Which yeast to use: choosing the best type for any recipe

With all of the varieties of yeast out there (let alone brand names), how do you know which yeast to use?

Which Yeast to Use via @kingarthurflour

Traditional active dry yeast and fast-rising yeast

Active dry yeast (ADY), the stuff your mom may have used, is widely available everywhere. You’ll find it in your supermarket’s cold case in 1/4-ounce packets, three packets to a strip; it’s also available in bulk, in 4-ounce jars. ADY is the tortoise in the tortoise/hare race: while slow to get going, it provides hours of steady growth.

Then there’s fast-rising yeast (a.k.a. highly active yeast) – the hare in the race. Red Star Quick-Rise™ and Fleischmann’s RapidRise® are the two most popular brands. These yeasts purport to work 50% faster than ADY.

Now, here’s an important point: Red Star advises bakers not use their fast-rising yeast for refrigerated or frozen dough – which eliminates no-knead dough as well as many sweet dough recipes, which often call for a long, slow rise in the fridge.

Which Yeast to Use via @kingarthurflour

Versatile SAF instant yeast

Here’s our favorite yeast: SAF instant yeast, a King Arthur Flour test kitchen staple for decades. SAF gets going much more quickly than ADY, and has just as much staying power.

SAF instant yeast is appropriate for all dough, from your standard sandwich bread with its minimal rising, to multi-day refrigerated no-knead dough, to frozen-dough dinner rolls.

Note: The nomenclature for yeast can be very confusing. Red Star and Fleischmann’s don’t offer “instant yeast” per se – but both call their fast-rising and bread machine yeasts “instant yeast.” We’ve found that SAF instant yeast is not the same as Red Star and Fleischmann’s fast-rising yeasts; so when you see a recipe on this site calling for instant yeast, we’re referring to SAF instant yeast.

Why choose ADY or fast-rising yeast instead of instant?

Instant yeast certainly looks like the way to go. Still, there are times when bakers might choose active dry yeast, or one of the fast-rising yeasts. Why?

Comfort and tradition. Some bakers simply love to use what they’ve always used, or what their mom or grandma used. Carrying on family baking traditions is important, and certainly a valid reason for sticking with your tried-and-true active dry yeast.

Flavor. Many bakers report a difference in flavor between active dry and instant or fast-rising yeast, with ADY lending bread milder, less aggressively “yeasty” taste.

Fear and confusion. “My recipe calls for active dry yeast, so I have to use active dry yeast.”

Not true! It’s easy to use instant yeast in recipes calling for ADY or fast-rising yeast – no fancy conversions needed. Simply use the same amount of instant yeast in your recipe as ADY or fast-rising. Add it right along with your other dry ingredients; there’s no need to dissolve instant yeast in water first.

Let’s put all three yeasts to the test.

How do these three most common yeasts – active dry, fast-rising, and instant – perform against one another?

Which Yeast to Use via @kingarthurflour

Active dry yeast takes longer to work.

Here we have (l to r) Red Star ADY, Red Star Quick-Rise, and SAF Red instant yeast. I’ve just kneaded the dough, and it’s going through its first rise in mini loaf pans (top).

The Quick-Rise and SAF instant yeasts are about equal in volume after an hour; the ADY is lagging behind (bottom).

Now let’s shape and bake these breads.

Which Yeast to Use via @kingarthurflour

Here they are shaped and in the pan (top); and 1 hour later, risen.

The ADY is still behind Quick-Rise and SAF instant. SAF (right) has pulled ahead of Quick-Rise just a tad, though you can’t see it from this angle. In fact, the SAF loaf has crowned about 1/4″ over the rim of its pan, so I put it into the oven to bake. Fifteen minutes later, the Quick-Rise loaf is also ready, and goes into the oven.

A full hour after the first loaf went in, the ADY loaf still isn’t fully risen. The point’s been made by now; ADY is slower than both Quick-Rise and SAF instant. So I go ahead and bake it.

Which Yeast to Use via @kingarthurflour

The finished loaves

Here’s a cross-section of the results. That’s ADY on the left; Quick-Rise in the center, and SAF Red on the right.

The SAF Red and Quick-Rise loaves bake to virtually the same height, but the SAF loaf rises a bit more quickly in the pan than the Quick-Rise.

The ADY loaf is shorter – though, given enough time, it would have risen fully and no doubt produced as tall a loaf as its Quick-Rise and instant competitors.

Flavor-wise, both the Quick-Rise and SAF instant yeast loaves have a distinctly yeasty flavor and aroma, while the ADY loaf’s flavor is more neutral.

The overall winner? SAF instant, by a crumb.

By virtue of its fast, strong rise; and its versatility (standard, no-knead, and refrigerated/frozen doughs), we choose SAF instant.

OK, now that we’ve established SAF instant yeast is the ideal all-around yeast, we have another potential decision to make:

Which SAF yeast to use, Red or Gold?

SAF Red is your best choice for all-around baking, from sandwich loaves to crusty no-knead bread to freeze-and-bake dinner rolls.

SAF Gold is formulated for one specific type of dough: sweet dough. Think Portuguese Sweet Bread, Hawaiian Buns, Panettone, Raisin Challah, and the like.

What about cinnamon rolls or sticky buns, you ask? Well, they’re sweet – but mainly from their topping/filling. The dough for these sweet rolls is often only lightly sweetened, if at all; so they don’t need SAF Gold.

Here’s a rule of thumb: if the weight of the sugar in your recipe is equal to or greater than 10% of the weight of the flour, SAF Gold will hasten the dough’s rise.

Roughly translated to volume, any recipe calling for over 1 tablespoon sugar per cup of flour will benefit from SAF Gold.

But can’t you just use SAF Red, and let everything rise longer?

Yes – but there’s a tradeoff. Most sweet doughs also include eggs, milk, and/or butter. Letting these elements sit at warm room temperature for hours at a time, as the dough rises, can cause them to take on a slightly tangy, fermented flavor; and this flavor can clash with the appealing sweetness of your finished loaf. SAF Gold, with its shorter rising time, prevents this flavor deterioration.

Let’s see what happens when we test Red against Gold in our Hawaiian Buns. With the buns’ sugar/flour ratio climbing above 22%, they’re one sweet candidate for this test!

Which Yeast to Use via @kingarthurflour

Here are the two doughs just after mixing (top), and 90 minutes later (bottom). That’s SAF Gold on the left, SAF Red on the right.

