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Frequently Asked

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Click on the “+” to view the answers.

Our Active Dry Yeast (strips and bulk), Quick Rise Yeast, and Fresh Cake Yeast products are gluten free and produced in a dedicated facility. They do not contain wheat gluten or other cereal proteins that cause allergic reactions in people with gluten intolerance. We have many wonderful gluten free recipes on our website.

Our Platinum, Platinum Instant Sourdough and Organic Instant Yeast are NOT gluten free.


The difference between the two yeasts is the rate of action. The instant yeast is a fast-rising yeast while the rate of action of the active dry yeast is more moderate.  Our instant yeast products are Red Star Quick Rise, Platinum Yeast, Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast and Red Star Organic Instant Yeast.  Our active dry yeast products are Red Star Active Dry Yeast and Red Star All-Natural Active Dry Yeast.

In traditional dough making methods (kneading by hand or in a stand mixer), you may use instant yeast and active dry yeast interchangeably, one for one. You may incorporate either type of yeast using either these two methods: rehydrating the yeast in warm water with sugar first, or blending the yeast with the dry ingredients prior to adding warm liquids.  With instant yeast, the dough may rise faster; with active dry yeast, the same dough may rise more slowly. Simply monitor how the dough is rising and adjust the time accordingly.

Visit our Baking Steps Guide for information.

In a bread machine, it is necessary to make an adjustment in the level of yeast used. When using a regular active dry yeast, use 3/4 teaspoons of yeast for each cup of flour; when using a ‘fast rising’ yeast , use 1/2 teaspoon for each cup of flour.

The length of time it takes for the dough to rise depends on many factors–the recipe, the amount of yeast, ingredients (brand, type,…), the amount of sugar, the temperature of the dough, the temperature in the room, how well the dough has been kneaded, and many more. Every recipe and every kitchen is different. Our Baking Steps Guide has information on rising (bulk and final) and the ‘ripe’ test, which helps determine when dough has properly risen.

Sorbitan monostearate is an emulsifier. This material coats yeast cells and protects the cells from damage by oxygen and assists in the rehydration of the yeast.

Sorbitan monostearate is a mixture of partial stearic and palmitic acid esters of sorbitol and its mono- and dianhydrides. The source of sorbitol in sorbitan monostearate is unknown, however it is plant-based and may or may not be sourced from corn. Allergens are typically part of the protein structure of the organism, however the process used to produce sorbitol eliminates the plant protein.

Sorbitan monostearate is not considered an allergen. It is listed in the FDA GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) list of ingredients for use in food products. Sorbitan monostearate is Kosher.

Red Star All-Natural Active Dry Yeast in a strip of three (¼-ounce) packets, Red Star Organic Instant Yeast, and Red Star Fresh Cake Yeast does not contain sorbitan monostearate. It is pure yeast.

Bread flour is recommended when making yeast-raised doughs. Bread flour is milled from hard wheat that has a high protein content. When liquid is mixed with this flour, protein in the wheat flour becomes gluten. As the gluten is manipulated in the kneading process, it becomes elastic and forms the structure of the dough. Bread flour has a protein content of 12-14%.

All-purpose flour is milled from a combination of hard and soft wheats, thus lowering the percentage of protein in the flour. The gluten in all-purpose flour is weaker and does not always withstand the actions of a mixer or bread machine. All-purpose flour usually performs satisfactory when making yeast-raised doughs using the traditional by-hand bread making method.

More information on flour can be found here.

It’s always interesting to see how old recipes describe the amount of yeast to use. The fact is that cake yeast has been sold in many different sizes over the years, so we do not know for certain the amount called for when they say a “cake” of yeast. Currently we only sell our fresh cake yeast in a 2 oz. package size.

Dry yeast can also be substituted in recipes for cake yeast.

Use the Yeast Conversion Table to determine how much yeast is needed for your recipe.

Visit our Store Finder to find a store near you that carries our products.

Learn more about our Products here.

The answer to this question varies, depending on the type of yeast and whether the package is opened or not. Visit our Products page, then click on the product you want learn more about.

The low atmospheric pressure at high altitudes allows yeasted doughs to rise faster causing the dough to over proof. Recipes need to be adapted for lower quantities of yeast as altitude increases. This will slow down the rising time so that the dough has time to develop a good flavor and texture.

When baking at higher altitudes, use regular active dry yeast and use 1/2 teaspoon for each cup of flour, though this will vary from one location to the next. You will have to experiment with what works best for your area.

In dry climates, flour is drier, causing dough to require slightly more liquid. In addition, liquids evaporate faster at higher altitudes. When using a bread machine, it is extremely important that the dough be checked about 5 minutes into the kneading cycle. Without stopping the machine, raise the lid and touch the dough ball. Look for a soft, slightly tacky dough. Correct a dry, stiff dough by adding more liquid, a teaspoon at a time.

The addition of gluten to bread recipes at high altitude will protect cell structure of the dough from stretching too much and giving a coarse texture to the finished bread product.  Use 1 teaspoon of gluten for each cup of flour in the recipe.

Colorado State University has recently revised Making Yeast Breads at High Altitudes, to include bread machine and knead-your-own bread recipes and trouble shooting tips. Visit or call 877.692.9358 for more information.



Red Star & Lesaffre Products

If you have questions about any other Red Star/Lesaffre product or business unit, please click a link below to go to the appropriate website.