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SAF Gold Instant Yeast

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holds99's picture
holds99

SAF Gold Instant Yeast

I currently use SAF instant yeast.  However, in King Arthur's recent catalog they list a yeast that I haven't seen before; SAF Gold instant yeast (page 11: "yeast", olive colored rectangle).  The ad write-up states: "saf gold instant yeast Specially formulated to provide the very best rise in doughs high in sugar (sweet breads) or acid (sourdough) 15.86 oz. - [item no.] 1457  $6.95"

Has anyone had experience using this yeast in a sourdough?  If so, please post a short note re: results.

Thanks in advance,

Howard

Comments

chayarivka's picture
chayarivka

Hi Howard,

I am reading Maggie Glezer's book "A Blessing of Bread" and she discusses using this SAF Gold yeast in sweet doughs. So far, her other advice I have followed has been excellent, but I haven't yet tried the SAF Gold, myself.

CR

holds99's picture
holds99

Really appreciate your response.  If Maggie Glezer says it's good then it must be good.  I'll order a bag and give it a try.  

Best to you in your baking endeavors, 

Howard

Neil C's picture
Neil C

Howard,


Last winter, I compared SAF Gold with their normal Red when I got on a Stollen kick.  Baking simultaneously, the Gold rose far better than the Red.  I never tried allowing the Red to ferment for longer times, however, so I'm not sure whether one could just as well use the Red for sweeter doughs.  A local baker put me on to it after I noticed that his Stollen was considerably superior to mine using regular Active Dry Yeast.


Hope that this (latently) helps.


 


Neil

blockkevin's picture
blockkevin

Howard,

I purchased some from King Arthur about 1 month ago specifically for using in sweet enriched doughs, and have used it with excellent results. My friend who was the head baker at one of the best artisan bakeries in my area first turned me on to this product, and he says they use it at their bakery for all of their rich doughs as well. Hope that helps

 

Kevin

holds99's picture
holds99

It helps a lot, knowing that your friend, who is a head baker, is using it in a commercial environment with good results.  King Arthur says it's specifically formulated for sweet, enriched doughs and for use with in sourdough.  Sounds like a winner.  I'll order a bag of SAF Gold from King Arthur with my next order. 

Since I've been baking some of Michel Suas' recipes, where he adds a small amount of yeast to nearly every recipe in his AB&P book, I've had such good results with his formulas that I have changed my mind about using yeast.  As I recall, Jane (janedo) mentioned in one of her posts that yeast is allowed in France in small amounts.  I recall that the French bakers are fairly limited in what they're allowed to put into bread; i.e. flour, water, levain, salt, a small amount of yeast and, if memory serves me correctly, boulangers are allowed to use a small amount of ascorbic acid in at least some of their dough. 

Anyway, thanks again, I appreciate you taking the time to respond. 

Howard

dougal's picture
dougal

Quote:
As I recall, Jane (janedo) mentioned in one of her posts that yeast is allowed in France in small amounts. I recall that the French bakers are fairly limited in what they're allowed to put into bread; i.e. flour, water, levain, salt, a small amount of yeast and, if memory serves me correctly, boulangers are allowed to use a small amount of ascorbic acid in at least some of their dough.

Howard its nothing like as general as that.

The restriction is only on stuff labeled "Pain de Tradition Française" (French Traditional Bread).

For that they can only use wheat flour (permitted extras; 2% Bean Flour, 0.5% Soya Flour and 0.3% malted wheat flour - no rye, no barley), and water, salt and yeast (and/or sourdough culture).

The yeast and culture can be dehydrated. (And you can use rye in your culture...)

But Ascorbic is not allowed if you want to call it "de Tradition".

And if you call it "Pain de Tradition Française au levain" then you can legally get away with 0.2% dried yeast as well as whatever levain culture. (That's about 1/3 of the yeast you might use if you were using yeast alone!)

It seems to me that the major French millers sell branded premixes to their contracted "artisanal bakers". These could contain the dried yeast, dried culture and maybe even salt. Just add water and mix... and still label the product "de Tradition"...

