The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Tricks to using SAF yeast?

koru's picture

Tricks to using SAF yeast?

This seems like such a silly question because SAF yeast is supposed to be so simple to use, but are there tricks to using it that I could be unaware of?  I recently switched from active-dry & my bread isn't rising properly.  One source said the SAF shouldn't touch salt...but how does that happen??  I also ran out of grains that I grind immediately before baking and had to buy store bought flour until my new batch arrives.  Is there a difference using SAF with fresh flour vs. store bought?  

I'm so frustrated right now!  HELP!! 

Thanks in advance. :)

Chuck's picture

My experience is that SAF yeast is pretty much the same as storebought packets (for example Fleishmans)  ...except much cheaper and more convenient in the larger quantities.

There's a bit of difference between "instant/bread machine" and "active dry", but both brands offer both kinds. (To be more accurate, "instant" and "bread machine" are only the exact same thing with some brands, but actually slightly different with other brands.) "Instant/bread machine" doesn't require -or even like- dissolving in water to use -- just put it in with the other dry ingredients. (Although seldom talked about, you can put "active dry" in with the other dry ingredients without dissolving it too  ...although your first rise will may take 10-20 minutes longer.)

The "instant'bread machine" probably has a little more oomph. To be as accurate (prissy?) as possible, you could when substituting "instant" into a recipe that calls for "active dry" use 25% less  ...or you could just cut the rise a bit shorter if necessary.

Except for adding it dry to the other dry ingredients rather than dissolving it and the small difference in activity, I don't know of much difference in use or storage. It has the same temperature sensitivity, is also best stored airtight in the refrigerator, is measured the same, etc.

If you got something like a vacuum pack that had been reasonably cared for during shipment/display, it should be just fine. (If on the other hand the seller had left it in the sun, or gotten it wet, or put it in a non-airtight container, they could have wrecked the whole thing. If that happened, it's of course the seller's fault, not anything you could chalk up to either "SAF" or "instant".)

The comment about salt means not to put the salt ingredient into a bread machine right after the yeast so all the yeast and all the salt are in intimate contact. I put both salt and yeast in my dry ingredients at the same time and stir it all thoroughly and it works fine.

I would suspect the difference in flours much more than the difference in yeasts. Do you have a bit (really small, start with only 1/4 teaspoon per loaf) of diastatic malt? That often gets funky flour to rise like you want it to. If the gluten content is dramatically different however, I don't know of any way to "fix" it other than go back to the store and buy a different type or brand of flour.

clazar123's picture

SAF yeast is easy to use. I've never had a yeast failure.

I have,however, had some flour issues. All  flour is NOT alike. There is one brand of generic/store brand flour here (Roundy's,if you are in the Midwest US) that is just terrible for making bread and I learned that with experience. Changing flour brand helped immediately and going back to the generic brand just proved it was the flour. I tried adding extra gluten and it had only a minimal improvement. After that I used that flour for cakes/cookies and never had a problem. It must have had a LOT of soft wheat in the blend.

Of course, when you grind your own wheat, any flour will seem inferior. :)


jyslouey's picture

and find that their yeast is very stable and gives good results everytime. What I didn't know is that there is a different SAF yeast for sweet dough and savoury.  I alway thought we used the same yeast for all dought. There is a red pack and a blue/silver pack.  I am not sure if this could be the reason that you're experienciing some problems with your dough?