Chemical yeast and biological yeast: What’s the difference?

Chemical yeast and biological yeast: What's the difference?

Almost everyone knows that the chemical yeast is the one used for cakes and the biological one in the preparation of breads and heavier doughs. But what really changes between each one? In addition to appearance, they are made up of different compounds and, despite being responsible for similar results, depend on almost opposite factors to act.
So, for you to understand exactly how to use each one and what precautions to take, here’s a detailed explanation of the ingredients:

CHEMICAL FERMENT

honey and rome cake
Chemical yeast is white and very thin, sold in small pots on the market. It is used mainly for cake growth, as it does not have the natural yeasts needed for bread growth, for example.
Formed by a composite of sodium bicarbonate with acids, the chemical yeast releases carbon dioxide when taken to the oven. As a consequence, the dough expands, creating the much desired volume we want for pies, cakes or pancakes.
In order not to activate the properties of this yeast ahead of time, it is essential to add it only at the end of the preparation, so that it reacts only when it is inside the oven. That’s because, once added to the dough, it is instantly activated.

Recipes with chemical yeast

Simple cakes
Blender pie
pancakes

BIOLOGICAL YEAST

biological yeast
The composition of biological yeast turns out to be more complex than the chemical, so working with it is more delicate. Formed by yeasts, which are nothing more than live microscopic fungi, biological yeast acts on the contact of flour and water.
This yeast digests nutrients and other compounds in the raw dough, which is why it’s so important to wait for that time of growth before the dough goes into the oven. As “nutrients” are digested, yeasts release gases like carbon dioxide and aromas responsible for the volume and flavor of breads and pizzas, for example.
Unlike chemical yeast, when baked in the oven, biological yeast “dies”, ending the growth of the dough. The strong heat is responsible for ending the action of these yeasts, so the preparation of the dough should also never contain hot ingredients. Adding always warm water or milk is the secret to activating these microorganisms without them dying.
It is important to understand that yeasts feed mainly on glucose, found in flour and sugar. In other words: nothing to replace these ingredients with others, combined?
In addition, this type of yeast has two versions: fresh yeast and dry yeast. The fresh must be activated in a mixture of sugar and warm water or milk, while the dry is usually added to the doughs along with the flour.
The validity of fresh yeast ends up being less, since the yeasts need to be kept in the refrigerator to “hibernate”. Dry yeast, on the other hand, lasts longer and is more concentrated. If you intend to substitute one for the other it is important to do the calculation that we teach
on here not to use too much or too little yeast.

Recipes with fresh biological yeast

Cheese pizza with pepperoni
Chocolate and hazelnut bread

Recipes with dry biological yeast

Pepperoni Bread
Condensed milk bread
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Did you understand the differences well? Basically, the chemical yeast acts inside the oven and should be put in the dough only in the final moments. Biological yeast, on the other hand, needs a pre-oven time to act and cannot come into contact with a very hot ingredients / mixtures while the dough is being prepared or in the waiting period for it to grow. I hope the post helps and do not fail to test the recipes we selected 😉

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