Bakers use yeast to turn flat, sticky dough into tall, fluffy bread. The yeast interacts with sugar and fills the bread with pockets of air as it bakes.

When you buy yeast for baking cinnamon rolls or rye bread at home, it comes in a small packet and looks like little brownish grains. The first step in using yeast is often mixing it with warm water and a little sugar. When yeast is active, or alive, the mixture quickly becomes bubbly and foamy. Yeast is also used in brewing beer and wine. The word yeast comes from a Germanic root — the German word Gischt, or "froth," is closely related.

Definitions of yeast

n any of various single-celled fungi that reproduce asexually by budding or division

Saccharomyces cerevisiae, baker's yeast, brewer's yeast
used as a leaven in baking and brewing
Saccharomyces ellipsoides, wine-maker's yeast
used in making wine
Type of:
an organism of the kingdom Fungi lacking chlorophyll and feeding on organic matter; ranging from unicellular or multicellular organisms to spore-bearing syncytia

n a commercial leavening agent containing yeast cells; used to raise the dough in making bread and for fermenting beer or whiskey

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yeast cake
small cake of compressed moist yeast
brewer's yeast
yeast used in fermenting beer
a stringy slimy substance consisting of yeast cells and bacteria; forms during fermentation and is added to cider or wine to produce vinegar
bottom fermenting yeast
brewer's yeast used in bottom fermentation of lager
top fermenting yeast
brewer's yeast used in top fermentation of ale
Type of:
leaven, leavening
a substance used to produce fermentation in dough or a liquid

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