Especially during the holiday season when sweet breads abound, you may run across recipes that call for osmotolerant yeast (also called SAF Gold, as it comes in a gold-colored package; SAF is the brand.)
Osmotolerant yeast is a special strain of instant dry yeast that performs better in high-sugar doughs than other yeasts do. In small amounts, sugar enhances fermentation, but when the amount of sugar exceeds about 5% of the flour weight, it impedes fermentation by pulling water away from the yeast. (If you’re a science geek, you probably know that sugar creates osmotic pressure, and if you’re not, you probably don’t care.)
SAF Gold is available from a number of online sources. However, if you can’t get it and have recipe that calls for it, you can use regular instant yeast (SAF Red, for example), and just increase the amount by about 30%.
I seriously just learned that little fact about sugar in Advanced Bread and Pastry (thanks to you!) this weekend. I knew that a lot of sugar would create a dense bread, but didn’t really understand it.
Thanks for the resources. Kings Flour is becoming my go-to website.
Please moderate my comment for the Pandoro post. I put in some links for molds that may work for you. I’ll know better when mine arrive.
After Christmas I am going to investigate uk suppliers of this sort of yeast. DCL does brown osmo tolerant yeast, but I am not sure if they supply home bakers. I will let you know, or if someone else knows maybe they could comment. My panettones (following your method as close as can be) did rise quite well in the end . I used fresh commercial yeast from my local breadstore. I wondered if there would be any value in adding another bit of fresh yeast to the second dough when that was mixed? Merry Christmas!
Thanks for this informative post!
You can also purchase SAF yeast at Sam’s Club as well as BJ’s. A two pack costs about $4. It is readily available around the holidays but recently, they have been carrying it year-round. The price can’t be beat.
Hi gurus.. I couldn’t find the answer to my question anywhere.
I live in Canada and I’m willing to spend some $$ for shipping to try SAF gold for my sweet breads. Nonetheless, I would like first to know, how long will the yeast last after opening the vacuumed packaging ?
It would take a long time for me to bake 96 loaves !!! 🙂
If kept in an air tight container, such as a canning jar… stored in the freezer… mine has lasted up to 6 years!
Alex, I store my yeast in the refrigerator. The package usually carries an expiration date of two years past when it was packaged.
Where can I buy this???
Amy, click on “online sources” in the post text above.
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Vanessa Kimbell says
Hi – just thought I’d mention that there is a super bakery company called Bakerybits in the UK that sells this. They shop internationally you can find them at http://www.Bakerybits.co.uk Hope that helps
Hi,that’s really interesting.i have a question.who know what is different between Osmotolerant Yeast fermentation process and usual baker’s yeast for normal dough?
There’s no difference in the process, you use it the same way. The only difference is that this type of yeast is good at living in an environment where there’s a lot of sugar. (Regular bread yeast has a difficult time surviving when there’s too much sugar.)
It’s a bit like, if there was a football game in a very hot place, the football coach would want to bring players who like playing in hot weather. You could bring regular players who don’t like hot weather, but the regular players would get tired very quickly.
martin granaldi says
I’ve become accustomed to using fresh yeast due to the fact that many percentage-based recipies call for it. I haven’t had a problem with brioche or other high-fat/sugar breads using fresh yeast. Should I expect better results using osmotolerant yeast?
Liquid Osmotolerant yeast can be made at home. Simply take 25% levain/starter and add 100% tap water, 100% flour and 20% sugar. Feed twice a day and in a few days your wild yeast will learn to love sugar. Beware this is a very, very active yeast and will burst out of your usual container so opt for a larger one. Any sugar will do but I prefer to use brown sugar/demerara sugar.