Caputo is considered by many to be the best producer of baking products in Naples, if not the whole of Italy and beyond. Their flour is greatly renowned and, if you go to a pizzeria in Naples, there’s a good chance your pizza will be made with Caputo flour.
But what about their yeast? Does it measure up against their flour? And how does it compare to other dry yeasts and to fresh yeast? Read on for everything you need to know about Caputo yeast. As well as how best to use it in your pizza dough recipe. Here is your complete guide to Caputo yeast.
What is Caputo Yeast
Caputo yeast is a dry bakers’ yeast made by Caputo. Caputo has been making flour since 1924 and is renowned for its flour. It is generally considered to be the gold standard for flour, especially for pizzas. But their yeast is not commented on as much.
As pizza generally doesn’t rise, especially if you’re making a traditionally thin and crispy pizza, yeast isn’t given much consideration. It is definitely not given the same consideration as the flour. And definitely not the same as the toppings.
So what makes Caputo yeast so special? Well, namely the brand. You can pretty much trust anything that Caputo makes. If you want the best quality pizza flour, you go to Caputo. If you want the best quality yeast for pizza, then you might as well go to Caputo’s too.
But what about the yeast itself? What exactly is it?
Caputo yeast is a dry active yeast that is similar to a lot of other dry yeasts. It is difficult to tell the difference between two different yeasts.
But there are some important differences.
The vast majority of the yeast you can find in the grocery store is dry yeast. This is because it is easier to use and can keep for much longer than fresh yeast.
Unless you have made a recipe that calls for fresh yeast before, you might not even know it existed. You very probably haven’t seen it on a shelf anywhere. (Read on or scroll down for some more basic information on the differences between dry and fresh yeast).
Caputo dry yeast is created through cultivating Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This is a specific species of yeast. This yeast has been used in bread making, other forms of baking, brewing, and winemaking for thousands of years.
Although Caputo has only been around for just under 100 years, their skills and methods of fermentation are ancient and classic.
So what does “active yeast” actually mean? It’s the most common type of dry yeast that you will find. But it’s difficult to really understand yeast. Especially as it’s easy to forget that yeast is a bacteria and so a living organism.
When yeast is referred to as “active”, this means that it is dormant when dry and then activated by warm water. This is why it can be stored for so long. When dry, the yeast won’t do anything. When it is mixed with warm water and then kneaded into flour, it causes the bread to rise.
Caputo yeast vs. other dry yeast
So, now you know what exactly dry yeast is, let’s take a look at how Caputo dry yeast compares to other dry yeast in general.
The process for cultivating dry yeast involves feeding it molasses or starch. Caputo yeast is cultivated using specific molasses from Naples. The cultivation process for Caputo yeast is similar to other dry yeast (as yeast is a living organism, it’s difficult to alter this). But the molasses are locally made. This adds another layer of authenticity.
Many people enjoy using Caputo products due to their excellent quality. But also because of their authenticity. When using Caputo yeast, especially alongside Caputo flour, you know you will be making a pizza that is as close to a traditional Neapolitan as you can get.
If you can’t travel to Naples yourself, then using the best Neapolitan products is definitely the next best thing.
One potential disadvantage of Caputo yeast, compared to other dry yeast, is the way it is packaged. Most dry yeast comes in small sachets. These sachets usually equal the portion size needed for a dough. Caputo yeast comes in a pot. This pot is pretty air-tight. Plus it is less wasteful as less packaging is required. But there is a slight risk that the yeast can become slightly wet or damp and begin to activate when it is stored away.
But, this can be avoided by making sure it is stored in a dark and completely dry place. Or you can even transfer it to another container. This definitely isn’t a reason to avoid buying Caputo yeast. But it’s still something to consider.
Dry yeast vs. fresh yeast
Dry yeast is so popular that you might never have even heard of fresh yeast. But it does exist and is very different from dry yeast.
Fresh yeast can often provide a better rise than dry yeast. But it doesn’t last very long. Definitely not as long as dry yeast.
Fresh yeast can also give the dough a richer flavor. But this isn’t a huge issue when it comes to pizza. This is more of a concern when making a loaf of bread. This is because a loaf of bread needs to retain as much flavor as it can.
Although you of course want a flavorful pizza base, it isn’t as much of a concern when you have toppings.
Using Caputo yeast
Caputo dry yeast can be used in the same way as other dry yeast. But as it is packaged in a pot and rather than individual sachets, it isn’t as obvious how much you will need. Especially when a lot of dough recipes call for “one sachet of active dry yeast”.
A single portion of Caputo yeast is around 2 ¼ tsp. This is the usual amount found in sachets of dry yeast. So, when your recipe calls for one sachet, you can just measure out 2 ¼ tsp instead. Easy.
As mentioned above, Caputo is sold in pots rather than sachets. This is less wasteful but does mean that it won’t last quite as long because it will be exposed to the air more. So make sure to keep it dry and stored somewhere dark. When you have measured out as much as you need, put it straight away.
You don’t need to measure it at a speedy pace but it’s a good idea to keep it stored away as much as you can. This will also avoid the risk of any liquids being accidentally splashed into the pot. Or the yeast being accidentally activated from a very damp atmosphere.
As we have mentioned (quite a lot) in this article, Caputo products are considered the best, especially for pizza making. Caputo yeast can be used with any other kind of flour that is suitable for making dough. But we really recommend that you get yourself some other Caputo products.
For pizza, the best Caputo flour is either the Caputo 00 Americana or the Caputo Pizzeria. The Caputo Pizzeria will allow you to make a pizza closer to the traditional Neapolitan. But the Caputo 00 Americana has been specially designed for American style pizzas. So the choice is yours and down to your personal preference. But we definitely encourage you to choose Caputo whenever the opportunity arises.
As with any Caputo product, we can’t help but argue that this yeast is the best. Sure, you can use others and they will work just fine. But, if you really want the best quality, then you need to use Caputo.Caputo products also have such a great sense of authenticity. When you’re making a pizza with Caputo flour and yeast, you know that this is just how the best pizzas in Naples are also being made.
Sure, yours might not look and taste exactly the same as a Neapolitan pizza chef’s. But it will definitely be as close as you can get, without traveling all the way to Naples that is.