Before actually talking about which are your best choices for bread machine yeast, there’s one question that I want to answer.
Do you actually need bread machine yeast or you can use another type of yeast and get the same delicious loaf?
The answer is:
You don’t actually need bread machine yeast, meaning a jar that features on the label the words “bread machine 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 used one
instant yeast/fast rising/rapid rise/quick rise yeast – for the bake rapid cycles
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.
And you just have to store it 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.
That’s also a proofing method, to see if the yeast is alive, you can do it if you’re not sure about its validity.
The Difference Between Active Dry Yeast and Instant Yeast
We decided that both active dry yeast and instant yeast fall into the larger category of bread machine yeast.
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 state 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 bread machine yeast for the quick baking/bake rapid settings, you just add it to the pan in the order and quantity that the recipe states.
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.
Bread Machine Yeast Top Options
I’ve selected the most popular options to give you an idea on what’s on the market.
The focus is 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.
If you’re curious, check out the Fleischmann’s Yeast for Bread Machines, they have one of the best.
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.
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 excellent for bread makers.
Since it comes in such a large quantity, store some of 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.
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 bread machine yeast so, between these two, buy whichever you can find.
You won’t go wrong with either.
3. Fleischmann’s Instant Yeast, 1 pound bag
If you’re looking for instant yeast, 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 the 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.
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.