Rapid rise yeast VS regular yeast


I never used rapid rise yeast before.

I wanted to try a cinnamon roll recipe that used a white cake mix as a short cut, and it called for 3 packets of regular yeast. My sister-in-law bought rapid rise yeast, so I used it and used all 3 packets, assuming it was like regular yeast. All I did differently was to mix it into the dry ingredients first, and add warmer-than-usual water. The only other ingredient was flour. Otherwise, I followed the recipe directions; mixing, kneading, leaving to rise about 30 minutes.

Oh my gosh! It rose up like nobody's business! I had trouble punching it down, and getting it flattened out enough to make the rectangle to roll up. Then, when I tried to cut slices for the rolls, I can't even describe what that was like. I finally wrestled the pieces into the pan, and put it in the fridge overnight to bake in the AM. When I took them out in the morning, the dough had risen EVEN IN THE REFRIGERATOR! I patted down the tops, and it kinda deflated them, at least they were even with the top of the 9X13 pan, and baked.

The finished rolls tasted fine, but I was afraid to ice them, because you couldn't really tell where one ended and another began, and I thought it would even be worse iced. I might try the recipe again with regular yeast, and I thought of using a spice cake mix with an apple filling, or an orange cake mix as a base.

So, my question is...does rapid rise yeast usually behave like this? Do you need a lot less of it than regular? The package said it can be used like regular. Maybe I should have shaped the rolls after kneading, without a first rise? Who has experience with rapid rise yeast?

badge posted by: Gnancy on January 09, 2011 at 4:19 pm in Baking, yeast
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reply by: placebo on January 09, 2011 at 6:15 pm

I've never used rapid rise yeast, but I've been curious as to what the differences are. I've read about the different yeast types on the web, and there seems to be some confusing and conflicting information out there. Some say that instant yeast and rapid rise yeast are identical; others say they're different. Your experience suggests they're different.

I think rapid rise yeast is a type of instant yeast. This is why people confuse the two. But it's not the same as, say, SAF instant yeast, which is the type of yeast people usually mean when they refer to instant yeast. Rapid rise yeast is designed to be very active and rise quickly — minutes instead of an hour for the initial rise. Regular instant yeast, on the other hand, is like traditional active dry yeast; it just doesn't have to be dissolved in liquid beforehand. The first rise can take an hour or so as the yeast get going.

reply by: uninvited-guest on January 11, 2011 at 5:03 am

This is my understanding of it all:

1) Active dry yeast must be proofed first as it has a higher percentage of dead cells.

2) Instant yeast has fewer dead cells (and is a bit finer) so it can be added right to the dry ingredients.

3) Rapid rise yeast has even fewer dead cells, so not only do you add it to the dry ingredients, but the dough will rise almost twice as fast, resulting in the need to cut down rise times by 50%.

I don't know if cutting down the amount of Rapid rise yeast will "fix" it to respond as instant or active dry, and if so, how much would be equivalent. I almost recall having seen a chart somewhere (maybe a Shirley Corriher book?) that had yeast equivalencies... I know I have seen them for fresh, dry, and instant, but I can't remember if they had Rapid on the chart as well. I'm sure someone at KAF has this info.

reply by: sashagrrl on January 16, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I think it was quantity not type of yeast that made the difference. The cinnamon roll recipes I've used call for around one packet of yeast for a 9x13 pan of rolls. Three packets seems like a LOT!

reply by: PaddyL on January 16, 2011 at 5:31 pm

I agree, 3 packets of any yeast is way too much and it was probably that amount that had your dough rising like crazy. I'd use instant yeast, or active dry if that's what you're used to, and cut it down to 1 packet.

reply by: Gnancy on January 17, 2011 at 11:45 am

I thought 3 packets was a lot, too, but since I'd never tried the recipe, I went with it.

reply by: Gnancy on January 17, 2011 at 11:48 am

As I said above, I was suspicious of the amount of yeast. Call me crazy, but I'm going to try this again with RapidRise yeast, 3 packets, but do it like this: mix up the dough, knead it, and shape rolls immediately. Then, I'll let rise, only once, and bake. I'll see what happens. Like I said, the rolls were tasty (not too yeasty, either).

reply by: Gnancy on January 17, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Having given it some more thought, maybe I'll use just 2 packets when I try it again. I've got an orange cake mix to try it with, too.

reply by: uninvited-guest on January 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Oooooo.... Orange? That sounds yummy... If it works out, you gotta share that recipe... sounds nice and easy too... I can only imagine all the flavor combos... lemon with a blueberry filling... Spice with an apple filling... chocolate with orange, raspberry, or cherry... Mmmmm.....

reply by: guppy79 on January 26, 2011 at 10:25 am

Hi there! There is a conversion you can use if you want to substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast and vice versa.

You want to multiply the weight of the active dry by 0.8 and that will give you the amount of the instant you will use. So if your packets of active dry are .25 oz then you would:

0.25x3(packets)= 0.75*0.8 = 0.6 oz or almost 2.5 packets (2.4 to be exact).

If you need a volume measure (I use bulk yeast), King Arthur notes that 0.25 oz yeast is around 2.25 tsp.

To save time, I'm going to say that 2 tsp weighs approximately 0.22 oz. So 1 tsp weighs approximately 0.11 tsp. Divide 0.6 oz by 0.11 and you'll get 5.45 or about 5.5 tsp.

That seems like a lot of yeast.

I hope my explanation was not confusing. I have a tendency to be that way haha!!

Oh..and if you want to convert instant to active dry, you would multiply the weight of the instant by 1.25.

reply by: Gnancy on January 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm

I did make the rolls with orange cake mix, using 2 packets of rapid rise yeast, and filled with orange curd I made up based on a lemon curd recipe I tweaked. I followed my new method I mentioned above--shaping the rolls as soon as the dough was kneaded, used my Kitchen Aid.

Using the cake mix and 2 packets of yeast made a very soft, easy to work with dough. I also used bread flour for my flour. I thought the flavor was good, but I'm not sure the orange cake mix made that much difference. I think a spice cake mix might be better, since it has a stronger flavor to begin with. Anyway, I liked the orange curd filling. I only made half a recipe because I wasn't sure how much it would make, and the filling was kinda skimpy. I was going to ice the rolls with an orange cream cheese frosting, but never got around to it. I contemplated adding blueberries to the filling, but I was going for a strong orange taste.

I'm posting the recipe as Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls, but for the Orange Rolls, I didn't butter the dough or use any cinnamon, sugar or brown sugar. And, I think I'll post my Orange Curd, too.