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Instant yeast vs. Fleishman's Rapid Rise Yeast

As per the posts on Mark Bittman's no knead bread, I'm also making a batch. I've used Fleishman's Rapid Rise Yeast. Is this the same as "instant yeast"?

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    1. No. The three common dessicated types are active dry, rapid rise, and instant.

      Use less of the instant yeast if the recipe calls for rapid rise. Instant is a more potent form because the drying process kills fewer of the buggers. The dry particles are also smaller than active dry form, which means instant doesn't need to be prehydrated before kneading into dough. It can be mixed in with the dry ingredients, hence its name.

      Rapid rise also should be added directly to your dry ingredients, but for a different reason. The yeast strain used grows so rapidly when hydrated, that you'd lose much of the outgassing action if you're in the habit of proofing your yeast for 5-10 minutes.

      In any case, follow the directions on whichever brand you have. If it says not to proof, there's a reason.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Professor Salt

        Double checked a faulty memory w/ Shirley Corriher. It appears that instant and rapid rise are different versions of the same thing. My bad.

        In any case, read the manufacturer's instructions on the package regarding proofing / not proofing. That's still valid advice :)

        1. re: Professor Salt

          Prof Salt:
          Thanks; I was getting ready to make my grandmother's crescent rolls and found I purchased quick-rise, instead of active. I almost put the yeast in the warm milk/sugar mixture. This is probably why my rolls haven't risen as well in the past few years!

          1. re: lshell

            Your rolls should work well with the instant instead of active dry, if given sufficient rising time. I only use active yeast in my house, and while it make take a additional hour fermenting time, the results are the same.

            Please check the expiration date for freshness, as this is critical.

        2. From what I've read, instant and rapid rise yeasts are the same. There was a very informative article in Cooks Illustrated about yeast, which you can find on their website.

          7 Replies
          1. re: btnfood

            That is NOT the case in the reviews in Cooks Illustrated...Instant yeast is more potent..

            Active dry yeast and rapid rise (instant) yeast may be similar in appearance and origins (both are dried forms of live yeast), but substituting one for the other will yield vastly different results. When we baked our American Sandwich Loaf (May/June 1996), Multigrain Bread (March/April 2006), and Best American Dinner Rolls (September/October 2006) using equal amounts of each, the active dry batches consistently took longer to rise after mixing and after shaping--by almost 50 percent--and baked up denser than the rapid rise batches. Why? These two forms of yeast have different degrees of potency owing to differences in processing: Active dry yeast is dried at higher temperatures, which kills more of the exterior yeast cells (this yeast requires an initial activation in warm water), whereas rapid rise yeast is dried at more gentle temperatures (so it can be added directly to the dry ingredient"

            1. re: ChowFun_derek

              but your own quote says "rapid rise (instant)" The previous poster was saying these two are the same. The quote you list is talking about a distinction between *active dry* and *instant* not about the distinction between *instant* and *rapid rise*

              1. re: DGresh

                Thanks for understanding what I was trying to convey :)

                1. re: DGresh

                  exactly...I just thought it would help clarify since CI was mentioned as a source..

                  1. re: ChowFun_derek

                    ChowFun, while your info is wonderful, you need to reread the OP!

                2. re: ChowFun_derek

                  According to what I've seen on Good Eats and Cooks Illustrated these are the types of yeast you can purchase:

                  Active dry comes in envelopes and jars and is very common. This yeast is usually bloomed.

                  Rapid rise the same as bread machine yeast (Cooks Illustrates) is more potent. Use only 75% if substituting for active dry yeast. This also comes in jars and envelopes and is very common. Tasters couldn't tell the difference with white American bread baked with the active dry and rapid rise (Cooks Illuatrates). This yeast is not usually bloomed.

                  Instant yeast. I can't find a substitution conversion for this, nor can I find it in my local grocery stores (have yet to check some of the higher end chains like Centeal Market and Whole Foods). But have found on the King Arthur website for $6.00. The popular brand is SA red. It is packages like flour in 16 oz. bags, not in jars or envelopes. Packages state it's good for 1 year, but Alton Brown of Good Wats fame on the Food Network states it will for 1 years if stored in a cool air right container.

                  Cake yeast. No it's not for cakes, it's sold in cakes. I've never seen it except on cooking shows. It is typically bloomed, I think this is the "old school" yeast from the French cooking tradition.

                  And of course, there is wild yeast you can "catch" yourself through proceess of adding flour and various sweeteners and purified water. This rises slowly, and you end up with a "proof" that can be used over and over if properly fed and maintained. Paris restaurants such as le Procope (the seat extent restaurant in the Western Hemisphere, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were regulars) claim to have used the same proof for humdreds of years. This is the "really old school" yeast. Taste varies based on the bacteria involved in the reaction of the yeast with the sugar (carbohydrates such as flour are chemically similar to sugar). The bacteria native to San Francisco give that famous sourdough flavor. I've heard that some strains from some areas of the country produce great rating breads, and others just awful breads.

                  Hope this helps. I know it doesn't answer all the conversion questions.

                  1. re: Archman66

                    Sam's Club has instant yeast in 2/1# pkg.

              2. I have tried buying Instant Yeast in New York City; but can't seem to find a source, except by internet mail.

                Is there a source for Instant Yeast here in the city?

                thank you,


                3 Replies
                1. re: beany06

                  I have purchaed large bags of Saf instant yeast at Whole Foods in the baking aisle.

                  1. re: btnfood

                    Thank You! I checked Whole Foods at Col.Cir. and they have it.


                    1. re: btnfood

                      I use SAF yeast, and I like it. There are zillions of strains of yeast which have different flavors. I like the flavor of SAF yeast. And it's worked great for me for many years.