Which Yeast to Use via @kingarthurflour

I shape the dough into buns, and let them rise for an hour (bottom).

The SAF Gold buns (left) have risen slightly more than the Red buns; see how the Gold buns are filling more of the pan?

Which Yeast to Use via @kingarthurflour

And here they are, baked and ready to enjoy.

Which Yeast to Use via @kingarthurflour

SAF Gold wins the sweet dough test.

That’s Gold on the left, Red on the right. In sweeter recipes, Gold produces a higher-rising bun.

So we’ve gotten to the end of our tests, and I’m happy to say SAF instant yeast has validated my long-time faith. For the full range of all my yeast baking, SAF is the choice.

Still, there’s one more reason to choose SAF instant yeast:

The price is right.

Sold in its typical three-packet, 3/4-ounce strip, active dry yeast or fast-rising yeast at the grocery store costs around $40 a pound.

A pound of SAF Red instant yeast – the equivalent of 64 (1/4-ounce) packets – costs $5.95.

Are you worried about using up a pound of yeast? Stored in your freezer, it’ll stay good for at least a year, and probably longer. In fact, though the manufacturer would certainly never recommend it, I’ve used 6-year-old instant yeast (stored in the freezer), and still achieved good results.

SAF gives you the most bang for your buck. Its value, combined with quality, seals the deal for me.

Which yeast to choose – the bottom line:

P.S. For those of you who go WAY back, fresh yeast (cake yeast) was the staple of every bread baker’s kitchen. These days, though, the familiar foil-wrapped cubes are available only in scattered grocery stores. So for the sake of simplicity, I didn’t include fresh yeast in these tests.

Looking for more information on successful yeast-bread baking? See our 5 Quick Tips for High-Rising Yeast Loaves.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

comments

  1. Amy

    Thanks for the comparison, PJ; this is great. I know that it wasn’t your MO here, but it really would have been great to see fresh yeast included as a comparison. I’ve started baking with fresh yeast while I’ve been overseas (the dehydrated yeast obviously includes ingredients other than yeast, and that weirds me out). I’m sure I’ll go back to good old SAF red when I can order it from you again (and stop having ends of little foil packets go moldy in the fridge), I’m curious about how the fresh stuff works in a direct comparison.

    Reply
    1. Nancy

      I, too, am interested in a comparison of cake to dry. Have my grandmothers wonderful dinner roll recipe that calls for cake yeast. Wish I could find it in the store. How much dry yeast would I use?
      Thanks!

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      I’m a huge fan of fresh yeast, too! It can be tough to get, so a good adjustment is to use 2-3 times as much as the amount of dried yeast. The fresh yeast has moisture in it that contributes to the weight and volume, which is why you’ll increase the volume when using fresh yeast (less dry yeast if you are converting a recipe from the original fresh yeast). If you’re still looking for fresh yeast, occasionally a good artisan bakery will still use it and you can ask to purchase a small amount from them. Remember it only lasts a few weeks at the most, so don’t be greedy. Happy baking- Laurie@KAF

  2. C

    Thanks for the great info – as a newbie baker I always wondered the difference between yeasts and the terminology! Question though… If you store the yeast in the freezer, can you use it frozen? Or do you need to let it come to room temp first?

    Reply
    1. JOHN KARANIKAS

      I use “king Aurthur flower,each time,i make “greek bread”,it always come out different ? I read the recipe,.yet, each time,maybe mI just don”t understand the direction,after a couple of “cold ones”,I just go with the flow———–ANY ADVICE WILL HELP MY “COLD ONES”

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      John, we’d love to discuss your Greek bread recipe and how you might make your results more consistent. Please give us a call at the Baker’s Hotline (855-371-2253). Barb@KAF

  3. Ricardo Gonzalez - Petrópolis, RJ, Brazil

    Another great post. I´m really happy because i feel breads are now again as protagonists at this fantastic blog.
    This text is really what beginers need to start baking with no questions unsolved about how yeasts work on bread!

    I here, when baking sweet doughs use the Gold, but when we don´t have Gold, simply we double the amount of yeast and add a % of extra liquid just to adjust the supply of it to yeast, due to higroscopicity of sugar that holds the major part of liquid and the remained liquid is not sufficient to fed the yeast at this kind of dough!

    I suppose we will have lots of new breads this year at Flourish. Congratulations!

    Reply
    1. Carol Davidson

      The use of different substances’ hygroscopic properties in baking are often used to achieve differences in moisture content and, hence, crispiness. Different varieties of sugars are used in different quantities to produce a crunchy, crisp biscuit (US: cookie) versus a soft, chewy cake. Sugars such as honey, brown sugar, and molasses are examples of sweeteners used to create more moist, chewy cakes.

  4. Sue

    I use Fleischmann’s instant dry yeast in 1# packages…isn’t this equivalent to SAF instant?
    It certainly works well for me.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It is…we usually tell customers to use 1 packet (3 tsp) of Fleischmann’s to 2 1/4 teaspoons of SAF Red Star yeast. Hope this helps. JoAnn@KAF

  5. fiona

    Thank you so much! I usually have red SAF, but occasionally I’m between bags and have to go to the grocery store.

    Talk about a mind-boggling array of packet yeasts:(

    Again, thanks and have a good day.

    Reply
  6. picosinge

    Thank you for the analysis! I use mostly sourdough starter and only instant yeast on occasion. One bag of SAF stored in the freezer lasts me several years and never seems to lose its potency! It is so much more reliable than those three-packs one gets at grocery stores …

    Reply
  7. Rod F.

    What annoys me about the yeast shelf is a certain yeast company offers different types of yeast at an ascending price scale ADY, Rapud Rise, then Bread Machine, Pizza and instant. The last thee are the same yeast! And they are priced differently! I find that really off putting. I have used SAF. Ever since! It’s the “straight goods” !

    Reply
  8. Eric

    Great article, keep up the good work!I have been using red for a long time. I’d love to see a taste comparison between SAF Red and fresh yeast. Some bakers tell me fresh has a better flavor, I couldn’t tell. Has anyone done a comparison?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Eric,
      Flavor-wise, many folks do detect a different flavor with fresh yeast versus dried yeast, but it’s definitely a personal taste thing. Just like different coffees, and chocolates, different palates will pick up different nuances. The “best” yeast to use flavor-wise is the one *you* prefer. ~ MJ

  9. Mercedes

    Thank you so much for sharing with us this yeast comparison. I love to bake with the red saf yeast. I thinkg that it is the best. I tried a lot of yeast brands but when I tried this, I literally felt in love.
    Now It is good to know that the gold one is for sweet baking stuff.
    Thanks!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  10. Will in Pittsburgh

    I recently opened a package of SAF yeast that had been languishing in my sister’s chest freezer; it had an expiration date of 2005. After successfully proofing a teaspoon, I tried it in one of my usual bread machine recipes and it worked just fine. I certainly wouldn’t recommend planning to keep yeast around that long, but it’s good to know it can last.

