The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Osmotolerant yeast vs. Active Dry

venkitac's picture

Osmotolerant yeast vs. Active Dry

Baked some fruitbread, recipe called for SAF Osmotolerant yeast, which I didn't have. Recipe has 16% sugar in it. I just used twice the suggested quantity of active dry yeast instead. Fruitbread turned out great, but the timing was SO off, I was babysitting the thing all day yesterday. Instead of a bulk ferment of 1.5 hours and proof of 1 hour, it took like 5 hours for the bulk, and took another 3 to proof. It was, on the whole, a big pain (bad pun intented:)).

Are there any tricks to make Active Dry yeast work instead of Osmotolerant? Is it just a question of putting (say) 4 times the active dry yeast instead of 2X (which is what I did)?

Pablo's picture

Here's a thread addressing the different types of yeast and their properties and uses:


Janknitz's picture

 . . . regardless of what type of yeast is called for in the recipe and rarely use a different amount of yeast than what is called for in the recipe. 

The key to active dry is that it needs some hydration to get it going.  My usual method is to put the liquid (usually water) in the bowl first, and then sprinkle the yeast on top.  I don't sit around and wait for it to foam or anything (although the activity starts almost instantly).  Usually the flour goes next--I'm sure it weighs the yeast down into the liquid and allows the yeast to fully hydrate. 

There are varying opinions about whether the salt will affect the yeast, but I usually add the salt LAST on top of the layer of flour and other ingredients, so that it doesn't "bother" the yeast while it's hydrating. 

I've never had a problem with timing or other issues using this method. 

ehanner's picture


I have a pound of SAF Gold in the freezer I bought because I thought there must be something to the advertising hype about it. The link that Paul  added was to a discussion I had with some folks that know what they are talking about.

Later, I did a side by side test of SAF Gold and Red in straight dough, sweet dough and sourdough. You might find it by searching. Anyway the bottom line is that the Red out performed the Gold in both the sweet ad sour dough tests.

I don't hardly ever bake cinnamon rolls but I have read that certain spices are very hard on yeast activity. That's why you will see large amounts called for in those recipes. I do know that commercial bakers use osmo-tolerant yeast in those doughs.

Hey if you want to send me your snail address via a message, I'll send you a bag of the Gold and you can try it out yourself.


venkitac's picture

Hi Eric, it seems like SAF gold will make a difference only at high sugar levels. Was your sweet or sour dough sweet enough? (Mine was at 16% sugar!) Much appreciated, thanks a *lot* for the offer of yeast!

deblacksmith's picture

If you are interested in the technical data sheets of SAF Red and SAF Gold yeast go to the Lesaffre Yeast Corp.'s website.

Then click on their commerical bakers link, (not the home bakers link).

The SAF Gold is for dough with greater than 12 precent (baker's math) sugar.  These are very sweet doughs.  My sweet roll dough, is only 5 percent sugar -- so for me 12 percent is a lot of sugar.  I use the SAF Red.