How to Pick the Right Yeast

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The Struggle:

Can bread be a household staple without yeast? I would argue heck no. Yes, I am aware of all the unleavened and chemically leavened options. But think of all the benefits you can get from using yeast. From the distinct flavor of sourdough to the beauty of a properly made panettone. The leavening you can achieve from using yeast is far superior than chemical leaveners. But there are many types of yeast that you can find. How will you know which one is right for your recipe? Are they interchangeable? How do you use them? These are simple questions to answer but what about Instaferm Red and Instaferm Gold, What’s the difference between the two of those? Well if you’ve followed this series we try to not let these questions go unanswered.?


So what yeast is right for you?”


Active, Instant, and Fresh


When adding yeast to a recipe most recipes will call for the yeast to be added to warm water with a small amount of sugar. The types of yeast you will need to perform this step with is either fresh yeast or active dry yeast. This process is called activating the yeast. Think of this as waking up the yeast or giving it a jumpstart. This also allows you to see if the yeast is working properly before continuing with the recipe. When the yeast is activated it will begin eating the sugar and creating little bubbles. The water will become foamy, and at this point you should proceed with the recipe. Two things that will kill yeast in this process is the addition of salt to the water or water that is too hot. The thermal death point of yeast is 130-140°F. The ideal temperature for activating yeast is 90-95°F. When storing fresh or active dry yeast it can be left in the refrigerator. Be aware that fresh yeast can dry out or mold after about a week.  


When using an instant dry yeast it differs from active dry yeast and fresh yeast as it does not need to be activated. Instant yeast can be added directly to the flour in a recipe. Also instant dry yeast can be substituted for active dry yeast 1:1. In busy kitchens instant yeast becomes a valuable time saver as it cuts out yet another prep step. After opening instant yeast should be kept in an air-tight container in the freezer. Instaferm Instant dry yeast comes in two forms Red and Gold. Instaferm Red is a versatile yeast that can be added to any dough that requires yeast. Though if the sugar content of the dough is above 10% the sugar soaks up much of the water. As we learned before yeast needs that water to work its magic. Now this won’t render the yeast useless but it will slow down the process. Instaferm gold is used in high sugar content breads because it is an osmotolerant yeast. Osmotolerant yeast is a yeast that performs well in low hydration. So as the sugar pulls the water away from the yeast instaferm gold will perform as normal. So whether sweet or savory, instant dry yeast is our choice to use for any dough. From its ease of use to its versatility instant dry yeast is the best candidate. 


Ready to get Cooking?

Give our Not Your Granny’s Monkey Bread and Classic Focaccia recipes a try!

Part croissant, part pure joy, this monkey bread pulls apart beautifully and is just the right touch of sticky sweet thanks to a cinnamon sugar caramelize sauce that oozes into every nook and cranny.

This focaccia was born to soak up a luxurious mopping of olive oil or spread on a rich and salty tapenade. It boasts an airy crumb and perfect crumb-to-crust ratio that make it versatile enough to grace any table.


  • Linda Russell
    April 21, 2020 10:20 pm

    Will these yeast types work in a bread machine?

  • Can this be used in bread machines?

    • It sure can!

      • Thanks for the post! You said gold is used in high sugar content, and red in lower sugar dough. Then the recipes you posted are opposite, the focaccia uses gold and the monkey bread uses red… Maybe it’s a coincidence but I just want to make sure I understood what you said 🙂

  • Hello! I have 450 grams of Instaferm Red. I would like to send some to my mom in the mail. (I don’t need this much yeast!). If I take some out and mail to her, will it still be good to use? I saw the note about freezing it once the bag is opened, so wanted to check and see if the days it’s in the mail will alter its effectiveness. Thank you!!

    • We don’t recommend doing this unless you can vacuum seal the yeast.

      • If I store the instaferm yeast in freezer, will it be too frozen to use, or do I need to defrost it every time? Do I have to store it in the freezer?

        • Instaferm is in granular form and will be free flowing even when frozen.

    • This website has a lot of good info. With Instaferm Red yeast, can I use cool tap water or does it need to be within a specific temperature range?

      • Warm water (110F) is always better for yeast. Cold water could work although it will make the dough rise slower.

  • Sally martin
    April 29, 2020 5:59 pm

    How much instaferm. (Red package) is equivalent to dry yeast in individual packages?

    • One packet of yeast contains 1/4 ounce or approximately 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast.

  • Is Instagram red used the same way for rising the bread in 2 steps or one

  • Can i use the gold yeast in regular (low sugar) bread as well? Do i have to make any adjustments. I just received both and want to give some to neighbors.

  • When making pizza dough, can I still use instant yeast in the same process( mix, rest dough ball(0.5-1hr), cut into dough balls, ready again for 6-8 hrs)? Thanks

  • When you use dry active yeast it is proofed in a water/milk mixture. Do you need to compensate for that amount of liquid when you use instant yeast as that step and amount of liquid is cut out? Also there was only red yeast available at our store. What adjustments do I need to make to be able to use red yeast instead of gold in the sweet dough? Thank you.

    • You do not need additional liquid. And you cannot add additional red yeast to substitute for gold yeast.

  • I recently purchased instaferm yeast. If you use the instant yeast do you just use it like a dry ingredient? Do you need to use warm water in the recipe if you otherwise wouldn’t? If the recipe calls for water? Thanks

    • Instant yeast does not need to be proofed and can be mixed into the flour.

  • So if using instant yeast, just omit from the recipe that you would use to activate dry active yeast?

    • No, just the steps for activating. The recipe requires the other ingredients listed.

  • Amanda Welch
    May 18, 2020 11:54 pm

    For recipes that use water and active dry yeast, I understand that Instaferm does not need proofing, but are you saying to eliminate the water altogether? Or just add the yeast to the flour and add the plain water separately?

  • hi.for 1 kg a flour,2550 gr sugar,egs and butter how much instant ferm need?pls replay fast

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