 

Having read Calvel's scathing comments about the awfulness of bread with ANY bean flour, I think the "de Tradition" law is much more about marketing than quality.

 

But the basic point is that these restrictions only apply to "de Tradition" labeling!!!

 

 

Regarding "Gold" - its an 'osmotolerant' yeast intended for use in sweet doughs.

I've not heard mention of using it in acidic sour (opposite of sweet) doughs.

Strangely the manufacturers don't seem to mention acid tolerance on their website

http://www.lesaffre.com/en/yeast-bread-making/international-brands/saf-instant.html

or on the product's sales sheet (PDF)

http://www.lesaffreyeastcorp.com/userimages/pdfs/Sales%20Sheet%20-%20SAF%20Instant%20Gold.pdf

holds99's picture
holds99

Appreciate you explainng "de Traditon" labeling.  Didn't know the details re: the restrictions.  Sounds somewhat like the "Appellation Controlee" on wines. 

Anyway, Mary Jane, a KAF baker, posted saying that she has had "great" result with the SAF Gold in sourdough. 

Also, thanks for the links, I'll take a look at them.

 

Howard

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

Im an old dog that can't change his ways

i still say fresh yeast is best for anything and instant is not even a close second

to all here that use instant dry yeast Don't kill me.

 

holds99's picture
holds99

Richard Bertinet and many other bakers, especially in France, wholeheartedly agree with you.  My main problem is, even if I wanted to use fresh yeast I can't easily get it here in Florida.  

Hope all is well with you. 

Howard

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

i get fresh yeast for about 1 dollar a pound the porblem is getting some to you. with the cold weather getting cold i could send you a pound  and you yould get it still in great condition since ups or fed ex couls get it to fl in 3 days

but the shipping would be about 5 or 6 dollars i think

 of course if there is a bakery supply house neer you i an sure they woukld be glad to sell you a plock . it comes in two pound blocks and would stay fresh in the fridg for about 2 months

holds99's picture
holds99

Norm,

I really appreciate your kind offer, but for now I had better wait until I use up the large bag of KAF instant yeast I have in the freezer.  It was very thoughtful of you to make the offer and is much appreciated. 

Hope all is going well on your end and I'm so glad you're back posting again on TLF, you were missed during your absence.

Regards,

Howard

dougal's picture
dougal

Quote:
i still say fresh yeast is best for anything and instant is not even a close second...

Don't kill me

 

I think many of those who say this may have been put off by specific 'instant' yeasts, OR using an excess of instant...

 

Its the product labeling that is at fault.

Some instant mix yeasts are just that.

But others (usually intended for breadmaking machines) come with a large helping of "improvers".

Find one that is nothing other than yeast and a trace of stearate (its just soap and there's very little there) and maybe a little ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). And use very little - the labeling on the packets always seems to urge you to use lots! I suppose they think that way you'll buy more. But honestly, a single small sachet (7g or 1/4 ounce) is enough for 2 and 1/4 pounds (or 1 kilo) of flour. Use that proportion regardless of what the packet says! 

Try a 'straight' instant, mixed at that proportion. And just mix it with dry flour. Then tell us what it is you dislike about it.

Its good stuff. Massively better than "active dry", IMHO. 

If you use 'compressed' yeast, it needs to be fresh. Unfortunately, it goes stale and dries out very quickly. Instant works well, without a yeasty taste, and stores perfectly for months and maybe years.  

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

acualy fresh yeast (compressed cake) will last for about 2 months in a good fridge and at 1 dollar or less a pound its the cheapest and in my opion the best

if your frezing dough it realy is the only one to use i have made danish  and sweet buns and they still rose even after 16 weeks in the deep frezz

nbicomputers's picture
nbicomputers

i can tell you right now since i have used it and compaired it to fresh in two words taste and time

as you can see by the pictures the dough was timed at 3 and 4 hours. i want more controle with 1.5 oz of fresh yeast in a dough that is 2 pounds of flour sweet sour or plan bread, the dough will be ready in 30 to 60 minutes. of course i can control the time for a longer rise if i wanted but it is nice that if needed i could have a french bread done from start to finish in two hours.

the dry yeasts have a large percentage of dead inactive cells which cause a yeasty tast in the finished product and can softening effect on the dough.

dougal's picture
dougal

Quote:
the dry yeasts have a large percentage of dead inactive cells which cause a yeasty tast in the finished product and can softening effect on the dough.