    The upshot: don’t be afraid to buy the one pound package, keep it in the freezer, and proof it first if it’s been a while since you last used it.

    Reply
    1. Phyllis

      I was scanning to see if anyone had old yeast, as I do. I have been using the same yeast since 1999. Seriously. I bought a pound of Fleishmans, and put it in the freeze in a tightly sealed canning jar. I will make bread for weeks, then quit. Then a year later, get on a fresh bread kick again. This yeast is still good. I just thought that was amazing, and wondered if any one had the same experience. I love, love to bake artisan bread. I left the dough in the fridge 6 days, once and used it for pizza dough…oh my goodness. Best pizza dough, rolled very thin.

  11. McNearney

    If you have a Gordon Food Service store near you. They are common in Michigan. They sell red SAF yeast for 2.79 a pound container. I do store mine in the freezer and use it directly from there with no problems. I have never looked for the gold SAF. I just LOVE this yeast. And yes, it stores a long time in the freezer. I put a clip on the top of the bag and then put it in a zip lock bag. My last one lasted over a year and a half and was just as good the last day as the first. There is a long time to the expiration period on these packages.

    Reply
    1. Strega

      I love, love, love GFS (Gordon Food Service.) Unfortunately, I no longer have access to a store since moving to Nebraska. I shopped at a store in Evansville, IN for years. I even spoke to management about putting a store in Lincoln, NE, stating a competitor has two stores here. I am waiting and waiting. I would buy the yeast there in large bags. When I moved, I bought two bags and still have one in the pantry. I will now move it to my freezer—-didn’t know you could do that! It will make me feel better knowing I will be able to use it for a longer period of time.

  12. tina b

    I use the Red Star Platinum yeast and find it superior to all others in performance and flavor. It can be hard to find so when I see it I grab it.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Jean,
      Even including shipping, the bulk yeast is still just $11.95 per pound, and even better when you buy your yeast during a free shipping promotion. ~ MJ

  13. Lexy

    Not doing as much baking now as in days past I’d like to buy just one order of yeast. I’m wondering if I should err using your sugar yeast for the sweet breads with coffee cake/cakes…..or use the cake type yeast for that and also the sweet breads?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Lexy,
      The SAF Red is excellent for all around baking. You just need to know that using it in sweet breads will increase your rise times, so plan accordingly. ~ MJ

    2. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Lexy,
      The SAF Red is excellent for all around baking. You just need to know that using it in sweet breads will increase your rise times, so plan accordingly. ~ MJ

  14. Dave Arrich

    Very informative. Good job!. Thanks. I’m a gluten-free baker and use SAF Red instant and have used the active dry from Red Star and Fleischmann’s little packets (which are ridiculously priced). I freeze both opened and unopened packages of SAF and keep a pint jar of it that I use in the back of the fridge in front of the cooling vents. It stays viable a very long time.

    Now, for the rest of us, would you do a comparison on the same yeasts performance in your gluten-free flour blend please? I use it on occasion along with my primary blend as detailed in America’s Test Kitchen gluten-free cook books simply because it’s less expensive and it has no gum. Included gum does not always work well in some recipes. At least you won’t have to knead the gooey dough for the tests 🙂 Thanks.

    Reply
  15. mort

    I am curious to know if you have run similar tests on gluten free baked goods. I bake many GF things, and have only had consistently good results with ADY. I cannot figure why there would be a difference, though.

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Mort,
      We haven’t tried the same testing with GF, but expect the results would be quite similar. ~ MJ

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Pizza dough is low in sugar, so the logical choice would be the SAF red, or the active dry. You won’t need to use the Gold in that sort of recipe. Laurie@KAF

  16. Peggy

    As PJ mentioned, the instant yeast last a long time in the freezer. I just looked at the date on my Gold. It is 0213. In the last 6 months I discovered the Hawaian Buns. The yeast is still going strong right out of the freezer. Thanks KA!!

    Reply
  17. Jane C

    Thanks for this very informative article. I don’t often bake yeast bread, but when I do I generally use the no-knead “Cottage Bread” recipe from the Elmira College Cookbook of 1971. I haven’t tried SAF yeast before, but I will definitely get my hands on some. Seeing is believing!

    Reply
  18. Lois Davis

    I’ll have try the saf-instant yeast, I like a strong yeast flavor and was wondering how the bakeries get that taste. I’ve always used ADY, good baking results but the yeast flavor wasn’t as strong as the bakery loaves. If anyone knows the bakery secrets let me in on it.

    Reply
  19. Sammie

    I swear by SAF Red yeast! My breads didn’t turn out well until I quit using supermarket yeast and discovered SAF a couple of years ago. Using other yeasts, breads would turn hard by the next day. SAF is the secret ingredient for successful baking in my experience!

    Thanks for doing the comparison between the Red and Gold yeasts. I will try the Gold for sweet rolls.

    Reply
  20. Julie

    We have an old recipe for sweet rolls from my grandmother that calls for “a nickel’s-worth of yeast”. I assume this dates back to buying cakes of fresh yeast from the grocer. The recipe was probably from my great-grandmother, so they would have made the rolls in the 1920s-30s-40s. Might anyone know what that reference would mean in an actual measurement? And a conversion to a dry yeast?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      A little research indicates that the “nickel” was a reference to the size of the yeast. A ball the size of a nickel is about 1/2 ounce of fresh yeast. Use about two teaspoons of your dry yeast Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  21. Anne Hood

    Does using potato flour take the place of using cooked potato and potato water in a recipe? The cinnamon roll recipe I use calls for a cup of cooked potato and a cup of the water it was cooked in. Can I eliminate that by using the potato flour?
    I am so confused about which type of yeast to use. The more I read, the more confused I am! I wish a recipe would just tell me exactly which type yeast to use and be done with it! What type yeast should I use in my cinnamon rolls….the gold SAF or just some active dry yeast? And what about your No-Knead Crusty White Bread?
    Thanks for your help! Anne

