The Fresh Loaf

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SAF red label instant yeast

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Dwu3193's picture
Dwu3193

SAF red label instant yeast

I've heard a lot of great comments about SAF yeast so I want to try it out. Unfortunately, practically every store nearby doesn't carry it. The closest is Costco, which has a humongous 2 pound bag of Red Star Active Dry yeast, but I prefer instant. Also, it has an...unusual scent. My point is, are there any places selling SAF red label instant yeast in the Bay Area (particularly near Berkeley)? By the way, what does SAF yeast smell like? Is the scent different from Red Star active dry yeast?

precipice's picture
precipice

I also live near Berkeley, and I used to be able to find SAF red at Market Hall in Rockridge.  However, they seem to have stopped carrying it, and now I buy it online from King Arthur Flour.


Hope this helps.

MickiColl's picture
MickiColl

Trader Joes carries it .. and yes, htere's one in Berkely

wadam's picture
wadam

Can you not get it at the Berkeley Bowl?  If not, you can order it online through the King Arthur Flour web site.


 


I can't comment on it's scent versus Red Star, but it smells very mild compared to the Rapunzel yeast I had been using.  I've had it now for a couple of months, and am very pleased with the results.

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I took mine back because it was not rising correctly and it had that fruity odor. If you look on the jar it has more than just yeast in the container. I won't buy it again. There was a conversation on another web site  about this problem but it has scrolled off. I get my SAF at Pleasant Hill grains online. They have a flat fee shipping charge. Caroline

davec's picture
davec

According to my research, SAF also has ascorbic acid, red star does not.  If you worry about assed chemicals, I'd stick with your own sourdough.  You certainly don't know what chemicals are in it, but, you do know how they got there.


Dave

Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I've never had any problems with my Red Star.


I do plan to order some SAF online, though, because it's something that I can't get here normally.  Besides, it's more economical with the amount of stuff that I bake on a weekly basis to buy a pound of yeast and fridge it.

johnster's picture
johnster

And, the shipping was more expensive than the yeast, so I got TWO pounds of it when I ordered.  :)


 


Talk about overkill....If anyone lives close by, you are welcome to a half pound of it!


 


Johnster

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

Johnster, now that you've started doing sourdough, you will use even less yeast!  That's what freezers are for, I guess.

johnster's picture
johnster

That had occurred to me, but I was trying to force it out of my mind...


 


Free yeast to anyone in MetroWest!


 


Johnster

davec's picture
davec

I have at least 90% of a one-kilo package of Red Star in my freezer, too.  Now that I'm using sourdough, I'll bet I'll never use that, either.


The good news is, it lasts a long time.  My last package had been in the refrigerator for at least two years, and probably three, when I first heard about the New York Times no-knead bread.  That recipe calls for fresh instant yeast, but the very old Red Star worked just fine, mixed directly into the dry ingredients.


I don't understand what the excitement is over instant yeast.


Dave

gaaarp's picture
gaaarp

I can't speak for everyone, but my "excitement" over instant yeast is two-fold: (1) I like the fact that is doesn't have to be activated; I just mix it in with the flour and it's good to go.  And (2) most of the bread recipes I use call for instant yeast, so I don't have to do any conversions.


Oh, and (3) since I just recently started using it, it's kind of like a new toy!

trailrunner's picture
trailrunner

I love the new wild yeast starter but there are just too many things I have been making for too many years and I don't want to stop . I like the sourdough taste and texture and I like preferment/poolish/biga rustic loaves but I also like the taste of a regular well made slicable  yeast loaf.


I have tried to find out more about using a "chef". Not much out there. It seems it is different than a sourdough starter as it doesn't need to ferment in the same way.... but I am not sure . PR does make reference to it in BBA in one place. Clayton shows a wonderful walnut table in a French kitchen and they move the top aside and keep pieces of raw dough from the previous batch. Anyone know where there is more info?


As to the fruity smelling yeast. It was a year ago and there was a lot of stuff out there at the time about the smell and poor rising. I dunno...I had the same experience. The Fleishmanns in a jar only has ascorbic acid and it works great and no funny smell. The SAF  has mono....and ascorbic acid in their Instant Yeast...rises very well and no fruity smell. I am not willing to try Red Star again but I guess they fixed the problem whatever it was. c

johnster's picture
johnster

"The Man Who Ate Everything" by Jeffrey Steingarten, outlines the author's work to achieve a "chef" using techniques adapted from Poilane's "Faire Son Pain" in his opening chapter.  


