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Yeast: Types, Use, Storage, Conversions (instant<>active, US<>UK, etc.)


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When I think of "fresh yeast", I think of cakes of compressed yeast that need refrigeration.

But, what I think you are referring to is a "maintained sourdough starter".

Perhaps you could clarify this for us.

I am new into bread and would like to hear from experienced barker the prons

and cons of fresh yeast vs commercial yeast.  I know fresh yeast is very tedious

and time consuming wheras commercial yeast is convenient.

Every eco-system has its own mircoorganism population and I always marvel and attracted by its distinct taste of european hard  bread like somerset cider bread, rye, caraway & raisin bread, olive bread, walnut, pain de campagne and multiseed bread.

I would like to know how to make fresh yeast?

Thanks you

Panosmex hi! You're right how to maintained it, could you share your experience?

G'day

主泡一杯邀西方. 馥郁幽香而湧.三焦回转沁心房

"Inhale the aroma before tasting and drinking, savour the goodness from the heart "

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Panosmex hi! You're right how to maintained it, could you share your experience?

Gee, sorry, I pretty much stopped making sourdough starters when I left the baking business. They take too much time and effort to maintain, IMO.

(I'm retired now.) :biggrin::biggrin:

Buen provecho, Panosmex
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I posted on here at the beginning of the week or so that I have been on a quest to make the perfect bread. I have been fighting with yeast, and so far this weeks attempts are comming out much better thanks to everyone's advice.

I went down to my local health food store and bought this incredible refrigerated yeast. Came home and started making the bread according to the recipe. It fermented once, I punched it down, fermented twice, punched it down and heard it deflate.

Then I got the bright idea to stick my nose in the spot I punched the dough down, thinking I would get this wonderful yeasty-bread smell I am absolutely addicted to.....I swear the fumes burnt a hole in my head. The pain was unreal...if I have a nostril hair ever again it will be a miracle! Now all I smell is yeast. Who knew it could do this?? :blink:

Just thought I'd share....

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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That is the same reason one does not stick one's nose into a fermentation vessel.

Interesting effects those alcohol esthers have on the mucus membranes.......

I always think of the old print cartoons with a baloon over the head of a person who has been punched, with the stars bouncing around.

I recall a long-ago tour of a small brewery (long before the days of the "micro-brewery" renaissance) and the moment when the brewer was going to pull the lock on a vessel and loudly stated, "stand back and hold your breath for a moment!"

There was still some eye-watering, but nobody fainted.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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All that and my bread burnt on the outside but stayed doughy in the center....

the recipe called for me to have to divide the dough into 3 1 pound loaves, I made two loaves out of them...do you think that could be the reason.

the oven was the temp the recipe said...

"I eat fat back, because bacon is too lean"

-overheard from a 105 year old man

"The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook" - Julia Child

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I keep my starter stiff--at about 60% hydration--which helps it last longer between feedings. If I don't use it for a couple of months it does okay in the refrigerator, and then I refresh it a couple of times and it's all set.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I thought I'd pose this question on an existing thread rather than start a new one, so hopefully it will get noticed........

Anyway, I thought I'd heard about a certain yeast that you can get that is formulated for freezing in an unbaked unproofed dough. Am I imagining it?

Does it exist? What is the name of it? Who is the manufacturer?

The bakery where I work uses fresh 1 lb blocks of cake yeast exclusively (much to my dismay).

We go through them fast enough that they really don't have a chance to get old, which is fortunate.

Apparently, they have tried before to shape croissant and danish and freeze it, then thaw, proof and bake at a later time. They have told me that that "doesn't work", because none of the danish or croissant comes up as nice as when it's made fresh.

I don't think the problem lies completely in the use of cake yeast, but perhaps part of it. I know that if those guys don't keep their croissant and danish doughs as cold as possible when they are working with them and shaping them, the yeast is more active, and that action is lost when you really need it at the end. I also know that if you don't get your product frozen in a fairly quick fashion, you lose yeast action in the cool down process.