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lots of questions, here!
      If your recipe calls for potato and potato water, my inclination would be to stick with that. If you must proceed, you’ll start using 1/4 the amount of potato, and replacing the potato water with regular water. Your results will likely differ from what you are used to, so be prepared to experiment.
      If your cinnamon rolls have 10% or more of the flour weight as sugar, then use the SAF Gold. No Knead Crusty bread calls for instant or active dry- use what you have, because you’ll have good results in either case. In general, we try not to be too hard and fast on what to use because sometimes it discourages people from baking if they don’t have the exact ingredient specified. We simply want people to bake! Laurie@KAF

  22. Susan Sparks

    If you store Saf yeast in a food saver sealed bag or food savor sealed jar (airtight) is it ok to store at room temperature? Thanks for a great and very informative article.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The quality will decline faster at room temperature (no specific estimate, sorry). In line with the manufacturer’s recommendations to keep it cold, we recommend refrigerating it at least, but the freezer really is the best place for it. Laurie@KAF

  23. Robin

    Thank you so much for this article. I have been hesitant to buy the SAF red, thinking it might go bad before I could use all of it. Great to know I can buy it and freeze it.

    Reply
  24. Linda Jean

    Wow. Over time I have had many questions about the different kinds of yeast called for in recipes, but my Fleischmann’s Instant Dry that I buy in bulk from BJ’s has always seemed to work so I just kept using it. This information is so helpful. I’ll give SAF gold a try in a sweet dough. I have always stored my yeast in the freezer and also find that it can be many, many years old and still work.

    Reply
  25. Toshamer

    Thanks for the great article, PJ. It is very helpful. I’ve always used Fleischmann’s ADY for challah but when my usual grocery store switched to Red Star, I tried their ADY. Sadly, my family did not care for the flavor, so I searched until I found a store carrying Fleischmann’s. The speed of the SAF Gold, however, is very enticing. On the flavor scale, would you consider it to be more mild like Fleischmann’s ADY or more robust like Red Star ADY? Also, have you noticed any difference in flavor between the SAF Red and Gold?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Some claim that active dry yeast provides a more yeasty flavor, but we have not conducted yeast taste tests. You’ll need to experiment and find what you like best. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  26. Chris

    Excellent comparison and thanks for info; however, I would like to see the difference with different flours – maybe the most common 3 maybe – just too many to evaluate, I understand.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Ahh, the permutations are endless, and it’s not just because of the flour. Recipes, times for risings, temperatures… we could spend our life testing the variations. It’s a great science experiment. Please feel free to test your favorite recipe using different flours to find your preferred combinations! Happy baking- Laurie@KAF

  27. Angie

    How about the yeast (2 pkgs) you buy at Sam. Red foil. Is this a all around yeast to use for bakings? I’m new in baking needs some feedback. Can you use this yeast fir bread machine ? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I do not shop there but after doing a quick search on the Sam’s Club site, Fleishman’s has red and white packaging and comes in a 2 pk (16 oz ea). This is an instant yeast just like the SAF Red featured in this blog. If this is not the yeast, just let us know and we can look into it further. Elisabeth@KAF

  28. Ellen

    Thanks for this article, including the photos. Perhaps you addressed this and I missed it, but which yeast is best for used in bread machines. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Use instant yeast such as the SAF Red for all-purpose baking. If you are baking an enriched dough, go for the Gold. Elisabeth@KAF

  29. Ken Meltsner

    Any reason not to use the Gold SAF yeast for general baking as well? Other than the slightly higher price, of course.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You may use the Gold for all your yeast baking if there is no regular yeast on hand. Elisabeth@KAF

    2. Sally

      I’m confused – wouldn’t it make sense to buy ONLY gold so that you can use it with sweetened and unsweetened dough? Is there any reason NO to do so? thanks!

    3. PJ Hamel, post author

      Sally, we’ve found that SAF Gold, since it’s formulated specifically for higher-sugar doughs, doesn’t do well in “lean” dough (lower sugar/lower fat). So best to either have both yeasts; or stick to SAF Red, which you can try increasing by half for higher-sugar doughs. Hope this helps – PJH

    4. Shelly Cohen

      I’ve been USING SAF Gold for everything and it works fine for me. I originally got it because I thought I saw somewhere that it was recommended for use with sourdough starter, but I can’t figure out where that came from – it doesn’t seem consistent with this article. Anyway, that’s been my go-to yeast, and I have no complaints. (And it does keep forever in the freezer.

  30. thyra

    OK,PJ…. you sold me !!! Have only ever used ADY. Just ordered the Instant Red & Gold from KA….hope I’m happy, I don’t adjust to change easily !!!

    Reply
  31. Kerry

    I’m looking forward to trying the SAF Gold yeast, but I am wondering if you’d still recommend using it for sweet bread recipes that use a sponge or other pre-ferment?
    I’m indebted to you and KAF for my improvement as a baker!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Tama, for longest shelf life we recommend storing your yeast in the freezer. This will generally extend the shelf life well beyond the “use by” date. Refrigerated yeast has a shorter shelf life. Red Star recommends using it within 4 months once it’s opened and stored in the refrigerator, and 6 months when stored in the freezer, but we’ve found it lasts longer than that in the freezer. Be sure to keep it in an airtight container or ziploc bag. Barb@KAF

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      Yeast stored in an airtight container can last for years. With that being said, you should note the “best by use date”. Also, if you need to see if the yeast is still good, you can “bloom” your yeast by taking 1 teaspoon yeast with 1 Tbsp lukewarm water and a pinch of sugar. Let it stand 10 minutes and see if there is activity and bubbling. Then you will know it is still good. Hope this helps and Happy baking! JoAnn@KAF

  32. Gail

    The KAF recipe for English Muffin Toasting Bread calls for 1 tablespoon instant yeast. The foil packets contain only 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast. Is it OK to save the unused yeast for the next baking or should the unused portion be tossed?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can save the unused portion for next time. Just store it in an airtight container in the freezer. Happy baking!! JoAnn@KAF

  33. Barb

    I don’t have issues with rising and have been making all our bread for a long time. However, I have trouble with too many spaces or holes in the bread. Also, the middle of the slice seems a bit
    “weak”. I’ve rolled out the dough for Italian, French, Oatmeal, etc. and, even tho I concentrate on
    sealing side seams, I always seem to have “smiles” or slits on the slices. If I don’t roll it out and
    then manually roll it back up, I still get the holes. Any suggestions?
    Thanks so much.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Barb, many people seek the type of holes you describe, especially in an Italian or French bread, but if you want a more solid, denser crumb it may be helpful to put the bread in the oven a bit earlier. You might also try using bread flour, rather than all-purpose flour, which develops a stronger gluten structure and can lead to a tighter crumb. When substituting bread flour for all-purpose flour you should add 1 tablespoon extra liquid per each cup of bread flour substituted. Barb@KAF

  34. Chris

    I am new to bread making and have be experimenting with the different types of yeast. Do you have suggestion on how to best add the SAF instant yeast when mixing up dough? I have been using KAF Classic 100% whole wheat recipe using white whole wheat flour. Thanks! All of the blogs have been very helpful.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Chris, the SAF instant yeast can be added directly with the flour and does not need to be dissolved or proofed. Barb@KAF

  35. Allison

    What yeast would you recommend for bread machines?