That is certainly entirely true of the old-fashioned "active dry" yeasts that are actively dried by heat.

However it is to the same extent untrue of 'instant mix' yeasts, such as the subject of this thread, unless they are mishandled. 

Janedo's picture
Janedo

OK, I've got a question! I read the Maggie Glezer recipe for Pandoro and it says to use this yeast. Now, the maker is in France, but I can't find the darn stuff! She says fresh yeast can be used.... but how much? Anyone have a good conversion. the recipe is so long, I don't want to screw it up because of yeast problem.

And also, Howard, I have been playing with a sourdough recipe that has yeast in it (based on the pane di Genzano recipe and then altered) and the results are quite amazing. Most French bakers add a tiny bit of yeast to the sourdough in order to garantee and control the fermentation. I'm a bit of a purist with sourdough but like experimenting, too. I have been getting a nice sourdough taste, with a lighter crumb. It's interesting.

Jane 

dougal's picture
dougal

To replace instant with 'fresh' (compressed) yeast, multiply the weight of instant by 3.

You should be able to (finely) crumble the fresh yeast into the flour...

 

The normal advice is that sweet doughs require a little more (normal - fresh or instant) yeast as a proportion of the flour weight. 

So if the recipe specifies Gold, a little more of the normal instant would be the first conversion. Maybe 1/10th more?  

'Gold' is one example of an "osmotolerant" yeast. I don't believe such a product is available in retail shops in the UK. But such a product should be available through trade channels.  

SAF is certainly available in France. Don't know about the 'Gold' product though...

http://www.lesaffre.com/fr/levure-panification/gammes-produits/levures.html 

holds99's picture
holds99

Your post made me curious and I checked to see if I could figure out what pane di Genzano was/is, and/or how it's made.  I came up with this post by Bill Wraith, who hasn't been posting on TFL for a while (Bill, if you're out there call home/TFL). 

Anyway, does this look like what you're thinking about in terms of pane di Genzano?  My dance card is filled for the next month or two, so I have no intention of making pane di Genazano anytime soon, I just wondered if this was it?

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4491/pane-casareccio-e-lariano-di-genzano

Howard

Janedo's picture
Janedo

Dougal,

Thanks for the info. No, I can't find the gold in France... strange! I looked on a ton of web sites. I only saw it on the Lesaffre site.

Howard,

I have the Leader book "Local Breads" where the recipe is, but it's when David Snyder did it, that I really noticed it.

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/8441/pane-di-genzano 

I didn't do it right away, but just tried a couple of weeks ago. I'm hoping to put something on my blog about the technique and the different breads that can be done with it, but as always... I don't have time!!!!! :-)

Jane

dougal's picture
dougal

Its probably not called "Gold", but there's a bit here (from 2006) about Lesaffre (SAF) offering an "osmotolérante" yeast in France -- and it goes on to describe why/how its different. 

http://www.blogagroalimentaire.com/?lesaffre-ameliore-sa-levure-osmotolerante  

Suggested uses are sweet doughs, and doughs that are going to be frozen before baking... but still no mention of sourdough! 

 

 EDIT - somehow missed out the link! Doh! 

holds99's picture
holds99

Thanks for posting the link to David's pane di Genzano.  I'll check out his post and put it on my list for the future.  Know what you mean about time and the lack of it. 

Hang in there,

Howard

P.S. I thought SAF (yeast) was a French company (n'est pas????)

dougal's picture
dougal

Howard - http://www.lesaffre.com/fr/ as per the link upthread!

holds99's picture
holds99

Thanks for the link. Wasn't sure, now I know. 