Would switching to an instant yeast or an active dry yeast help with this problem? Is there a specially formulated instant yeast that is geared toward a good freezer life?

Edited by chefpeon (log)
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I don't know the answer, but here's an interesting technical article that may help. It suggests instant dry is better than cake yeast, increasing the amount of yeast used is important, and type of flour makes a difference. Also, you may want to try Lesaffre Gold Label instant dry yeast, which is formulated for croissants, danish pastries, etc. Contact them for samples and technical support.

Ilene

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  • 4 months later...

I would like to bake some lavash or pitta bread. In recipes found in US books or websites, it says to use a pckt of dry yeast. How much (grams) is one US packet? A bried research on the web shows various quantities ... Also does anyone knows if US or UK dry yeast are pretty much equivalent. Thanks to anyone who can help. :wub:

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I believe a packet of active dry yeast in the US is 7 grams.

Is this really "two nations divided by a common language" again?

In the UK, instant/easyblend/breadmachine yeast is sold in 6 or 7g packets - as being a "breadmaking machine dose". There are several of these packets inside an outer cardboard box to make an approximately £1 sale item. (Its also available in bigger single packs too - look out for Allinson's in UK supermarkets.)

However "active dry" (or active dried) yeast is the older type of stuff, in coarser pellets, which needs 'starting' in its own warm water and is not suited to breadmaking machines, and so it is not sold in single dose tiny packets.

Also, now that I know (from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain and from Emily Buehler) that the coarser "active dry" yeast is much higher in glutathione (promoting a weaker but more extensible gluten), I have another reason for never, ever using it.

Personally, I'd be astonished if your recipe was calling for anything other than a 6 or 7g pack of instant/easyblend (breadmaking machine) type yeast.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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... I trust that either types would yield similar results with similar quantity

No!

"Active dried" yeast has got fewer live yeast cells per gram than the easyblend stuff.

So you have to use more of the 'active' stuff.

About 1/3 more.

And, as above, you need to 'start' the "active dried" rather than simply mixing it with the flour.

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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I believe a packet of active dry yeast in the US is 7 grams.

Is this really "two nations divided by a common language" again?

[...]

However "active dry" (or active dried) yeast is the older type of stuff, in coarser pellets, which needs 'starting' in its own warm water and is not suited to breadmaking machines, and so it is not sold in single dose tiny packets.

Also, now that I know (from Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain and from Emily Buehler) that the coarser "active dry" yeast is much higher in glutathione (promoting a weaker but more extensible gluten), I have another reason for never, ever using it.

While I agree with dougal that instant and active dry yeast is not interchangeable gram for gram, one can be substituted for the other (with appropriate changes in amount) with little or no effect on the resulting product. However, at least in the US, instant yeast and bread machine yeast (or Rapid Rise yeast) ARE different animals. First off, instant yeast is not sold in the standard packet format. In fact, I have to buy 454 g sacks of it at a place like Sam's Club and keep it sealed in a zip bag in either my fridge or my freezer. Rapid Rise yeast has various additives to it to maximize yeast development once activated. It's designed to allow you to mix and knead the dough, place it in the baking pan, let it rise and then bake it. Great for the on-the-go baker, not so good for flavor development. (As an aside, claudinefm never mentioned whether the method of making bread was going to be a bread machine or by hand.)

As for activating the yeast, I've never proofed either active dry or instant yeast and never had any problems. Then again, I usually use the yeast well before the expiration date printed on the package. If it's getting close, I might proof active dry just to be sure, but instant has always been reliable (even past the expiration date) since I keep it chilled.

All that being said, almost every non-technical bread recipe out there (i.e. not Peter Reinhart's book) will call for either yeast (which implies active dry) or actually specify active dry.

Just in case you wanted to know, a 7g packet of Active Dry yeast is equivalent to roughly 5.8g of instant yeast. Most home scales have 1g accuracy levels, so adding 6g instead of 5.8g isn't going to throw the recipe wildly off or anything.

