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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Instant Yeast, the new love of my life

When I went to my pastry chef friend Faye’s bread making class (which I still need to write about – I’m such a slacker!), she used instant yeast and said it’s the only kind she uses. Since I do anything Faye tells me to do (at least with baking!), I hopped on over to Smart & Final and grabbed a pound of Saf-Instant Yeast.

I used it for the first time this weekend for pizza dough. And I fell in love. If you are scared of using yeast, this yeast is for you! I don’t know about you, but I’m always worried that the water I dissolve active dry yeast in is too hot or too cold. Since you add instant yeast directly to the dry ingredients, your worries are over!

Here’s a little run down on how to use instant yeast.

  • Use about 20% less instant yeast than the amount of active dry yeast called for in a recipe.
  • Add the instant yeast directly to your dry ingredients.
  • When substituting into a recipe that calls for active dry yeast, be sure to add the amount of water you would have dissolved the yeast in to your wet ingredients.
  • This handy website over here gives a good description of all the different types of yeast. For instant yeast it says you only need 1 rise. The first rise is replaced with a 10 minute rest and you don’t have to punch the dough down.  (P.S. That website I linked to also has a great conversion chart for the different types of yeast. Just sayin’.)

So, there you have it. I doubt I’ll ever go back to active dry yeast. As for where to buy instant yeast, my local Safeway does not carry it, but my Smart & Final does (where it’s only around $4). You can also order it on Amazon, which is just downright handy.

I’m going to make sure Faye reads this post and pipes in with any information I forgot! 🙂


  1. I will DEFINITELY have to look into this.

  2. 2

    don’t have to punch down the dough? but isn’t that the best part?? 🙂

    i learned about saf yeast recently too but haven’t actually tried it yet.

  3. 3
    Peg C

    this yeast is super fantastic to use and best part lasts forever if you freeze it !

  4. 4

    This is the best yeast! I had been using it for a few years and when I ran out I started using active dry yeast – what?!? None of my recipes turned out as well. My husband noticed the biggest difference in our pizza dough.

    I buy it at Costco. I think it’s around $4, as well.

  5. 5

    In baking school we were required to try using a wide variety of different forms of yeast. My favorite? The cake form. But stinking impossible to come by to the average josephine.

    This stuff IS good, tho, I gotta say. I pick it up at Costco for just a few bucks. I recommend it big time!

  6. 6

    That all sounds great. Just so you know, you can also use this yeast in your slow rising breads as well.

    If you want to know truly everything about bread, Peter Reinhart is a great all-time authority on, and my favorite bread master baker.

  7. 7

    already a disciple of this stuff. thank goodness for smart & final.

  8. 8

    ps–i’m glad i got over the word “instant” in the title. i was leery of it at first for fear i was somehow downgrading my yeast to something akin to instant oatmeal or instant potatoes. not so.

  9. 9

    I buy it when I’m in Spokane. Sure wish I could buy it here….

  10. 10
    Jen McDonald

    I LOVE instant yeast! I found it when a lady in my Mom’s ward gave me a recipe for rolls that called specifically for instant yeast. I fell in love with it and have never had a problem with yeast breads since…that’s always the first tip I give when people are having difficulty with yeast breads.

  11. 11

    By the way, you can add any yeast directly to your dry ingredients, not just the instant kind. Softening your yeast in warm water only speeds up the process.

  12. 12

    I keep my SAF in the freezer! Good stuff.

  13. This is good to know. I don’t do anything that involves adding yeast. But now that I know about this, I might just try something 😉

  14. I miss Smart & Final!!

  15. 15
    Martha Smith

    Hi, I am slightly confused, which is normal, but, You said to add the water to the wet ingredients, i pulled up a saf-instant recipe for pizza and it called for me to put the Saf-instant yeast into the water??! Thanks, Martha

  16. 16

    Although you can put instant yeast directly in dry ingredients ~ I still proof the instant yeast in water. I make no adjustments just use as I would use dry active yeast. I use the same amount of yeast and the amount of liquid in a recipe ~ I get good results.

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