    Also, what yeast/any tips for whole wheat bread or bread made using at least 50% whole wheat flour?

    I made a recipe with 1C bread flour and 2C whole wheat, and it didn’t rise nearly as much as other recipes I’ve made using 100% bread flour (it didn’t even get to the top of the bread machine pan).

    It is also incredibly dense, rather than soft (If I put it in a bag and swung it at someone, it would hurt). Is the issue the yeast, gluten, or something else, and how can I “fix” it?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  36. Randi

    I’m new to bread baking and now I’m told to go gluten free. I have a jar of active dry yeast. How do I use it in this recipe instead of instant yeast?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Randi, active dry yeast needs to be activated–proofed–ahead of time. Simply add the required amount of yeast with the warm water from the recipe and a pinch of sugar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so it gets all bubbly before continuing on with the rest of the recipe. Bryanna@KAF

  37. Carla

    I’ve used SAF red and gold for years. I buy the pound packages, keep in the freezer, never test it and it always works. I LOVE this yeast. I’ve had no problems with SAF when using an old recipe calling for active dry or fresh yeast. By hand or by machine the result is always perfect…even at Denver’s high altitude.

    Reply
  38. Nancy

    I switched from active dry year to SAF instant a few years ago when I ordered a bread machine. I really liked the results and now use it for almost all my baking, whether by hand or by machine. I recently tried a few sweet bread recipes and gave the SAF gold a try. I liked the results with the gold a lot better for these as the breads seemed fluffier and softer. (Maybe I am just too impatient to let them fully rise with the instant yeast!) I am glad to know I can use it in my regular recipes too since I still have a lot of it on hand.
    BTW, I found a baking buddy at work so we take turns ordering SAF yeast and divide it between us. That way we have fresher yeast and it gives us an excuse to share baked goods as well! That being said, when I have yeast that is past it’s expiration I usually proof it with warm water and a pinch of sugar to make sure it is still good, although I’ve never had a problem with SAF yeasts, even when a year past the expiration date.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Nancy, we do still recommend that you reserve your SAF gold yeast for sweet bread recipes. Barb@KAF

  39. Lenore

    I have used the SAF red for years-excellent. When I come to Vermont in Sept I think I will purchase the SAF gold for my sweet doughs….I can almost taste the results now.
    I met PJ years ago when we started coming to Vermont in the summer. She is nice as can be. She told me at the time that if I retired to Vermont she would hire me! Well, PJ-I haven’t gotten there yet, but I am working on it!!!
    Many thanks for the memories.

    Reply
  40. LindaW

    I am an occasional bread baker so I simply use the packets I buy at my local grocery store. Thank you for walking me thru the “yeast dilemma” as I now have a much better understanding of how using the right yeast contributes to bread baking.

    Reply
  41. Donna Cohen

    Not kidding about the amount of time it can be kept in the airtight container in the freezer. I had mine in for six years. I gave it the proofing test a couple of times because who wants to go through the time and expense and have something flop, and it won hands down!

    I finally replaced it about a month ago because it rising had slowed down tremendously. Six years was quite a long time! I used my fresh yeast, wow, what a difference! Of course, I have found using KA flours make a difference in taste and texture, or is it that I just love the products??

    I love the products and the bakers, who are always available to help us with our questions!

    Reply
  42. Lynn Smith, Houston, TX

    Wow I am feeling pretty ignorant right now, have been baking Mammaw’s Refrigerator Rolls for 30+ years with Fleishmann’s fast rise yeast and always get perfect results. I need to try your SAF and see if they are even better!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lynn, we can’t argue with success! I always say go with what works best for you! Barb@KAF

  43. Larry Slade

    I make pizza dough with ady yeast. I let it rise in the refrigerator for 24 hours. It tastes flat, not like the crust they make in Italy.
    Help

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Larry, we’d love to help you with your pizza dough! Please give us a call at the Baker’s Hotline so that we can discuss what might have caused this problem. Our number is 855-371-2253(BAKE) and we’re here M-F 8am-9pm EST, and Saturday and Sunday from 8am-5pm EST. Barb@KAF

  44. Al Stankunas

    I supplement my sourdough starter with some dry yeast. Would the resistance to osmotic effects of SAF Gold make it a better choice than SAF Red?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Al, no, I wouldn’t recommend using the SAF Gold in your sourdough recipes. Barb@KAF

  45. Pat

    Great comparisons and I didn’t know about Red Star quick rising and not to use with refrigerated doughs. Here in Minnesota, I can find fresh yeast at several grocery stores during the November-December baking season for our traditional Scandinavian and German holiday traditional baked items. It is usually in or near the dairy case or I ask and someone always knows where it is stocked. Some of the chains here that have fresh yeast at that time include CUB Foods, Lunds and Byerly’s, and Coborns, all use Super Valu as their supplier.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Pat, you can use the Red Star Quick Rising yeast for refrigerated dough, but we don’t recommend using “Rapid Rise” yeast for this purpose, as we’ve found this type of instant yeast tends to give you a great first rise, but loses rising power over time. Barb@KAF

  46. John Brandolini

    Interesting article. I had used Fleischmann’s bread machine yeast back when I was using a machine. I decided I didn’t like the paddle hole in the bread and went back to hand formed loaves. Since I like to make breads which require a pre-ferment (I use a poolish fermented for 16 to 18 hours) I found that Fleischmann’s active dry yeast works fine by first proofing the yeast with malt sugar instead of white sugar. All my artisan breads are made this way without any white sugar. Malt, which can be obtained from home brew suppliers, gives a strong rise and a real old world taste and texture. I use a 68% hydration ratio which produces excellent Italian or French breads. I also use ADY to make pullman style sandwich breads (66% hydration) and again get a real strong rise using malt and a fine crumb after baking. Depending on what style malt (light, amber, or dark) the color of the crumb and the taste will vary. I prefer amber. I have even used ADY to make holiday Pannetone again proofing the yeast with malt. The trick is to give the yeast a head start. My Pannetone tasted as good, if not better, than the imported ones. My point is that one need not go to the trouble of using different yeasts once you understand how to use ADY. In the past proofing was a tactic used to determine whether cake yeast was viable; however, unless your package/ bottle of active dry yeast dates back to the dark ages one can assume it is viable. I proof the yeast in my recipes to give the fermentation process a head start and make sure that there is a large colony of active yeast culture ready to go to work.

