What is Baker's Yeast?
Baker's yeast is the type of yeast used in home and commercial bread baking. It is widely available in a number of forms, including Cake Yeast (also known as Wet, Fresh, or Compressed Yeast), Active Dry Yeast and Instant (or fast-rising) Yeast.
Visit our Lessons in Yeast & Baking for more detailed information on our yeast products.
Initially all Baker's yeast starts out as "cream yeast", which is a liquid form of yeast. See Manufacturing of Yeast for detailed information on how yeast is made.
Cake yeast is processed one step further than cream yeast. Cake Yeast is also called "wet yeast" or "fresh yeast". It is currently sold to consumers in 2-ounce blocks under our RED STAR® brand. The yeast is characterized by a high moisture content. It is very perishable and needs to be stored under refrigeration at all times. Cake yeast should be used by its expiration date, which is about 8 weeks from packaging.
Active Dry Yeast
This yeast is processed one step further than Cake Yeast. Due to the low moisture content, the yeast is in a semi-dormant state and is therefore more stable than cake yeast. Consumer packages of Active Dry Yeast are stamped with a 'Best if used by date', indicated by the month and year. The shelf life of an unopened package is 2 years from the date of packaging.
Active Dry Products include RED STAR® Active Dry Yeast, SAF® Traditional Active Dry Yeast and bakipan® Active Dry Yeast.
Instant Yeast, also known as "fast-rising" or "fast-acting" dry yeast, is also a "dry" yeast, but can shorten the rising time in traditional baking by as much as 50%. Consumer packages of Instant Yeast are stamped with a 'Best if used by date', indicated by the month and year. The shelf life of an unopened package is 2 years from the date of packaging.
RED STAR® Quick-Rise™, RED STAR® Bread Machine Yeast, SAF® Gourmet Perfect Rise, SAF® Bread Machine Yeast, bakipan® Fast Rising Yeast and bakipan® Bread Machine Yeast are all Instant Yeast products.