Which are the best yeast for bread machine choices? Should you be using active dry yeast or instant yeast? What’s the difference between the two types of yeast?
This post will answer these important questions but not before we offer a clear definition for what constitutes yeast for bread machine.
What Exactly Is the Best Type of Yeast for Bread Machine?
Do you actually need a specific yeast for bread machine or can you just use the normal yeast for bread making that we’re all accustomed to?
In this introduction on the best type of yeast for bread machines let’s start by answering this question first because it’s the easiest to answer and it will make everything else much easier to understand. It will also make your shopping for the best yeast for bread machines go down a lot faster.
The fundamentals of bread making are related to four main ingredients: water, flour, yeast, and salt. That doesn’t change just because you’re using a bread machine. Whether you’re using your hands, a stand mixer or a bread maker, the ingredients are the same.
You don’t actually need a special yeast made specifically for bread machines, meaning a jar that includes the words “bread machine yeast” on the label.
You can use regular yeast. To put is simply: yeast is yeast.
What you actually need is active dry yeast, unless the recipe states otherwise.
Under the bake rapid/expressbake cycles, the recipes will indicate that you should use instant yeast because the cycles will be completed in 2 hours or less – the duration varies from machine to machine.
So, when we’re talking about bread machine yeast, there are two types:
active dry yeast – the most frequently used one, almost all recipes are made using this type of yeast so, you should focus on having active dry yeast for your bread machine
instant yeast/fast rising/rapid rise/quick rise yeast – for the bake rapid cycles, which means that not a lot of bread machine users are actually going to necessitate this type of yeast for bread machine
The recipe will always indicate which type of yeast should be used. It’s all about following the instructions precisely.
What Is Active Dry Yeast
This is the yeast sold absolutely everywhere, it’s the most popular because it’s used in most bread recipes.
It comes in the form of granules.
You can easily store in a container or a bag at room temperature, it can be stored for a year. Many keep it in the refrigerator. You can also store in an airtight container in the freezer and that will make it last a very long time.
This is the type of yeast that you see dissolved in lukewarm water, which takes about 10 minutes. Some also add sugar to the mix of water and yeast.
Once it’s dissolved, the mixture should be bubbly. It means that the yeast is alive.
The people from King Arthur have demonstrated that whether you dissolve the active dry yeast or not, you get pretty much the same results.
There’s no need to dissolve it but if you’re used to it, continue doing it. Just as you can skip this step entirely.
If you’re using active dry yeast as bread machine yeast, it means that you don’t need to dissolve it in water before adding it to the ingredients.
For all bread makers there’s one important thing to remember: it’s crucial to add the ingredients in the order stated by the recipe – you will notice that the yeast doesn’t come in contact with the water/liquids.
You just measure the granulated ingredient and add it to the pan without prior dissolving it in water.
Active Dry Yeast vs Instant Yeast
We decided that both active dry yeast and instant yeast fall into the larger category of yeast for bread machine.
The thing is:
Each recipe, whether you’re using the book that came with your bread maker or a bread machine cookbook, states which type of yeast should be used.
The majority are going to indicate that you should use active dry yeast when it comes to the yeast part of the recipe.
The recipes that require less time for completion will indicate that you need to use instant yeast.
What is instant yeast?
It’s the one that has more live cells, which is why it’s used in the bake rapid cycles.
It’s fast-acting and it doesn’t need to be dissolved at all.
It also looks similar to active dry yeast, with smaller granules.
When it comes to instant yeast being used as a yeast for bread machine for the quick baking/bake rapid settings, you just add it to the pan in the order and quantity that the recipe states.
Precision and following instructions are the things that matter when it comes to bread makers and the recipe will tell everything you need to know and do, including the type of yeast that should be used.
If you’re doing a recipe by hand or by using a stand mixer, followed by a baking in the oven and you want to substitute instant yeast for the active dry, you should reduce the required rise time by 15 min.
Increase the rise time by the same amount if you’re substituting in reverse, active dry for instant.
The Beast Yeast for Bread Machine
We’ve established that you don’t need a special type of bread machine yeast, that’s been especially designed to be used with bread makers.
Thus, which are the best yeast for bread machine options? What are the top options to consider when shopping for yeast?
The focus is on active dry yeast because that’s the most widely used.
I’ve never used anything that has written on the label “bread machine yeast” because it’s too expensive. It’s at least twice as expensive, as far as I’m aware.
From my experience of many years of using a bread maker, no bread machine manual mentions that you should use bread machine yeast, they just say to use active dry yeast or instant/fast rising/rapid rise yeast.
There’s the Fleischmann’s Yeast for Bread Machines if you want the type of yeast for bread machine that actually has those words inscribed on the label.
Besides that, let’s see which are the other options as the best yeast for bread machine.
1. SAF Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch
This is one of the most popular, most highly appreciated and recommended yeasts on the market.
As they say, it’s for baking cake, bread and dough.
The price is great, too.
One of the cheapest, as far as I know.
It’s pretty much the perfect choice so, get this one if you can and stop your search for the best yeast for bread machine.
It doesn’t say anywhere that it’s active dry yeast but it can definitely be used in every recipe that calls for that type.
Use the exact amount that the recipe requires.
It doesn’t require pre-dissolving, being fast-acting.
The quantity, price, and quality are unbeatable. There are no better words to describe the SAF Instant Yeast.
Definitely consider it as your first top option for the best bread machine yeast.
It’s an excellent yeast for bread makers.
Since it comes in such a large quantity, store some of it in the refrigerator and put what’s left in the freezer.
It’s best to use air-tight containers.
For sweet breads, you should also check out the SAF Gold Instant Yeast.
Where to Buy?
2. Red Star Active Dry Yeast, 2 Pound Pouch
If it were me, we would probably stop talking after I mentioned the SAF Instant Yeast.
But it’s always good to have other options, too.
Like the Red Star Active Dry Yeast.
Which is very good and a favorite for many bakers.
It wouldn’t have been nice of me if I left it out.
The price is really good, too, very affordable.
As a word of advice, make sure to compare the prices from various sources because they can differ quite a lot.
As a reference, the King Arthur shop has fantastic prices.
It’s another excellent option as an yeast for bread machine so, between these two yeast manufacturers, buy whichever you can find and you’ll be all set to make some delicious breads.
You won’t go wrong with either.
Where to Buy?
3. Fleischmann’s Instant Yeast, 1 pound bag
If you’re looking for instant yeast for bread machine, this where your search should stop.
The Fleischmann’s Instant Yeast is your answer and even the Zojirushi bread maker manual mentions that they use Fleischmann’s yeast.
The active dry from them is too expensive but this is priced rightly, just as it should be.
That 1 pound quantity will last for a very long time, freeze most of it since instant yeast is not as widely used as active dry.
This one is really affordable, just like the above two options. Check multiple sources before buying, just to make sure that you get the best price.
Where to Buy?
And we’re pretty much done with this search for yeast for bread machine, as you can see you can see whatever type of active dry yeast or instant yeast (depending on what the recipe states), it doesn’t have to come with the words bread machine yeast written on the package.