    Reply
  47. dale

    WHY CAN I NOT GET A 3 PKG OF SAF YEAST IN THE GROCERY STORE? PLS MAKE THIS AVAILABLE. I DON’T BAKE BREAD NOW AS MUCH AS I HAVE DONE IN THE PAST, AND THE PKGS OF RED AND GOLD HAVE BEEN IN MY FRIDGE FOR 4 YRS. I PLAN TO TOSS THEM, SO IT REALLY WAS MONEY WASTED, NOT SAVED! I WOULD LIKE TO BUY SMALLER QUANTITIES OF THE SAF YEAST. HELP!!! p.s. I always bake with KAF recipes!! PLEASE try and put nutritionals on the recipes. I have been asking for years!!

    Thx.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Dale, if you can find Red Star “quick rise” yeast at the grocery store, this is very similar to the SAF red instant yeast. Don’t confuse this with “rapid rise” yeast, which we’ve found tends to give you one good rise, but loses rising power over time. Judging by the comments made by other bakers to this post, it might be worth your while to test your old yeast that you’ve stored in the freezer. Here’s how to test your yeast. And I will definitely pass on your request to supply nutritional information for our recipes. In the meantime, here’s a website we often recommend for calculating this information yourself. Barb@KAF

  48. Marianne

    Just want to clarify the conversion of fresh cake yeast…I would need to increase the fresh yeast and use 2 to 3x more than when using dry yeast?

    Love SAF and use that also.

    Thank you.

    Marianne

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Marianne, yes, you’ll want to add 2 to 3x the amount of dry yeast (by weight) when you substitute fresh yeast. Fresh yeast also adds a bit more liquid to the recipe, so, depending on how much you use, you may need to adjust the flour/water a bit in the recipe. Barb@KAF

  49. Cheryl

    The best blogs are here at KAF!!

    No attempts at goofy humor — great science and information!

    SOOO happy to see about the efficacy of keeping yeast in the freezer!

    I bought the KAF airtight canister and am using my SAF yeast that is 7 years old (works fine!)

    Thanks for giving this yeast talk — cleared up many questions I’ve always had!

    Reply
  50. Bruce

    I’ve been looking at some old / vintage(?) bread recipes, and many of them call for adding “a cup of yeast” – I’m fairly certain they are not referring to the ADY, Quick-Rise or SAF yeast we commonly know and use now-a-days. When the recipe calls for “a cup of yeast”, are they perhaps referring to a cup of “starter” like what is used for a sourdough bread?

    Thank you for your time and assistance.

    Bruce

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That’d be our best guess Bruce, because even fresh yeast (which was used more frequently in the past) would rarely be called for in amounts that large. A whole cup of yeast is most likely a whole cup of wild yeast… a.k.a. sourdough starter! Kye@KAF

  51. Patty

    Thank you for the excellent yeast review!
    When I returned to baking bread after a decade or so hiatus, I was disappointed with grocery store packet yeast performance, (very inconsistent rise)
    but most of all, how odorless and tasteless it is.
    I remember proofing yeast that used to fill the kitchen with aroma. Not any more.
    Todays yeast lacks that wonderful bready-yeasty flavor, unless the dough is allowed to ferment a day or so in the fridge.
    What is the difference between yeast today and yeast several decades ago, that the aroma and flavor seem noticeably diminished?

    I use SAF Instant and get consistently great results with my KA flours.
    I store my SAF in a quart canning jar that is vacuum sealed and kept in freezer.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel, post author

      Patty, there might be several things going on. First, there used to be more yeast in packets than there is now; it’s about 2 1/4 teaspoons now, where before it was a scant tablespoon. More yeast, more aroma. Second, we think Fleischmann’s has more old-fashioned yeasty aroma than other yeasts, so if you’re not using Fleischmann’s, give it a try. And finally, yeast manufacturing is always evolving: how long the process takes and the medium in which the yeast cells are grown. This could have contributed to diminished aroma, as well. As could the fact that many modern recipes simply call for less yeast (and a longer rise) than their earlier predecessors. as I said, many possibilities! Good luck – PJH

  52. Hakam

    Thank you for the excellent yeast review..
    am trying to bake Simit (Turkish Begal) what is best type of yeast should I use for great test do you have an I idea.

    Reply
  53. annmartina

    I know it keeps for over a year in the freezer, but are smaller sizes than 1 lb. of SAF yeasts available, especially the Gold? I do some sweet dough baking, but not in the quantity that I do other types of dough.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      SAF Gold is only available in a 1 pound package currently, but you’re right; you can store it in the freezer to help extend the shelf life. We do sell the Lallemand Instaferm (instant) yeast in smaller packages, which might be what you’re looking for. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  54. Clare

    This is such a helpful article! Thank you! I’ve ordered some SAF Red and am really looking forward to trying it out. I’m also very glad to hear that it keeps in the freezer, since I know it will take me more than a year to go through a pound of yeast!

