The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Instant Yeast vs Active Dry Yeast

Erik16's picture

Instant Yeast vs Active Dry Yeast

Is there a big difference between "Instant Yeast and Active Dry Yeast". I used Active Dry Yeast in a receipt when I should have used instant. The bread double in sized but I havent baked it yet. I am wondering if I need to throw out the dough and start again?

All at Sea's picture
All at Sea

... no need, honestly. But if it has already been shaped and is waiting to be baked, then you need to get it in that oven soon! If you mean it has doubled during its initial bulk fermentation, then it is time to pre-shape, bench rest, then shape and final prove.

Instant yeast acts faster than active dried - but both will do a fine job providing you keep an eye on the dough's development. Instant yeast is added dry, directly to the flour; active dried yeast is traditionally mixed with warm water and allowed to proof for about 15 minutes first, before adding to dough. But that's not necessary, I assure you. (Monsieur Bertinet agrees with me on that one, too).

Shame on me, but I can never remember how to convert instant yeast quantities to active dried yeast, though I'm sure some helpful Fresh Loafer will put you wise on that one for future use - but I use both according to what's on the shelves around here, and never bother making adjustments, since I like to use small quantities and let time do the rest.

I'm sure you'll be absolutely fine this time - just make sure you don't let the dough over-proof.

All at Sea

kbarb's picture

I'm not an expert on this but I was looking it up the other day.

So from my bookmarks (and perhaps read in the following order) :

Some discussions don't seem to differentiate between instant and rapid-rise, but there is a difference.


Hope that helps,


wayne on FLUKE's picture
wayne on FLUKE

Some discussions don't seem to differentiate between instant and rapid-rise, but there is a difference.

The Fleischmann's site ( has the following quote in the column describing RapidRise yeast. As far as I can tell the only difference between RapidRise, Bread Machine and Instant is the packaging. I use the Instant from Sam's club with great results. I keep a little in the fridge and the foil pack in the freezer once opened.

This yeast is the same as Bread Machine Yeast and Instant Yeast. (Instant Yeast is the a 1 pound package of Fleischmann’s Yeast sold at Sam’s Club.)

kbarb's picture

I think you're right actually - Instant and Rapid-rise are the same.

The only reason I wrote "there is a difference" is because of the Wikipedia article. But in the description of Rapid-rise it refers to a Cook's Illustrated article - and when you read what I think is that article, it implies they're the same.

Cooks Illustrated - Yeast Types

Also if you do a Google search for something like "Instant vs rapid-rise Yeast" there is a bit of confusion and probably some erroneous information, but by and large you get the idea they are the same thing.


Cook's Illustrated :

Instant Yeasts (called "Instant," "Rapid Rise," or "Bread")

Instant yeasts are also processed to 95 percent dry matter, but are subjected to a gentler drying process than active dry. As a result, every dried particle is living, or active. This means the yeast can be mixed directly with recipe ingredients without first being dissolved in water or proofed.


Wikipedia - Baker's Yeast

Instant yeast appears similar to active dry yeast, but has smaller granules with substantially higher percentages of live cells per comparable unit volumes. . .  does not require rehydration.  <snip>

Rapid-rise yeast is a variety of dried yeast (usually a form of instant yeast) that is of a smaller granular size, thus it dissolves faster in dough, and it provides greater carbon dioxide output to allow faster rising . . . . . Cook's Illustrated magazine, among others, feels that at least for direct-rise recipes, it makes little difference. Rapid-rise yeast is often marketed specifically for use in bread machines.

[ But I think this last paragraph is an erroneous and incorrrect differentiation ]


 I was going to write, in jest, "what does Fleischmann's know about yeast, anyway" but I think someone should edit that Wikipedia entry.


kbarb's picture

On somewhat of a lark, I emailed Fleischmann's (ACH Food) and asked them. I got back . . .

Thanks for contacting ACH Food, Inc.

This is to confirm that Fleischmann's Instant and RapidRise are the same thing.

Consumer Affairs
ACH Food, Inc.


alpenrose's picture

I like to purchase the yeast made in Canada. That leaves me with two choices: rapid rise or instant (one/same), which is very expensive. The same yeast that is made in Mexico is less expensive.  However, I can buy the old fashioned "Active" yeast at a very good price and it is made in Canada. Now the question is not so much about yeast, but about handling it: after it blooms and I mix all ingredients together are there signs I should be looking for to know that it is ready for the second rise? The old fashioned " active" yeast seems to labor more in the rising process.  Is this possible?  Should I use a little more of this kind of yeast? My thought is that maybe some of it doesn't proof in the initial water/sugar stage--is this possible?