other bread that fits the bill.

How to Make Your Own Yeast from Potatoes

Here is a recipe to make your own yeast using potatoes from Little Cooks Reading Books:

  • Clean glass jar (with lid or cheesecloth)
  • Medium peeled potato
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Filtered tap or bottled water
  • Peel one medium potato.
  • Add 4 cups of water to a pot.
  • Add peeled potato and boil until potato is soft.
  • Remove potato (reserve the water!).
  • In a small bowl, mash the potato.
  • On top of the potato mash, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of sugar.
  • Place potato mash mixture into a glass jar.
  • Fill the jar with potato water until it’s 3/4 full.
  • Place lid loosely on jar or cover with cheesecloth.
  • Place the jar in a warm place, like in the sun on a windowsill.
  • If you are using a lid, shake the jar each day and then open the lid to allow some air to get in.
  • In around 3 days, you should see yeast forming with bubbles on the surface.
  • Use the yeast water in any recipe that calls for yeast.

If you want to preserve yeast, you will need to dry and store it.

If you don’t dry it, what you have is a starter. With a starter, you must “feed” it daily to keep it active.

Feeding a starter requires adding a cup of water and a cup of flour to the yeast daily.

The starter must be kept at room temperature or in the refrigerator. If placed in the refrigerator, it only needs to be “fed” once a week.

In contrast, dry yeast has an extended shelf life.

It can remain active for two years if unopened. If stored chilled in a freezer, it can last significantly longer.

In order to preserve yeast and keep it fresh, you must store it in an airtight container. If exposed to moisture, it will shorten its lifespan.

Store the airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.

Label the packaging with the date the yeast was created.

Before using the yeast, test it to see if it is still good.

What is natural Yeast?

Natural or wild yeast is nothing more than the yeast we’re all heard of, microorganisms classified as members of the fungus kingdom and it’s the result of a spontaneous fermentation. Most people know it’s used to make bread, among other bakery products, for it to rise and appear light and airy. Even though natural yeast was first in use, around 6000 years with the first records that show this use came from Ancient Egypt, it was discarded in the 1980s for the more practical and convenient synthetic or commercial yeast (also known as baker’s yeast) that can raise dough faster.

You may wonder does this really make a difference. As with everything organic vs. artificial, natural ingredients are always better for you even when it’s less practical. You can even make your own endless supply of natural yeast so in the end it’s cheaper. The difference is all commercial yeasts started out as wild yeasts, and over time were selected for their traits, but the wild yeast kept more of those healthy traits.

Natural yeast breaks down harmful enzymes in grains, maximizes the nutritional availability of natural vitamins, minerals, and fibre in wheat, converts wheat into an easily digestible food which will not spike your blood sugar level. Natural yeast is both pre-biotic and pro-biotic, encouraging important good bacteria in the body. It discourages weight gain, and turns the phytic acid found naturally in wheat into a cancer-fighting antioxidant.

In baking, the yeast is used as a leavening agent, where it converts the food/fermentable sugars present in dough into the gas carbon dioxide. This causes the dough to expand or rise as gas forms pockets or bubbles. When the dough is baked, the yeast dies and the air pockets “set”, giving the baked product a soft and spongy texture.

Wild yeast, or multi-micro flora are the natural air-borne ferments that are generated or seeded in a dough left exposed to a clean and cool atmosphere under specific conditions of moisture and temperature and the exclusion of larger specimen. Wild yeast also naturally enriches the bread, due to an additional development of nutrients by the beneficial enzymes and ferments.

Wild bread yeasts (and bacteria) are the basis of starter doughs (sometimes called sourdough starters) and are the same pretty much worldwide. The combination of yeasts and bacteria create a more complex flavour than using commercial yeast. Sourdough is much more versatile than commercial yeast. There are nutritional benefits, money-savings, and a range of flavours achieved when sourdough is used.

A natural yeast start is made by combining and fermenting yeasts with water and flour, and then keeping them fed and alive to use in baking. By combining the wild yeast with flour and water, an environment is created that allows the yeast to thrive and grow.

Not just for baking, natural yeast has been found useful for other things including supressing the gluten intolerance, especially good with the current rise of celiac disease – it all comes down to how natural yeast or sourdough starts break down the gluten in flour. There are many pros for using natural yeast, but it’s also less practical in the baking industry, it takes longer to rise and the timing is not always the same. Nevertheless, if you have a chance to have sourdough instead of commercial yeast, be sure to do so and enjoy the taste.

Is it useful to combine 2 kinds of yeasts,natural and artificial at the same time?

Improvement of shelf life and stability of recipe for hardough biscuits

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Fresh Yeast

Fresh yeast is active. You’ll find it in the refrigerated sections of many supermarkets, often in the form of small-sized cakes. Fresh yeast is light brown, soft, and crumbly. It requires proofing in lukewarm water and is best for bread that requires a long, cool rise. Fresh yeast only lasts for a couple of weeks in the fridge, so if you notice any mold on it (or it turns dark brown and feels dry and rough), discard it immediately.

What Is Yeast?

Yeast is a simple single-celled organism called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast cells are egg-shaped and are only visible with a microscope—it takes 20,000,000,000 yeast cells to weigh one gram. They’re technically a member of the fungi kingdom, and over 500 species of yeast actually exist. (Don’t worry, we’re only going to explain three here.)

Yeast is the driving force not only behind bread-baking, but also in fermentation, which is the chemical process behind making everything from beer and wine to pickles, chocolate, and kombucha. Yeast cells require three things to thrive: food, warmth, and moisture. In the presence of warmth and moisture, yeast converts its food—sugar and starch—into carbon dioxide and alcohol through fermentation. It’s the carbon dioxide that makes baked goods rise.

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