    However, I still have most of a jar of Fleischmann’s “instant bread machine” yeast. This article states that it’s not really the same thing as instant. My doughs seem to rise OK, but would I be better off treating it like ADY and proofing it in warm water first?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Clare, when we refer to “instant” yeast on our site, we’re referring to something like the SAF Red yeast you’ve ordered or Red Star Quick Rise yeast – good, all around yeasts. “Instant bread machine” yeast and others like it are designed to have an especially quick burst of activity but tend to peter out over time, which makes them a great choice for single or very quick rising breads, but less reliable in recipes that call for multiple or more extended rise times. Proofing the yeast in water won’t do anything to help that, but if you’ve had good success with the instant bread machine yeast as is, we’d recommend sticking with what you’re doing until you have a chance to compare its performance with your new yeast – both should keep well if frozen in an airtight container! Mollie@KAF

  55. sue

    I live in Israel and the most commonly used yeast here is cake yeast, sold in every grocery store, and I do love using it. How long will this yeast generally last in the refrigerator? Freezer?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Sue, we don’t do much work with cake yeast ourselves because it isn’t as widely available to US consumers as dried yeast, so we tend to defer to the experts at Red Star Yeast for info on this product: http://bit.ly/2hebUrj As you can see, cake yeast is highly perishable and should be marked with a “best if used by” date. As with all yeast, if you’re ever in doubt of its freshness, it is recommended that you “proof” it before using; and they do not recommend freezing it. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You can, Marijke! We’d recommend doing it the same way you would with ADY – dissolve 1/2 tsp yeast and 1/2 tsp sugar in 1/2 cup warm water. After 10 minutes, if the yeast is still fresh, you should see signs of activity. Hope this helps! Mollie@KAF

  56. Penny

    When using regular yeast I dissolve it in warm water and then start adding other ingredients. With Saf-Instant do I skip this step and just add it with the flour? Do I omit the water that the yeast was dissolved in?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      That’s right, Penny. There’s no need to add your yeast to water before using. You can add it right in with the other dry ingredients and you bread will still rise beautifully! Simply add the amount of water the recipe calls for. Kye@KAF

  57. Jim

    My grandmother (born around 1900) swore that yeast cakes were far superior. She avoided dry yeast whenever she could. You’re right: it’s almost impossible to find. But I’d like to know the relative merits anyway. Is it better in any way? And is it dying out because it’s more perishable? It needs refrigeration as I recall?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      It does require refrigeration, Jim, and has a much shorter shelf life than dry yeast does. As dry yeast quality has improved over the years, the perishable nature of cake yeast has made it relatively less appealing to many bakers. We polled a few of our KAF experts, and the general consensus is that there is no performance advantage or disadvantage to using cake yeast. Some bakers claim that they can taste the difference and that they find the flavor more “authentic”, while others find that the simple smell and the feel of fresh yeast in your hands is what sparks nostalgia. Bottom line, we think the main reasons to use it are to enjoy the sensory experience and/or carry on tradition. Mollie@KAF

  58. Janet Kuzma

    Nice information, but I sure would like to see that you included fresh yeast in all the information. The much older recipes from our Grandmothers called for a “cake” of yeast. Back then wasn’t the “cake” much smaller than it is now?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for your request, Janet. In our experience, using cake/fresh yeast doesn’t present a performance advantage or disadvantage over dry yeast, but some bakers do enjoy the smell, flavor and/or feel of working with it. We defer to the experts at Red Star Yeast for help converting to/from cake yeast. As you’ll see on their site, “Since dry yeast is essentially cake yeast that has been dried, using the proper conversion and given a little extra time to fully activate, dry yeast will yield the same results. Keep in mind that cake yeast has been sold in many different sizes over the years; therefore, if a recipe doesn’t specify the weight of the yeast cake, it is best to determine the amount of dry yeast you’ll need based on the amount of flour in your recipe.” For more info, please visit the yeast conversion section of Red Star’s site. Hope it helps! Mollie@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Betty, we’re assuming you’re asking about Fleischmann’s Pizza Crust Yeast here. While we haven’t done much testing with it, our understanding is that the primary benefit is the ability to shape and bake right away, without any rise time. It includes dough conditioner which helps make the dough easy to stretch and shape just after mixing and relies more on oven spring than trapped CO2 for the rise. Since yeasted doughs develop flavor over time, anything that shortens that time does tend to shortcut the flavor as well. That being said, we have heard from other bakers that this shortcut can be well worth it for the ability to enjoy pizza so much sooner. We encourage you to give it a try yourself and let us know what you think! Mollie@KAF

  59. Monica

    Thanks for affirming and confirming my use of SAF-Instant. I have experienced everything you have described in this article except for the SAF gold vs. red. Thanks for the comparison.

    Reply
  60. Sue Glass

    I have a recipe from France that calls for “un sachet de levure de boulanger” or one package of Baker’s Yeast. Is this the same as Active Dry Yeast or Instant Yeast? Is it ok to substitute these? Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Go ahead and use one packet of Active Dry yeast, Sue. It should be a pretty close substitute. Bryanna@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Lisa, when using instant yeast (like SAF) you don’t need to add it to water in order to activate it ahead of time, but you will need to let the dough rise as instructed in your recipe. It may just move along quicker than expected, so keep a close eye on it. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  61. Ang Lee

    Thank you Ms. Hamel for a most informative post on yeast. Your KAF blogs have provided me with vital and practical information time and time again. The photographs really clarify the instructions. I bake bread every now and again, and have done so for years, usually in the winter months using only KAF flour, mixing and matching whatever I have available ( not very scientific I know). In addition, I use the leftover whey from my weekly Greek yogurt making as the liquid gives my bread a nice tang and saves the nutrients drained from my yogurt. However, based on MY research, sweet whey from draining yogurt does NOT contain a great deal of protein. It does contain carbs, lactose, fats and vitamins. The entire KAF website is an absolute gold mine for both experienced and inexperienced bakers and I see it and your flour, cited frequently in reputable cooking literature. Thanks again and please keep baking and sharing!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for being such a loyal reader, Ang! We’ve shared your kind comments and words of encouragement with PJ herself. We’ll keep the recipes and baking inspiration coming — you can count on that! Kye@KAF

  62. Ms. Pris

    I have a question: this test shows that SAF Gold performs better than SAF Red in a sweet dough, but what about in a non-sweet dough? Can I expect good performance from SAF Gold in a normal dough where otherwise one might use SAF Red?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Great question, and one we asked the last time we had a session with the nice folks from SAF. The answer is not really, as there isn’t enough sugar in a regular dough. So, Red for the basic breads and Gold for the sweeties. MJR@KAF

  63. Mike

    Last weekend I tried making Swedish cardamom coffeecake – our local bakery that was the only source just closed, so now I’m on my own! Anyway, the bread came out looking beautiful – but it was way too dense, not light and airy like the bakery version. I’ve read on the blogs that this might be because there was too much flour (although I used the recipe amount), or perhaps because I used bread flour rather than all purpose flour. I also had problems getting the dough to rise, it never made it to “double the size”. I suppose any or all of these could be my problem. Any thoughts or suggestions? I plan to try again soon, hopefully with more success next time!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi Mike,
      It sounds like a combination of things. We’re recommend using the all-purpose flour, and sprinkling the flour into your measuring cup rather than scooping. If you can, weighing the ingredients will be the most accurate. You’ll want your dough to be soft and somewhat sticky, so that it can get a nice high rise.
      Hope this helps! ~ MJR@KAF

  64. Mweh Bergen Cty

    I made the No Knead bread (Jim Leahy’s recipe) years ago with regular yeast I purchased at the supermarket and it always came out wonderful. all of a sudden the past two years, I’m not getting good results. I’ve even tried adding more yeast and omitting the salt at first (because salt inhibits yeast) and adding it after it rises and still I’m not getting a good rise. I will purchase the SAF yeast you are talking about, but, it’s such a large amount of yeast. Should I keep it in the freezer, and how long will it last?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      For best results, store yeast in an airtight container in the freezer for 12 months or longer. There’s’ no need to thaw the yeast before using. Irene@KAF

  65. George H

    OK. Feel a bit confusing.