Good luck in your baking.

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:biggrin: Thank you everyone for very useful info. I bake my bread by hand so I had the impression that the 'active dry' granulated yeast was better than the instant yeast also used for breadmaking machines. "Instant" has such a negative conotation! So I will use the instant form in the future - that is when I am in a hurry and cannot use fresh yeast.

Does anyone know the equivalence gram for gram between fresh yeast and the instant type? I used a ratio of 2/3 gr fresh instead of 1 gram of fresh. Does that seem right? Also, I can only get frozen 'fresh yeast' and therefore keep it in the freezer and use it as necessary. Any opinions on this??

Thanks to all for your help!

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...  I bake my bread by hand so I had the impression that the 'active dry' granulated yeast was better than the instant yeast also used for breadmaking machines.  "Instant" has such a negative conotation!  So I will use the instant form in the future - that is when I am in a hurry and cannot use fresh yeast. 

Does anyone know the equivalence gram for gram between fresh yeast and the instant type?  I used a ratio of 2/3 gr fresh instead of 1 gram of fresh.  Does that seem right?  Also, I can only get frozen 'fresh yeast' and therefore keep it in the freezer and use it as necessary.  Any opinions on this??

Thanks to all for your help!

10g of fresh (compressed, "cake") yeast is broadly equivalent to 4g of active dried or 3g of instant.

I said "broadly" equivalent, because 'fresh' doesn't really store well - it loses potency. It should be used as fresh as possible.

Which is why dried yeasts were invented...

Freezing. Hamelman says:

Bakers often ask about freezing fresh yeast. When frozen, yeast cells ... begin to die within a matter of days. Although fresh yeast can survive for a few weeks at temperatures as low as -4F, it gradually loses its fermentation ability. Dry yeast ... can be safely frozen for several months.
You can increase the quantity to make up the rising power, but you get more yeast taste - and with more dead yeast, (like 'active dried') more glutathione (which weakens gluten - good for pizza, not so good for bread).

UK labelling law is quite demanding.

Check the ingredients on the various 'instant' yeasts.

Doves Farm and Allinsons are just yeast with a miniscule addition of surfactant to help them dissolve easily. (And IIRC Allinson's also has a touch of Vitamin C {ascorbic acid, approved as E300}, which is fine by me.)

However McDougalls (I noted recently) is well loaded with a serious cocktail of "improvers".

This is *NOT* evident from the 'large print' branding.

You need to look at the small print ingredients listing.

Well worth checking. But the (essentially) straight instant yeast is excellent stuff, albeit more expensive to use than fresh - but the cost difference should be insignificant in the domestic context, not least when storage life and convenience are factored in.

Incidentally, Elizabeth David tells that 'fresh' (compressed) yeast was initially presumed by many bakers to be dried -- previously they'd only had liquid yeasts, whether as creams or barm.

So when hot air dried yeast was later invented, they presumably couldn't just call it 'dried'. And so I presume they called it "actively dried", because of the hot air. But the heating does kill a significant proportion of the yeast cells. So glutathione, yeasty taste...

"Instant" yeasts are the same stuff, but dried without killing so many cells. (My guess would be a low pressure process.)

Last point. Precision in yeast quantity only makes sense if you have time and temperature precision. Generally, domestic manual bakers don't, so yeast and temperature imprecision can be adjusted for by varying the time allowed for rising/fermenting...

However breadmaking machines should be consistent in their times and temperatures, and so need more precise quantities of standard activity yeast. Hence the individual, measured and protective packets... :cool:

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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:smile:

Thank you so much for such useful information. It will be instant yeast for me in the future, without any 'guilty feelings'. That is if I am not using the natural yeast and starter method, when time is on my side. Again, many thanks, Being a scientist, I appreciated your precise comments.

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  • 4 months later...

In an effort to live my life more simply and reduce the amount of purchased products that I use day to day, I've begun to bake bread. I've been making pizza for a while, but never loaf bread, so I started with Susan's Farmhouse White from her collaborative effort over at A Year in Bread. I love it and have been making it every 3 weeks, pretty religiously since I started.

