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Yeast : Rapid Rising vs. Regular (for Focaccia)

I am making some Focaccia Dough in the bread machine but baking it in my oven, does it matter if I use Bread Machine (Rapid Rising Yeast) or the regular .25 oz. pouches. I am not really sure what the difference would be but don't want to ruin something before I start. Basically all I am using the Bread Machine for is the mixing on dough cycle.

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  1. Regular yeast needs longer rest/rise times. If you're using the bread machine to make the dough, then I'd only use bread machine yeast. If you're only using the bread machine to mix (can you do that?) and then take it out, you can probably use regular yeast and extend the rest time yourself but then you'd have to put it back in for the second kneading/folding. At that point, I'd just do it by hand.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chowser

      Yep, the way I do it is just shut it off. Seems to simple to think of. Then like you say, I let it rise oil covered in a bowl, draft free, usually in the oven with it off of course. Next, I punch it down, fold it a few times by hand, season and bake.

      1. re: Jimbosox04

        In that case, as long as you let it rise longer, paying attention to the rise, it should be fine. I think in that case, it's no different than using a stand mixer.

    2. I actually used to only use my bread machine to mix and rise the dough for me. Regular yeast is exactly what chowser said, and (I think) has a much better flavor, probably resulting from the longer rise/rest times. Rapid Rise is exactly what it says it is, it rises faster, thus shortening the overall recipe.

      You can use either in bread machine with no problems as long as you're only using it to make dough.

      1. I never use rapid rise yeast for any baking, and have never noticed a difference if the ferment period is over 2 hours. My default yeast is Red Star active dry yeast. I do have SAF Red instant yeast, but I prefer to use the Red Star.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Kelli2006

          Costco had the best price on the Red Star active dry yeast. I think it was 2 lbs. for about $3 so I had to get it. But, for faster baking, when I need to get it done more quickly, I use the rapid rise.

        2. It'll be fine... You'll get a higher initial rise with rapid rise yeast, and you'll want to cut your secondary rise time in half after you punch it down, but it shouldn't give you any problems, so long as it stays within the confines of the bread machine... :)

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          1. I always use instant yeast --- the kind you buy in a big grey box at WS or Cooks catalog. Is this not as good as the SAF yeast? I thought it just made it easier to mix and it's not failed me for a long time

            1. Sorry --- I think my yeast is the SAF yeast, but I was confusing it with Fleshman's. Is there a difference between SAF and Fleshman's?

              1. OK here's the scoop on yeast...

                There are 3 different kinds of yeast for bakers: Fresh, Active Dry and Instant (Rapid Rise) and they are all interchangable in these ratios:
                1 part fresh to 0.4 parts active dry to 0.3 parts instant.
                That means for a given quantity of instant called for in a recipe, use that plus a third more of active dry. Or, conversely, for a given quanity of active dry called for use 3/4 that amount of instant.
                No other ajustments to the recipe are needed.

                1 Reply
                1. re: JockY

                  There are more differences than just substituting. Active yeast needs to be added to liquid to activate, sugar helps. With rapid rise, this can be done but isn't necessary. It can be added to the flour/dry ingredients which is why it's used for bread machines. Active and cake use longer rise times, which is why many bakers prefer it--the long slow rise gives bread a better flavor. I'm not convinced you can use active or cake yeast in a bread machine.

                2. On second thought, I don't think you can use active yeast in a bread machine because it needs to be added to warm liquids to activate. If you add it in the order for a bread machine, it's on top of the other dry. I'm not sure how this would work but maybe if you mixed the yeast w/ the liquids first, let it sit and then continued it might work. That's how I do it with the stand mixer.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chowser

                    I have used active dry in a bread machine, and also whisked it into dry ingredients w/o blooming, and they work fine. You will need to add 0.5-1 hour to the rising time, but the texture and taste aren't affected. 99% of the time I prefer a longer rise for better taste and texture development, and this usually negates the need for instant yeasts. This is the primary reason that I am not a fan of instant yeasts , as they aren't necessary.

                    I'm not a fan of cake yeast at home as it is a finicky creature, I have enough problems remembering to feed my sourdough starters, and I don't want to add a 3rd culture to babysit.

                    I doubt that my methods would work for many, but they do work for me. IMVHO

                    1. re: Kelli2006

                      I haven't tried the cake yeast but have quite a few recipes that call for it. I've used active yeast instead. I haven't used active yeast in the bread maker which is why I thought there might be a problem w/ not activating it in liquids. Glad to hear it can work. I've usually needed to double the rise using active yeast and rapid rise. But, I play around with it a lot and temperature also makes a big difference. Overall, pourly made dough still makes better bread than most grocery store bread anyway.