Fresh yeast (also known as live yeast) makes a real difference in many baking recipes, so it is worth giving it a try. Getting your hands on some may seem complicated at first, as fresh yeast is not generally available in your local supermarket. Once you know where to look, however, the additional effort is close to zero.
Below are some tips on where to buy fresh yeast in North London. Please do let me know if you know of other places – I am happy to add your suggestions to the list!
Wherever you get your fresh yeast from, keep in mind that it is highly perishable and needs to be kept at fridge temperature. If you get it from a shop, take it back home as soon as possible. If you get it online, make sure that it is sent in temperature-controlled packaging. In any event, always proof it before adding it to your recipe.
From your local bakery
Many bloggers suggest to ask your local bakery to give you some of their fresh yeast. If you local bakery does indeed bake good bread and pastries, they will have fresh yeast and may be willing to give some to you, if you ask nicely. They would usually do this for free, especially if you don’t need much. I love the idea of sharing the yeast as an act of love, so I gave it a try and asked Le Moulin bread & patisserie (182 Kentish Town Rd, NW5 2AE). They very nicely gave me a small quantity for free. Rumours are indeed true.
From your local whole food store
Most whole food stores sell fresh yeast. I get mine from the Earth Food Store in Kentish Town.
Fresh yeast is easy to find online, for example from Ocado. I recommend The Bertinet Kitchen & Bakery, a cookery school based in Brighton. The fresh yeast on sale in their Amazon shop, was packaged in a temperature-controlled bag, arrived firm and moist, and gave lovely bubbles after proofing.