Knowing that I've been doing this, my mother picked up a copy of Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Bread, Soups, and Stews for me. It's just his two books combined into one edition, but with two separate introductions and indexes. The book seems to be informative, although both books have garnered some less than positive reviews on various sites, so I am a bit skeptical. However, I'd like to try some of the recipes before I purchase another ( and possibly repetitive) bread book.

Anyway, I've been using instant yeast in my pizza dough for a while now, which worked out, because that's what the Farmhouse White called for as well. From Reinhart's American Pie, I know that 1 tsp instant yeast = 1.25 tsp dry active yeast, however, Clayton's book doesn't even use standard measurements for it. He just calls for # packets of yeast. I'd prefer to just use the instant yeast since I have a rather large package of it in my freezer.

So, how much instant yeast should I use when his recipes call for 1 packet of yeast?

Edited by keeperrox (log)
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  • 1 month later...

I can use some help/advice too!

I use instant yeast, bought at BJs so in 3 large vacuum sealed packages. I have one in the freezer, one in the pantry (sealed) and one opened in the pantry that I've been using. Expiration date is Sept. 2009. First thing is I am moving the sealed pantry package to the freezer as I am not using the yeast as fast as I thought I would. If I keep the packages freezed, how long past expiration date will they last? Months or more like a year or more?

The open package I've been using seems to not be "working" as well as it has been. The last 2 batches didn't rise nearly as much in the same amount of time. The first lower rise batch was still ok but noticable less risen... but baked and tasted fine. Only I noticed any difference from previous loaves. The most recent low rise bread (significantly less rise in same timeframe) was quite dense/heavy and while it tasted fine, it was well, dense and heavy. Great toasted though!

So... is my yeast dying? Can I simply use more in the recipe to compensate? Should I use the same amount of yeast but plan for a much longer rise time? Do I chuck the unused yeast (well, at least it'll help my septic tank so not a complete loss!), open a fresh package but keep the unused part in the freezer instead of the pantry? If so, do I need to brng the yeast back to room temp before using it in a recipe?

This is a classic case of "the more I learn, the less I know!" for me :blink: BTW, I right now have one more batch going, just to see if third time is lucky. I am nothing if not subborn :rolleyes:

Edited by jlwquilter (log)
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Hello all,

Can someone help clear up two things for me, please.

1. on Artisan Yeast Conversion Chart, what is the category "Portn-.06 Oz" under the Cake Yeast section? How does this relate to the ounces to the far left under the Cake Yeast category?

Second, earlier posts in this thread noted this formula for conversion:

fresh compressed yeast = 100%

Active Dry Yeast = 50%

Instant Dry Yeast = 33%

Now, looking back at the chart (and disregarding the Portn-06 Oz category), there is quite a discrepency, if I'm understanding this correctly, in determining conversions using the chart and using the formula I note above.

One Oz of active dry yeast — now look straight left to the cake Yeast figures — shows 2.4 Oz of cake yeast. Using the formula I note above (100%, 50%, 33%), however, suggests that the cake yeast should only be about 2 ounces. Isn't this a bit of a difference, which will affect recipes?

Thanks,

Starkman

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Can someone help clear up two things for me, please.

1. on Artisan Yeast Conversion Chart, what is the category "Portn-.06 Oz" under the Cake Yeast section? How does this relate to the ounces to the far left under the Cake Yeast category?

I'm not responsible for that table, but it would seem that the column in question is referring to how many 0.6 oz "portions" are being used/converted. See that 1.0 "portions" is equivalent to 0.6 oz.
Second, earlier posts in this thread noted this formula for conversion:

fresh compressed yeast = 100%

Active Dry Yeast = 50%

Instant Dry Yeast = 33%

Now, looking back at the chart (and disregarding the Portn-06 Oz category), there is quite a discrepency, if I'm understanding this correctly, in determining conversions using the chart and using the formula I note above.