                  2. 2 types only from what I read, active dry and rapid rise which is an instant yeast. The difference is that rapid rise is a one step rise and you can add the the yeast to the dry ingredients prior to adding water where as the active dry is a two step rise and you must mix the yeast with water first before adding to the rest.

                    Hope this clears things up and a link for proof is http://www.breadworld.com/products.aspx

                    Hope this helps & aloha

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wolfworx

                      There are other names for similar kinds of yeast. I'd like to make this known on this posting thread since they have not been mentioned.

                      If you buy a boxed bread mix, such as one from Hodgson Mills, the contents include a separate small bag of yeast labeled as "fast rise" yeast. I was told this is the same as "instant yeast" but different from "rapid rise" which only has enough oomph to give one rise.

                      SAF has a yeast product labeled as "perfect rise" yeast, which acts like a fast rising active dry yeast, suitable according to the packaging label for oven baked or bread machine made bread. When I was at Trader Joe's, I saw positioned next to this "perfect rise" yeast, SAF's "active dry" yeast.

                      And still, I have seen bottles of yeast sold in my supermarkets labeled as "bread yeast."

                      In general, I have come to believe, and I may be wrong, that using instant or fast rise yeast is the simplest least complicated way to go. Several people, more knowledgable than me, have told me to stay away from the rapid rise yeast for the basic breads that require two rises.

                      And if you read some of the very educated posts by Father Kitchen on another thread on Bread Machine baking, he explains the connection between sugar and yeast in proofing and creating desired bread texture and taste quality.

                      (I fantasize how many attempts/recipes commercial baking companies had to take before they got their commercial breads done correctly!!)

                    2. I don't have an answer, only a further question.
                      I usually buy (on the advice of Breadmaker's Apprentice) the jar of bread machine yeast, which I assume is rapid rise. It works more or less like active for me. No problems, *slightly* shorter rise. But this time I bought a jar of Red Star, not Fleischman's like I usually do. Holy Cow! This stuff is rising like there's no tomorrow. It doubles in size in like 20 minutes, not the 60-90 the recipe says.
                      Anyone know what's going on here?

                      1. Instant Active Dry Yeast gives you two separate rises and it can be used interchangeably with active dry yeast.  

                        Rapid-Rise Yeast you skip the first rise of the dough and shape the loaves right after kneading.

                        Given that, I am having to deal with an Oster breadmaker, the machine from hell, I think the Rapid Rise is the problem.

                        The Red Star yeast site states Instant is to be used in bread machines as is labelled for machines, Fleishment's Rapid Rise is labelled for bread machines, confusing isn't it. The Rapid Rise is too much for the Oster, the bread expands way to much for the pan resting, at bake time will collapse major league, well it collapses 2-3 times, recovers some, when baking starts and one big collapse when done. Interestingly the Rapid Rise works in a Breadman, the Red Star in the Oster.

                        Instant yeast was created for commercial bakers, Rapid Rise for home. One you can buy in bulk, one in cheesy little packages.

                        My money is on Active dry yeast and Instant ( in bulk if you can find it). Instant seems to be a jump start on getting the yeast going, directly added to dry, Rapid Rise added to dry but a shortcut on over kneading/resting.

                        Not sure sure what would work for no knead, we do not do no knead. Yeast shouldn't the this convoluted.

                          1. Instant yeast is available at Sam's club. The price is good enough to more than justify a membership.

                            And YES YES YES, rapidrise, bread machine, instant, all basically the same -

                            active dry different.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sandylc

                              Then why the need to know this? http://www.traditionaloven.com/conver...

                              Use Rapid Rise in an Oster 5838 and get you will get flat collapsed results, the bread quickly over proofs due to the massive CO2 release on one kneading, one rise of this yeast. This machine lacks a third processing like a Breadman, it only has two, so it will not knock down the over proof. Rapid Rise does a strong rise and you are suppose to knead, rise, shape it and bake it, it is a time saving yeast, it was created for home, lazy use, giving up flavor and texture. This is the reason for the strong CO2 release. Instant was created for commerical bakers, sold in bulk pounds to get rid of the yeast warm water proofing, commeical bakers want to deal with weight, not volume in dry ingredients, it needs multiple kneading, rising, shaping, etc, just like cake yeast, or Active dry yeast.

                              Cake, Active Dry yeast, Instant, Rapid Rise are not the same thing other then being yeast, being able to produce CO2. Cake, Active Dry (you warm water proof it), Instant Active Dry yeast (add dry) all behave the same, Rapid Rise is the outlier.

                              Yes one well known jar yeast maker makes the claim Rapid Rise is a catch all yeast, they are full of something, it isn't yeast, but it sells their jars.

                            2. I purchased some Fleishmanns Instant yeast in a 1-lb vacuum packed package and stored it in the freezer in a zip lock bag with a clothespin holding the rolled up foil bag shut within the zip lock bag. I had opened and used some of the yeast.
                              Somehow the yeast got pushed to the back of my freezer in the garage and I found it about a year ago. I had purchased new yeast in the interim. The lost package had an expiration date of 2006. It still worked fine in my bread machine and baked good bread that rose properly. I didn't even proof it, just added it dry to the bread machine.
                              So if you store your yeast in the freezer, with the foil packet sealed tightly, in a ziploc bag, is good for at least 6 years.
                              I continued to use that 6 year old yeast until it was gone (about 1/2 the pack was left).
                              If stored properly in the freezer, I guess it lasts forever. ;-)

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Antilope

                                I store mine in a canning jar in the freezer and have for years.