Active dry and instant dry yeast are two common forms of yeast for home use. Although they may look similar, they are mixed into dough using different methods to get the best rise in your dough.
Both active dry yeast and instant yeast are designed to be used in recipes for breads and other yeast doughs. Instant dry yeast has the additional function of multiplying quickly, causing dough to rise in a shorter time.
Both types of yeast are sold in individual packets and in larger jars by many different companies. Instant dry yeast is also sold under the names of bread machine yeast and Fleischmann’s RapidRise yeast.
When mixing dough, active dry yeast should be combined with warm water before being added to other ingredients. Instant dry yeast, on the other hand, should be mixed directly into dry ingredients, and then the liquids should be heated to 120 degrees F and added.
Active dry yeast requires about two hours to cause the dough to double in size. Instant dry yeast only takes ten minutes to multiply enough for the dough to double in size.
Bread made with instant dry yeast may not have as good of a flavor as bread made with active dry yeast. To improve the flavor, allow bread to rise more slowly in the refrigerator overnight.
References and ResourcesAll Recipes: Yeast: The Basics
Bread World: Active Dry Yeast vs. RapidRise Yeast