 


In this chapter, he originally tries to raise desem from "The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book" and gives up when he catches a cold while keeping his Manhattan flat at sixty degrees in mid-April to maintain the perfect temperature.


 


In my novice look at this, it sounds an awful lot like the sourdough starter that we've been working on in Phyl's tutorial.  Different hydration, but essentially we've got to be farming the same microbes...


 


Anyway, it's one of my favorite books, and I put in a plug for it wherever I can.


 


Warm regards,


 


Johnster

xaipete's picture
xaipete

I'm a big fan of Jeffery Steingarten too. "The Man Who Ate Everything" is hilariously funny. I second your plug for it. I especially loved his chapters on loosing weight and the cheapest NY city places to eat.


--Pamela

Dwu3193's picture
Dwu3193

Last time I checked (about a month ago) Berkeley Bowl only sold active dry yeast in bulk bins, so I'll just order the yeast online even though the shipping costs as much as the yeast itself. But since I still have a little less than a pound of red star, has anyone bought some recently and does it have a peculiar fruit smell? I bought my yeast about a year ago, so as trailrunner mentioned, the smell might have just been related to one batch.

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Have you checked Smart & Final? Some of the stores in the South Bay carry it; I'm not sure about the ones closer to you.

ValerieSara's picture
ValerieSara

Have you tried Williams-Sonoma?  Where I live, they keep fresh supplies of it in their retail stores.


Also, you can buy it through them or through KAF online.

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

I have found most yeasts to be just fine for overnight fermentation. In fact, even yeast that normally needs proofing does fine.


 


If you're ordering yeast from KAF, it makes sense to order some of their specialty flours, too. They have clear flour, French, European, and a couple ryes and pumpernickel--all fun to play with, and the cost of shipping the yeast gets mixed in with the flours, so to speak. The specialty flours are pricey, but compared to a lot of other foods that we pay a premium for, home made bread is a bargain.

flournwater's picture
flournwater

I get mine at Raley's ...

dlt123's picture
dlt123

I have a question I hope someone can answer... I have been using Fleshmann's yeast in my breads and have been really happy.  I recently purchased some bulk yeast from WINCO in their bulk section,  but didn't like the flavor of my breads made with it.  I ended up giving to a neighbor who was as picky as I.


How does SAF compare to Fleshmann's yeast in finished bread flavor outcome?  I love the flavor of my breads made with Fleshmann's and really do not want to buy a pound of SAF only to find I don't like it's flavor. 


Can you purchase 3 packet packages of SAF like you can for Fleshmann's anywhere?


Also, for those who have used both, which yeast to you prefer, SAF or Fleshmann's?


Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


Dennis

xaipete's picture
xaipete

One pound of SAF ordered from King Arthur Flour costs $5.95. Apparently it is also available at Cash & Carry stores and probably other markets as well. I really like it.


--Pamela

hj1221's picture
hj1221

I have the same problem! I recently bought a bulk red star active dry yeast and do NOT like the flavor of my bread. I have also been using fleischmann's I'll have to go check out whole foods and try SAF in the packets before I buy it in bulk! And here I thought all yeast was created equal! Once I try it I'll let you know!

pattycakes's picture
pattycakes

Whole Foods carries it in small packets. I like it.

subfuscpersona's picture
subfuscpersona

To those posters who bought Red Star instant dry yeast (IDY) and said it had a "fruity" odor and/or produced a poor flavor in their bread, do you know the production date and/or the expiration date and/or the lot number(s) of the "bad" batch of Red Star yeast?


I have an unopened 2-lb bag of Red Star IDY in my freezer - I probably will have no need to open it for at least 6 months, so is there any way to tell if it has these undesireable characteristics?


Thanks in advance

meetmike's picture
meetmike

I picked up a pound package at King Arthur's Ed Center in Norwich after a bread baking course. Been living happily in an airtight container in my freezer for over a year. I hesitate to buy yeast from grocers' or others' shelves because there's no telling how long it's been there or under what conditions transported or stored. I'll buy my next SAF yeast on the internet from King Arthur which I trust has handled it properly. Like homebrew, hate to see a batch and day's work go down due to bad yeast! Mike in Maine