Much appreciated,

Howard

Janedo's picture
Janedo

I've seen their product on their web site, but can't BUY it. I've looked on a bunch of different web sites, ones that specialize in bread baking and specialty products. Nothing! I guess I could call them and ask. I was waiting for my dad to find it but he said he can't buy it in a shop (Vancouver) but can order it over the internet. It's too late, though, because he is coming on Tuesday. It's very strange... but it's typical in France to offer products to professionals, but not to home cooks and bakers.

Jane

 

KAF bakers's picture
KAF bakers

Hi Howard,

Thanks for the mention about KAF. I have used this yeast in my sweet doughs and sourdoughs for over a year and had great results. Even though I'm a KAF baker, I did not have a lot of sourdough experience, but this yeast performed very well.

Regards,

MaryJane @ King Arthur Flour

holds99's picture
holds99

Appreciate your post re: the SAF Gold yeast.  Good to know that you have had great results with it in sourdough.  Incidentally, I really like the KAF French style flour. I've had really good results with it in baguettes and other levain type doughs.  Let me say that I have no affiliation with KAF and no friends or relatives who work for KAF.  That being said, I personally believe KAF is a great company with excellent products and terrific customer support.

Howard

dougal's picture
dougal

Quote:
Thanks for the mention about KAF. I have used this yeast {SAF Gold} in my sweet doughs and sourdoughs for over a year and had great results. Even though I'm a KAF baker, I did not have a lot of sourdough experience, but this yeast performed very well.

MaryJane, its not clear from your response whether you are saying that SAF Gold performed in some way better than SAF Red with sourdough, or how much experience you might have with that specific comparison.

 

Since this is not mentioned by SAF themselves, or by writers on the subject - including Mr Hamelman, it would be very interesting to hear lots more detail about this comparison.

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I have been using SAF Gold for over a year in anything that has a levain or a long yeast preferment. I don't do much in the way of sweetbreads other than Challah and I use Gold in that. I find that I get good results in the sour rye mix that uses yeast in the dough. The few times I have made sticky buns, I use about 3/4 of the yeast called for with no loss of performance.

I just received my latest order of both Red and Gold from KA. I keep them both in a plastic container in the freezer and use them at roughly the same rate. I haven't done any real volume testing on one against the other in sour mixes but I'm happy with my results. I suspect that I could stop using the Red product altogether and just use the osmotolerant Gold. I'm not aware of any down side to using Red in general use.

It cost a lot to bring the Gold product to the market and I have enough confidence in SAF to believe they wouldn't waste the time and money if they didn't think it is an improvement. The large supply companies are carrying it for commercial bakers so it's got some fans.

Eric 

holds99's picture
holds99

Great note. I really appreciate you sharing your experience using SAF Gold.  I was most interested in how it works with sourdough because I seen a few warnings in posts by some home bakers against introducing yeast into sourdoughs for reasons I can't specifically recall.  But I seem to remember they cited some chemical conflict between the yeast and the acid in the sourdough.  Let me add, I know little to nothing about chemistry.  So, thank you, you have answed my question re: sourdough and SAF Gold.  I will definitely order a bag from K.A. in my next order.

Howard

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Howard,
I haven't read anything anywhere that would make me think Red is better than Gold in any situation. I'll make up a test batch of sour rye and some enriched dough and do a side by side test. I should have done this a long time ago.

Eric 

dougal's picture
dougal

Interesting! I'd like to know more about osmotolerant yeasts.

The link I gave above (seeminly reporting LeSaffre's press release) includes this bit ---

Quote:
Tout d'abord, elle produit peu d'invertase par rapport à une levure classique. L'invertase est une enzyme qui permet de dégrader le saccharose en glucose et fructose. Ces deux dernières molécules, qui pénètrent dans la cellule, sont à l'origine de l'augmentation de la pression osmotique qui est un facteur limitant à l'activité fermentaire des levures traditionnelles. Grâce à des taux inférieurs en invertase, la levure osmotolérante limite et régule la pénétration du glucose et du fructose dans la cellule pour limiter la pression osmotique et éviter son éclatement.

