There is nothing quite like homemade bread. While it takes some time and labor, kneading dough is a great way to naturally reduce stress and keep your hands busy, and there’s that satisfying carby payoff when your baked goods come out of the oven. This is a time when home baking is really taking off, and Aldi sells the supplies you need to make a loaf, a pan of cinnamon rolls, a pizza crust, or whatever other baked goods you’d like to craft in your own kitchen.
Baker’s Corner Yeast cost $0.89 at the time of publication for a package containing three 0.25-oz. (7-gram) envelopes. Yeast is a Regular Buy at Aldi, meaning it should be in stock year round. It’s found among the other baking supplies like flour, sugar, and spices. (Because of the times we live in, my local Aldi stores have had trouble keeping yeast on the shelves, but they restock often, so keep looking and you’re likely to eventually score some.)
The yeast is available in two varieties: Fast Rising Instant Yeast or Active Dry Yeast.
Both varieties are certified kosher and are naturally gluten free. Ingredients are yeast and sorbitan monostearate. The Fast Rising Instant Yeast also has ascorbic acid. Both yeast varieties are a product of Turkey. They should be stored in a cool, dry place and used by the “best before” date printed on the package. The yeast packets I purchased in May of 2020 had a “best before” date of September of 2021, so they last a while.
Here’s a closer look at the two varieties:
Baker’s Corner Fast Rising Instant Yeast
To prepare the Fast Rising Instant Yeast, the directions state there is no need to dissolve before use if added directly to dry ingredients. If added directly to the dry ingredients (not dissolved), add liquids warmed to 120-130 degrees Farenheit.
The package says one package of fast rising yeast (.25 ounce) = one package of active dry yeast (.25 ounce) = one cake of fresh yeast (.6 ounce). One envelope of fast rising yeast measures approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons.
I used Aldi’s fast rising instant yeast to make some homemade hamburger buns for pulled pork sandwiches, and they turned out well, rising as expected and baking up golden and flaky.
The package has a recipe for pizza crust, which I tried and my family heartily approved of. The pizza dough was easy to mix up, needed a minimal amount of time to rest or rise, and baked well in the oven. I used shredded mozzarella cheese and pepperoni from Aldi, and I used a can of pizza sauce from a different grocery store because my local Aldi stores do not usually carry cans or jars of pizza sauce (although I have seen Aldi sell ready-to-bake pizza crusts that come with sauce packets).
The pizza crust recipe is as follows:
- 1 package Baker’s Corner Fast Rising Yeast
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine yeast, 1 cup of flour, and salt in a bowl, and set aside. Combine liquids in a saucepan and heat to 120-130 degrees. Liquid should be very warm, but not too hot to touch. Combine the dry mixture and the liquid ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix on low speed. Beat 2-3 minutes on medium speed. By hand, stir in enough remaining flour to make a firm dough. Knead on a floured surface 5-7 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Use additional flour if necessary.
Let the dough rest 15-20 minutes. Divide it into two parts. Press each half into a generously greased 12-inch round pizza pan sprinkled with cornmeal. Prick the dough in several places with a fork. Prebake for 10-12 minutes in a preheated oven at 400 degrees, until the edges of the crust begin to turn light golden brown. Remove from the oven, add desired toppings, and bake an additional 15 minutes.
For a whole wheat crust, substitute 1 cup of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of all-purpose flour for the 3 cups of all-purpose flour called for in the recipe.
Baker’s Corner Active Dry Yeast
To prepare the Active Dry Yeast, dissolve in warm water (100 degrees Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes before mixing with other ingredients. If added directly to the dry ingredients (not dissolved), add liquids warmed to 120-130 degrees Farenheit.
The package says one package of active dry yeast (.25 ounce) = one package of fast rising yeast (.25 ounce) = 1 cake fresh yeast (.6 ounce). One package of dry yeast measures about 2 1/4 teaspoons.
