For more, like how to divide eggs, oven temp. conversions and more, see HTTP://www.budget101.com/frugal-living/5489-measuring-equivalents
Yeast: If a recipe calls for instant yeast, use slightly more active dry yeast and dissolve the active dry yeast in warm water (and a pinch of sugar) until it is bubbly and foamy. This usually take a minute or so. For instance, if a recipe uses 1 Tbsp. yeast, use 1 1/4 Tbsp. active dry yeast and about 3-4 Tbsp. water. For 2 tsp. instant yeast, use 2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast.
If you want to use instant yeast instead of active dry yeast, use the same amount (technically you can decrease the instant yeast by 25% but I never do), and add the instant yeast in with the other ingredients in the recipe.
PROOFING YEAST: Any type of yeast can be proofed in water, but as noted above, instant yeast doesn't have to be proofed in order to work in a recipe, whereas active dry yeast always needs to be proofed first. Then leave it alone for a few minutes. After a few minutes, the yeast will rise and pop to the surface, and the texture will go from granular to foamy and bubbly. When it looks like that, you can use it in the recipe. Some yeast recipes will call for hot water. Others lukewarm or just warm water. And slow-rise yeast recipes may even call for room temperature water. There is a sweet spot for optimal yeast activity--too hot, and the water may kill the yeast and your bread won't rise. IF the water/liquid is too cold, it may not activate the yeast OR it may take much, much longer for the dough to rise. Try for water/liquid that is right around 110 degrees. You can use an instant read thermometer to check the temp. Or eyeball it. Let the water run and then pop your hand your hand in the stream coming from the tap, and if it feels like a really warm bath for your fingers, its good to go. It takes extremely hot-to-the-touch water to kill yeast. Just go for the really warm water and you'll be fine.
Storing Yeast: Store in a jar and pull directly from the freezer to use in a recipe. Can also be stored in the fridge but lasts longer in the freezer. Keep track of the expiration date. If you lose track, the easiest way to find out is to proof a teaspoon or so yeast in warm water. IF it foams and bubbles, you can still use it!
ALSO: Too much flour is death to good bread or rolls. But too little will leave a sticky mess (and prevent a good rise). Grab a piece of dough. If it leaves a sticky residue on your fingers, resist the urge to panic. It may seem like the dough needs more flour, but if you grab a small piece of dough and roll it in your hand, it forms a ball without becoming a gummy, sticky mess. The little dough ball is tacky to the touch and slightly sticky, but it holds its shape with minimal residue (the dough you see on the side of your hand). If the dough can roll into a soft ball, don't add more flour. Another quick test is to press a finger into the ball of dough. You should be able to pull your finger away without any sticky dough coming with, and the indentation should stay where you left it. When you get used to the feel of a perfectly floured bread dough, its like magic. So soft, yet deliciously squishy.
KNEADING: If a recipe calls for a stand mixer and you are making it by hand, you need to double the kneading time.
DELISH.COM: Making any boxed cake mix better--Sub butter for oil in the following amounts:
1/4 cup oil = 1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup oil = 2/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup oil = 1 cup melted butter
1 cup oil = 1 1/4 cup melted butter
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