The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


alpenrose's picture


I have to admit it--I am not comfortable with the idea of using yeast made in Mexic0. I have just travelled down there enough to see the condition of water, workers, etc. However, I did try --purchased at two different times 2 of the large bulk packages of SAF (red). It does not seem to me that I ever get as good a lift off of that as I do from the much more expensive Fleischman's in the jar (made in Canada). I have also read about SAF (gold), but have not tried it. I know, I know, they are all owned by the same French company!  I just want to get a very nice and reliable lift every time and to know that my yeast is really clean.  What are your thoughts?  Have you tried the SAF Gold?  Do you use the made in Canada in the bottle? How does the SAF red bulk work for you?  Am I just a klutz not handling my dough correctly?


PastryPaul's picture

We use it all the time, mind you much closer to sea level. I think the main difference in cost is the cost of the bottle

BTW: SAF Gold is intended for high-sugar doughs


Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

I bought a Costco size bag of SAF Red 2 1/2 years ago and started off by storing it in a freezer. It's still working for me.

Syd's picture

Yes, as PastryPaul says SAF Gold is intended for use in sweet doughs and will perform poorly in lean doughs.  The red variety won't do well in sweet doughs either, so it is not a good idea to use them interchangeably.

So-called lean dough yeasts, typically used in doughs with little or no added sugar, display relatively high basal levels of maltase activity, even in the absence of maltose, and sometimes even in the presence of glucose at concentrations of 8% or more. However, such strains typically perform less well in doughs supplemented with sugar at this level and display very poor activity in sweet doughs due to inhibition by high osmotic pressure. Yeasts chosen to perform well in sweet doughs generally perform less well that lean dough yeasts in dough with 8% added sugar and very poorly in lean doughs.

Handbook of Dough Fermentations, Kulp and Lorenz, p.73,74

Nickisafoodie's picture

I primarily use natural leavenings the past two years, for many years prior I used only yeast, and tried them all.  The best performing for me was the red SAF - by far.  Purchased the bulk size in Whole Foods for about  $5 for a bag the size of a 12 oz coffee bag.  It would keep in the freezer for 18 mos or more (ran out but guessing it would have gone another 6 mos+ as there was no discernable drop off in performance. 

Thus I suspect improper storage/too much heat in the truck either along the transport route of storage once delivered in Mexico. 

clazar123's picture

Smeone bought me 4 pounds of SAF Red several years ago (in 4- 1 pound packs). Yikes! I put them in my deep freeze and continue to use them. They are about 1 year past their "Use by" date now but still work quite well. Of course, I do a lot of sourdough/natural levain so I think this may be close to a decade supply! I have used it in brioche and panettonne without any difficulty whatsoever-again with some natural levain in the mix.

 I believe if it was the only yeast in a large batch of dough and the production time was crucial to schedule, it may be a different story. I am able to process my small batch of dough when it is ready and my lievlihood is not dependent on the time frame.