The package has a recipe for cinnamon rolls. They are amazing and I highly recommend making them. They’re light, fluffy, and better than any canned cinnamon rolls you’ve ever eaten.
Before I share the recipe here, I’ve got a few thoughts on the baking process as it relates to this specific recipe:
- First, this recipe made 31 cinnamon rolls for me, and it uses a lot of flour (7 cups) and eggs (4), along with two packets of yeast, so make sure you have all your necessary ingredients on hand before you start. It would be easy to halve the recipe if you don’t want cinnamon rolls overtaking every corner of your kitchen. I went ahead and followed the recipe exactly, though, because who doesn’t want more cinnamon rolls?
- Cinnamon is not listed among the ingredients, which is an oversight when we’re talking about making cinnamon rolls. You’ll also need some brown sugar and some extra melted butter that are not listed in the ingredients. I added those items to the end of the ingredients list below.
- The directions could be more clear about using separate bowls or saucepans for mixing the different ingredients. I used one smaller bowl for the yeast, warm water, and sugar; one small saucepan to scald the milk in; and then I added the cooled, lukewarm scalded milk to one large mixing bowl before adding the flour to that bowl, followed by the yeast mixture and eggs and additional flour.
- This makes a very sticky dough, and I had to keep adding flour to my pastry mat surface as I kneaded the dough, so I probably used a total of about 8 cups of flour for this recipe.
- The recipe is vague about how much time the dough needs to rise, saying to initially let it rise until “double in size.” For me, that was about two hours.
- The recipe instructs you to roll the dough into two equal-sized oblong shapes. I rolled my dough into rough rectangle shapes that were about 16-18 inches by about 13-14 inches.
- I wasn’t sure how much melted butter to spread on my dough, so I went with 1/4 cup. I sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon on until the dough was lightly but evenly covered. The next time I make these, I will use a little more butter (maybe 1/2 cup) and a lot more cinnamon; you want to really cover your dough with plenty of cinnamon and brown sugar because it will spread out when the rolls have their final rising time and you won’t end up with as much cinnamon as you thought you were going to have. While everyone liked my finished rolls, they were a little light on cinnamon flavor, but since I was completely guessing about quantities, they really weren’t bad.
- After arranging the rolls on baking sheets, you are supposed to let them rise again until they’ve doubled in size; for me, that was about another hour and a half or so.
- Finally, the recipe calls for baking the rolls for 15-20 minutes, but my rolls did best baking for 10-12 minutes, so keep an eye on them and avoid over baking.
The cinnamon roll recipe is as follows:
- 2 packages Baker’s Corner Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 7 cups flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup scalded milk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 eggs, well beaten
- cinnamon and brown sugar, plus about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of melted butter
*If you make powdered sugar icing (which I highly recommend), you’ll also want 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, and 6 tablespoons milk.
Dissolve yeast in water and 1 tbsp. sugar. Scald milk. Add 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and butter. Cool to lukewarm. Add 2 cups flour and mix well. Add yeast mixture and eggs, and stir well. Add enough flour as needed to make stiff dough. Knead on floured surface until no longer sticky. Place in a well-greased bowl. Turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise until double in size.
Punch down and divide dough in two parts. Roll each out into an oblong shape. Brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Roll up as for a jelly roll. Slice into one-inch slices. Place on a well-greased pan or cookie sheet. Let rise until double. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. When cool, top with powdered sugar icing.
(The recipe does not tell you how to make powdered sugar icing, but it’s easy to make, and here are instructions.)
Aldi sells yeast in small packets that come in two varieties: fast rising instant yeast and active dry yeast. What you want will depend on what kind of recipe you’re making. Each comes with a recipe on the back of the packet (cinnamon rolls for the active dry yeast and pizza crust for the fast rising instant yeast). I tried both recipes and they turned out well. I’ve also made hamburger buns with the fast rising instant yeast. If you want to do some baking, these will do the job.