    Title is “WHICH YEAST TO USE: CHOOSING THE BEST TYPE FOR ANY RECIPE”, most tests are done for sweet dough.

    For bread, especially whole grain type, or pizza etc, will the same apply?

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Hi George,
      Sorry for any confusion. The tests done at the beginning of the post were on regular sandwich loaves, not specifically sweet dough. PJ also mentions that SAF Red is perfect for your all-around baking, including breads, no-knead dough, and even frozen dough. Hope this helps. ~ MJ

  66. Penny

    Most of my recipes start with dissolving yeast in warm water and then adding flour. Do I follow the directions and dissolve the yeast or mix it with the flour and add the liquid. Thanks for the help.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Penny, it used to be that active dry yeast was not only a slightly larger granule than instant yeast but also less porous, which is why it benefited from hydrating before being mixed with the other ingredients. These days, active dry yeast is just as porous as instant yeast, and we typically find that the pre-hydration isn’t necessary. That being said, if you ever have any doubt as to the freshness of your yeast, “proofing” it with a portion of the water and a pinch of sugar can help to determine whether or not it’s usable. Mollie@KAF

  67. William

    I misplaced a half used 16 ounce package of SAF Yeast in my chest freezer for several years, perhaps 10 or so, and it still worked fine when I found it.

    Reply
    1. Cindy McCampbell

      That’s amazing!! I just threw out a large amount of yeast because I thought it must be old, right? It had been in freezer for 2 years. 😕 I guess I just learned a valuable lesson!! 😭

  68. GILBERT Trevino

    lets try this again. i was reading all the comments, and i didn’t see anyone speaking of proofing, which led me to believe everyone is just adding the dry yeast to the flour mixture. when i make my sweet doughs, i proof my yeast first. in regards to the gold, do you proof that at the same temp? i’m still curious is to how the dough would react proofed vs adding dry. also, with ALL my breads, once shaped, i put them in the fridge over night and then take them out in the morning for a long second rise. would the gold benefit from this method?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Thanks for checking, Gilbert. While in days past it was important to “proof” yeast in water before adding it to other ingredients, both active dry and instant yeasts are now porous enough to dissolve when simply added along with the dry ingredients. Dissolving the yeast ahead of time may jump-start the yeast just a bit, making for a slightly quicker rise initially, but the effects are minimal, and it’s no longer seen as a necessary step. We generally prefer to simply add the yeast alongside the other dry ingredients, unless we’re at all unsure about how fresh the yeast is. Same would be true for the SAF Gold yeast, which is best used in sweet breads. As for the rise, most often the goal of a cooler, longer rise is to develop more complex, sour flavor. While the same technique is sometimes used for a heavily enriched dough, as PJ points out in the article, “most sweet doughs also include eggs, milk, and/or butter. Letting these elements sit at warm room temperature for hours at a time, as the dough rises, can cause them to take on a slightly tangy, fermented flavor; and this flavor can clash with the appealing sweetness of your finished loaf. SAF Gold, with its shorter rising time, prevents this flavor deterioration.” So using the SAF Gold and a pro-longed rise, either at room temp or refrigerated, may be a bit counterproductive. Mollie@KAF

  69. Cindy McCampbell

    Hi PJ, I have a question about how to make my sourdough starter. I’m guessing the answer is most likely yes! As you know, to make a starter it requires yeast. Can I use SAF Premium instead of ADY? Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer my question!! 😀

    Reply
  70. soveery

    So interesting! As you have years of posts here, my question may have been asked before, but it would take me an hour or so to read through them to check. May I ask away? I’m wondering which yeast is it that comes in your bread and Belgian waffle mixes. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hi Soveery, all of our mixes comes with an instant yeast. The one most similar to what comes with our mixes is SAF Red Instant Yeast. We use it for all kinds of baking with great success. You can find it here on our website. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  71. MarilynIN

    I use Red Star Platinum. I find it here locally, but it’s spotty at best. If the store where I buy it is out and isn’t going to stock it for a while (it is spotty), I order through Walmart in enough quantity to put into the freezer and have it shipped to the store. No shipping, just swing by and pick it up.

    Reply
    1. MarilynIN

      When I say spotty, not the performance, which is great, but the local availability. It isn’t at a major store but in a little local market here.

  72. Pete

    SAF seems to also offer something called “SAF-Instant PREMIUM”, in a PURPLE bag instead of the Red. Does KAF staff or anyone else have any opinions on this yeast? The marketing material claims its more cold tolerant strain of yeast and generally gives 15-30% faster rise. Sounds great but is there a downside to using new fancy Purple instead of regular old Red?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Hmm we haven’t tested it with our recipes yet, Pete, but hopefully we’ll get to experiment with it in the future! It sounds intriguing. Annabelle@KAF

  73. Bea

    Good morning, well here I am at the yeast Q&A again. I have a container of SAF GOLD expired 2/17 so I can do the test to see if it bubbles and if it does use it. If not I have the red plus every other brand known to man in ADY, rapid or instant. If the gold is no good. I can use the red even though the panettone process is long? Am I right? And I use the same amount as I would the gold? I hate buying the gold to use once a year or so so I’m glad to hear about freezing and still using after the date. I had been discarding yeast that was close to expiration date?? Go figure..now I know..thank you so much!!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Oh no! No worries, Bea, you can definitely use the SAF Red, it will just take longer for your dough to rise. And we’re glad you’ve got the freezing tip under your hat now as that really lengthens the life of yeast. Enjoy your panettone! Annabelle@KAF

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