One Oz of active dry yeast — now look straight left to the cake Yeast figures — shows 2.4 Oz of cake yeast. Using the formula I note above (100%, 50%, 33%), however, suggests that the cake yeast should only be about 2 ounces. Isn't this a bit of a difference, which will affect recipes? ...

As noted in my (March 26th) post above, my understanding is that

10g fresh/compressed = 4g actively dried = 3g instant mixing yeast

which implies that 1 oz actively dried would equate to about 2.5 oz of fresh/compressed.

(This ratio comes from the rules of thumb that say that "fresh" is about 70% water, molasses, etc and that "active dry" is about 1/4 dead yeast cells, from the hot air drying, while instant is near as dammit (99%+ usually) pure dry viable yeast cells.)

Since fresh/compressed/cake is in any case a bit variable, based on things like how dry or stale it is, I shouldn't think that you need bother about the small discrepancy between the figures I've offered and the figures in that table.

Treat any conversion method as an initial approximation, not a universal truth!

When changing the yeast type, the other elements within the 'yeast' - notably the presence or absence of dead yeast cells - may also need to be accounted for.

("Deactivated" - ie dead - yeast is a popular "dough conditioner"... :hmmm: )

And then there's the different ways they like to be woken up... !!

Edited by dougal (log)

"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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If I keep the packages freezed, how long past expiration date will they last? Months or more like a year or more?

So... is my yeast dying? Can I simply use more in the recipe to compensate? Should I use the same amount of yeast but plan for a much longer rise time? Do I chuck the unused yeast (well, at least it'll help my septic tank so not a complete loss!), open a fresh package but keep the unused part in the freezer instead of the pantry? If so, do I need to brng the yeast back to room temp before using it in a recipe?

Since the sacks you get of instant yeast are hermetically sealed, I simply leave unopened sacks on my pantry shelf (where it is cool). Once I open a sack of instant yeast, it immediately gets placed into an airtight container and placed in either the lower portion of my refrigerator or my freezer. Doing this I have been able to use the yeast for months after the expiration date. I suspect you might even get a year past the expiration date. You do not need to bring the yeast to room temperature first. For 1000g of flour, you are more than likely adding about 6-7g of instant yeast and anywhere from 600-800g of at least room temperature water. So that 7g of yeast will warm up very quickly.

The thing about bread dough and yeast in particular is that it is a living thing. How fast the yeast multiply depend on hydration of the dough, the ambient air temperature, and the age of the yeast. I'm not sure where you are posting from, but here in Ohio, the air temperature has dropped from an average high of 80 deg F to 60 deg F. Let me tell you, that will greatly affect how fast the dough rises.

As to how to deal with the issue, I would definitely NOT add more yeast to compensate. That will only lead to your finished breads tasting too "yeasty". If your kitchen is cooler, you have two choices: give the dough additional time or find a warm spot to rest the bowl with the dough in it. I've often employed an electric heating pad in the past if I was pressed for time. You could also pre-heat your oven for a very short period of time at it's lowest setting and then place the bowl in there after turning off the oven.

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      If not, throw in a few ice cubes and close the door or put a bath of hot water inside.
       
      The steam is what creates the sexy crust!
       
      Let it build up for a few minutes!
       
      Right before you put the bread into the oven use a bread razor to slice the top of the bread.
       
      Place the dough balls into the oven and douse with another blast of steam or ice and close the oven.
       
      Let them bake for 13 minutes at 450 degrees. Then turn the loaves and bake for another 10 minutes.
       
      Remove when the crust is as dark as you want and the internal temperature exceeds 190 degrees Fahrenheit.
       
      Now pull out and make sure to let cool off of the sheet pan with room to breath underneath. You don't want your crust steaming!
       
      Now here is the hardest part, wait at least 20 minutes before getting into the bread. Also, cutting into bread to early really seems to come out poorly. I would rip the bread until 1-2 hours has passed.
       
      Now serve it with your favorite butter, goat butter or whipped duck fat!
       
