After the demise of my sourdough starter, I've decided to switch to instant yeast, and am trying to decide which to buy. Specifically, I'm comparing Saf-Instant Red and Saf-Instant Gold. The former is officially recommended for dough with up to 12% sugar, while the latter is recommended for dough with between 10% and 30% sugar. However, I've read several anecdotal reports that Saf-Instant Gold is perfectly fine for plain, low-sugar bread.

I don't bake often enough to justify stocking two different yeasts, so is Saf-Instant Gold (or any similar osmotolerant yeast) suitable for regular bread, and do I need to adjust any recipes if I'm using it in place of Saf-Instant Red?

Ideally, I'd like an answer drawing from a statement from a yeast manufacturer, substantial personal experimentation, or a published study.

1 Answer 1


It should be fine. There is no reason it won't grow at lower sugar content, though there is a possibility that it has slightly slower growth under lower sugar levels, due to optimization of the metabolism for the more bio-available sugars.

All the information that has been is saying is that if you have a relatively high sugar content in your bread, then use the "osmotolerant" variety, not that the variety won't grow under conditions outside of those specified.

I seriously doubt that recipe adjustment would be necessary. As I mentioned above, it may have slightly slower growth under low sugar conditions, but this is likely to be minimal and at worst require longer proofing/rising stages.

  • That's the impression I'd gotten, but I was hoping for something more definitive to back it up (such as a statement from a yeast manufacturer, substantial personal experimentation, or a published study). There's also the question about whether recipes need to be adjusted. May 4, 2021 at 1:19
  • @AbeKarplus - see edit.
    – bob1
    May 4, 2021 at 1:45
  • Thanks. I'm going to leave this question open for a while, in the hopes that someone can come up with the more definitive information I'd asked about, but if not, I'll accept yours. May 4, 2021 at 1:50
  • @AbeKarplus - please do leave it open. I'm not a yeast expert by any means, though I do work in a microbiology department.
    – bob1
    May 4, 2021 at 3:19

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