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Food glossary

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Yeast

Essential for bread-making as well as brewing, yeast is a fungus that when mixed with warm water, sugar and flour produces carbon dioxide, which causes bread to rise. Three types of yeast are used in bread-making, fresh yeast which is the traditional raising agent used and sold by bakers. The remaining two types are available from Waitrose: dried active yeast, this is sold in small tubs in granular form and easybake or fast action dried yeast which is sold in a fine granular form in sachets.

Uses: Yeast is used as a raising agent in a variety of breads, rolls, cakes and sweet dough mixtures.

To store: Keep both types of dried yeast in a cool, dark, dry place and use by the best before date, after this date the yeast becomes less effective and may not give the required result.

To use: Check the packet for specific instructions and quantities.

Dried yeast needs to be activated before it is added to bread mixtures, it has to be mixed with warm water (hot water will kill the yeast) and sugar and left to ferment until frothy before it can be added to the flour.

Easy-blend dried yeast, as its name suggests, is easier to use. It can be added directly to the flour and then warm water is stirred in.