    • By andiesenji
      ANDIE'S ABSOLUTELY ADDICTING BREAD & BUTTER PICKLES
      Here’s the thing about pickles: if you’ve never made them, they may seem to be an overwhelming (and possibly mysterious) project. Our listener Andie – who has offered some really valuable help to the show several times in the past – has sent this recipe which provides an opportunity to “try your hand” at pickle-making without much effort. Andie suggests that making a small batch, and storing the pickles in the refrigerator (without “processing”) can get you started painlessly. Our Producer Lisa says that the result is so delicious that you won’t be able to keep these pickles on hand - even for the 3-4 months that they’ll safely keep!
      The basics are slicing the cucumbers and other veggies, tossing them with salt and crushed ice and allowing them to stand for awhile to become extra-crisp. You then make a simple, sweet and spicy syrup, (Andie does this in the microwave), rinse your crisp veggies, put them in a jar, pour the syrup over, and keep them in the refrigerator until they’re “pickled” – turning the jar upside down each day. In about 2 weeks you’ll have pickles – now how much easier could that be? If you are inspired, I hope you’ll try these – and enjoy!
      MAKES ABOUT 1 QUART.
      FOR THE PICKLES:
      4 to 6 pickling cucumbers (cucumbers should be not much larger than 1 inch in diameter, and
      4 to 5 inches long)
      1/2 to 3/4 of one, medium size onion.
      1/2 red bell pepper.
      1/4 cup, pickling salt (coarse kosher salt)
      2 quarts, cracked ice
      water to cover
      2 tablespoons, mustard seed.
      1 heaping teaspoon, celery seed
      FOR THE SYRUP:
      1 1/2 cups, vinegar
      *NOTE: Use cider or distilled white vinegar, do not use wine vinegar.
      1 1/2 cups, sugar
      2 heaping teaspoons, pickling spice mix.
      PREPARE THE PICKLES:
      Carefully wash the cucumbers and bell pepper. Slice all vegetables very thin, using a food processor with a narrow slicing blade, or by hand, or using a V-slicer or mandoline. Toss the sliced vegetables together in a glass or crockery bowl large enough to hold twice the volume of the vegetables. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables, add the cracked ice, toss again to blend all ingredients and add water to just barely cover the vegetables. Place a heavy plate on top of the vegetables to keep them below the top of the liquid.
      *Set aside for 4 hours.
      PREPARE THE SYRUP:
      Place the vinegar, sugar and pickling spices in a 4-quart Pyrex or other microwavable container (the large Pyrex measure works very well)
      Microwave on high for 15 to 20 minutes. [if a microwave is not available, simmer the syrup in a narrow saucepan on the stovetop, over low heat, for the same length of time.] Allow the syrup to cool. Strain the syrup and discard the spices.
      ASSEMBLE THE PICKLES:
      Place one wide-mouth quart canning jar (or two wide-mouth pint jars) with their lids in a pot of water to cover, place over medium heat and bring the water to a simmer (180 degrees). Remove the pot from the heat and allow jar(s) and lid(s) to remain in the hot water until needed.
      *After the 4 hours are up (crisping the vegetables as described above) pour the vegetables into a large colander and rinse well. The cucumber slices should taste only slightly salty. Return the rinsed vegetables to the bowl, add the mustard seeds and celery seeds and toss well until evenly distributed. Set aside.
      Return the syrup to the microwave, microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes [or heat the syrup on the stovetop] until an instant read thermometer shows the temperature of the syrup is 190 to 200 degrees.
      Place the vegetables into one wide-mouth quart jar, or in 2 wide-mouth pint
      jars that have been scalded as described above. Pour the syrup over the vegetables, place the lids on the jar or jars, tighten well and place in the refrigerator overnight.
      The following day, turn the jar upside down - then continue to turn every day for 2 weeks. (This is to insure that the pickles are evenly flavored)
      After 2 weeks open the jar and taste. The pickles should be ready to eat.
      Pickles will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 months.
      ( RG2154 )
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