The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

instant yeast

jennyloh's picture

I've on a quest to make baguette,  fluffly,  thin crust,  light, open crumbs.  My baguettes so far has been on a thicker crust,  not so open crumbs and a little too chewy. I'm not sure when I will be able to to achieve what I want to achieve, but I'm starting to keep track of this records in my blog.

So far,  I've done 3 experiments,  they are still not ideal at all.  I'm looking to improve my techniques before I go for taste.  Currently,  I'll stick to a recipe from Peter Reinhart on french loaf. I'm going to continue trying until the day that I can consistently achieve what I'm looking for.

Perhaps I'm so used to having Asian baguettes, especially the Japanese bakeries here.   Actually I have no idea how a french baguette looks or taste like,  only from the local french bakery here,  not sure if it is authentic.  Anyway,  we like the taste of baguettes that are really light,  crusty, flaky crust,  open crumbs and doesn't quite fill your stomach even when you eat up a full loaf.

I'd be happy to hear from anyone who has suggestions for me on my techniques.  Here are also some pictures to show you what I've done so far.


ph_kosel's picture

I recently bought a 9"x4"x4" pullman pan and a pound of SAF instant yeast from Amazon.  Other stuff kept me busy for a few days and I didn't get a chance to try em out, but then I (shudder) ran out of bread. Only one thing to do do when that happens!

I washed out the new pan, lubed the lid a bit with a spritz of olive oil (after which it was much less inclined to stick), and whomped up some dough as follows:

400g unbleached bread flour

100g dark rye flour

1 Tablespoon SAF "red" instant yeast

1 Tablespon brown sugar

1.5 teaspoon salt

1.5 teaspoon dill seed

1.5 teaspoon caraway seed

333g very warm water

I put all the dry ingredients in the bowl of the Kitchenaid mixer, added the water, and mixed it up.  I let it sit a minute or so to hydrate, mixed it a bit more, then made a nice warm log out of it, plopped it in the pan, put the lid on and a towel folded up on top of that to keep the heat in, and left while I watched an hour of television with my wife.

I checked the pan after the tv program and was surprised to discover the dough had risen to fill the pan!  Admittedly I doubled up on the yeast to get a fast rise, but I was mucho impressed - the active dry yeast I've been using previously just doesn't rise like that no matter how much I goose it.

Anyway, I quick preheated the oven to 450F, popped the pan in, and set the timer for 25 minutes.  When the timer went off I pulled the pan out, took the lid off and popped the loaf out of the pan with no problem (even though I only oiled the lid, not the rest of the pan).


loaf and pan^

crumb shot^

For a first try at a pullman loaf I'm happy as a clam with the way it looks!  Tastes good too!



Stephanie Brim's picture
Stephanie Brim

I was inspired by David (dmsnyder) and his 5 hour baguettes. I needed a sandwich bread that was as lean as I could get it but was still very much soft crusted and soft of crumb. I've found it, I think, by slightly modifying the 5 hour baguette idea and adding one enrichment: olive oil.

Stephanie’s Simple Bread
Makes 1 small loaf

225g AP or bread flour
10g rye flour
15g white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
170g water

Mix ingredients in the bowl for your stand mixer until you form a shaggy mass. Mix, on low, for 5 minutes, then increase speed to medium for 3 or 4 more. I left this in a clean bowl for 75 minutes for a first rise, folding at 25 and 50 minutes, and 60 minutes for a second rise. Shaped carefully and proofed for 40 minutes, scored, and spritzed with water. Baked for 30 minutes at 425 degrees.

I posted the recipe on my blog, too.

So thank you David. Thanks also have to go out to Susan of Wild Yeast for inspiration due to the fact that I was browsing the Wild Yeast Blog when I thought about how good a simple bread would be with the locally homemade ham salad I bought today.

DrPr's picture

Recipe calls for instant yeast but I only have active dry yeast. Can I swap?

April 27, 2009 - 5:55pm -- DrPr

I'm making pizza dough following Reinhart's BBA recipe, which calls for overnight refrigeration.  I thought I had instant yeast but I only have a jar of active dry yeast. The recipe calls for mixing the yeast and other ingredients together at once using cold ingredients, and doesn't call for rising.  Can I use the active dry yeast? If so, what should I do differently than I'd do with the instant yeast?  Thank you all in advance (again!!)

Yumarama's picture

How might one test their Instant Yeast?

January 24, 2009 - 3:28pm -- Yumarama

I'm wondering if the jar of Instant Yeast I have has perhaps lost it's ooomph and wondered if there was a quick and simple test I can put it through? Unlike Active Dry Yeast that would foam and bubble profusely when added to a cup of lukewarm water, Instant just clouds up the glass but creates no foam. (This is precisely why I'm wondering if mine is dead, if it SHOULD have foamed and bubbled.)

holds99's picture

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,


PaddyL's picture

Storage of instant yeast

February 19, 2008 - 9:21pm -- PaddyL

Finally figured out how to post something, and my question is simple:  how do you store your instant yeast?  I've been buying Fleischmann's yeast by the pound, hermetically sealed, and once opened, I put it, package and all, into a plastic bag, seal it, and keep it in the fridge.  It usually lasts until the package is finished, but not always.  I've been told that it does better in the freezer, but that didn't seem to work at all for me.  I've also tried transferring it to a plastic jar with a tight-fitting lid, but it didn't last that way either.  The only reason

ehanner's picture

Question about SAF GOLD Instant Yeast

August 15, 2007 - 12:42pm -- ehanner

I was looking at the latest King Arthur catalog and I noticed they sell a version of SAF Instant yeast called GOLD. It's supposedly better for sweet breads and acidic sourdough breads. I read in the BBA where Peter observed french bakers adding commercial yeast to the dough depending on activity on the morning of the bake I believe. I don't recall him mentioning what type of yeast they added.

jonty's picture

I had one of the nicer Saturdays in a while this past weekend (thanks to a trip to Trader Joe's and the local Farmers' Market), and I followed it up by baking the pain au lait I prepared on Friday night into cream cheese snails and pain aux raisins.

Couple of things:

I have to make sure I work faster next time. I kept on re-rolling the dough for the pain aux raisins because I wasn't happy with my rectangle, and the dough started to get warm and stick like crazy. In the end, the dough was uneven, and some parts were thinner than others, resulting in major tearing. Some of the rolls were more like blobs of dough, raisins, and cinnamon.

I should make less cream cheese filling next time. After measuring out the amount specified in the recipe, I realized I had only a spoonful more of cream cheese left in the package so I threw it in. The snails ended up covered in, rather than filled with, cream cheese. Still tasty, though.

When I finished, I realized I had around 2 dozen pastries (after eating some, of course) that I would never be able to eat before they went bad. So, I ended up bringing them to my rehearsal tonight. All but one cream cheese snail were taken.

Agenda for next week: try the cranberry-chocolate sweet buns. Well, raspberry-chocolate sweet buns (no frozen cranberries at TJ's).

EDIT:  Oh, I forgot! I finally got my own instant yeast (I had been using my roommate's active dry). Amazing stuff.

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