Ensuite, cette levure osmotolérante est capable de synthétiser deux sucres (le tréhalose et le glycérol) qui compensent la perte en eau intracellulaire lorsque le milieu extracellulaire est très concentré (où la pression osmotique est forte).

So less invertase, hence less glucose and fructose (which I thought was the yeast's main energy source!), and more glycerol and '"tréhalose" ...

 

Certainly, this is only a difference in degree, but it does seem to be a significant difference.

Which I'd have expected to change the bread's flavour somewhat.

Remember that Reinhart's ruddy-red "Ancienne" crust is attributed to allowing lots of time for amylase action... Maybe the sweetness of the glycerol is masked in a sweet dough? Maybe LeSaffre's (SAF's) suggestion of using it for long fermentations is to try and limit the very effects that Reinhart is seeking to maximise?

 

holds99's picture
holds99

I would be very interested in how it works with sourdough and If you do perform a sour rye test I would really be interested in your results.  Please let us know your conclusions.

The only point I was trying to make re: your Test post on the Gold vs. Red was that if KAF's bakers are using it in their test kitchens, with bakers of the caliber of Ciril Hitz and Michael Jubinsky using the product, they must have some sort of empirical data on how it works and what it works best with (and conversely, less best with) e.g. sweet, direct and sourdoughs.  I wasn't faulting KAF per se, only wishing, since they're selling the product, they would make a some substantive information available as to some of its best uses and their baking experiences with the product. 

I have a recent edition of KAF's Baker's Companion and they don't show anything specific re: SAF, only yeasts by general catagory.

Your other post on Hamelman's VSD, with your reference to the side bar, got me really interested in the subtleties of the sourdough process again.  I see what you mean about small variations in flour and hydration and 1 fold.  Anyway, after reading the sidebar info. I ended up on pages 45-48, reading, highlighting and undelining lots of interesting info. on rye; pentosans, amylase, etc. making notes and notes and...   I had no idea about "starch attacks".  At 6 a.m. I realized I had spent an hour reading this stuff.  I'm not sure, but I think I have a little better understanding of the rye process and some of the pitfalls.  Anyway, I've got a rye starter percolating and am going to try Hamelman's 3 stage 80% Sourdough Rye on page 204. It looks a little like a minefield but I'm going to try to get through it :>) 

Hang in there, 

Howard

dougal's picture
dougal

Quote:
... if KAF's bakers are using it in their test kitchens, with bakers of the caliber of Ciril Hitz and Michael Jubinsky using the product, they must have some sort of empirical data on how it works and what it works best with ...

You said "IF" ... do we know that to be true?

The original quote was :

Quote:
Even though I'm a KAF baker, I did not have a lot of sourdough experience, but this yeast performed very well.

It would indeed be interesting to know

1/ where MaryJane got the suggestion of using Gold with sourdough -- and

2/ what comparison was made with Gold vs Red in sourdough

 

I'm afraid that I read MaryJane's comment as simply saying "You can use Gold in sourdough, it seems to me to work fine, but I'm no sourdough expert" -- not that "The KAF advice, based on testing by expert bakers, is that Gold is better than Red when used in combination with sourdough".

holds99's picture
holds99

I was careful not to mention the KAF baker's name because I didn't want to compromise her or read more into her statement than was actually there. 

Dougal, all I'm saying is that King Arthur is a large, successful, well run company offering great products and terrific customer service.  Their core business is flour and ancillary products related to flour.  They have test kichens and extremely competent bakers working in those test kitchens.  I don't believe for a minute that KAF will accept just any product into their line of products (offered via catalog or Internet) without some sort of preleminary screening and/or on-going testing.  I'm not a gambler but I would give serious odds that KAF uses a defined, systematic process for testing all their recipes and products and they make entries into that data base re: the results of those tests.  In fact, I believe it's this type data they have used to produce two excellent cookbooks.  In short, pure and simple, all I asking is that KAF "share their test results and/or knowledge" on this particular product.

Howard