Chocolate babka - yeast question

I've been wanting to make a chocolate babka for the last few weeks (yes, I'm certifiable given the warm temps right now). This will be my first time and all the recipes call for dry active yeast. My question: Is there a reason/advantage to using dry active over instant? I only have instant yeast but am willing to brave the heat and/or humidity to get dry active yeast. TIA for the advice!

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4 Comments

Lori T. July 31, 2019
I personally prefer using instant yeast over the old active dry yeast. There is just a little more life in the instant type, believe it or not, so your rise should actually go a bit faster. It's also got better oven spring, which gives you a better finished product. That said, if you are planning to do, or the recipe calls for, a long cold rise in the refrigerator- the instant yeast can tire out before you are ready to shape, rise and bake. If this is the case, then active dry yeast is a better bet. All this being said, if you are going to be baking much with sweet dough it is worth it to seek out a formulation meant to handle the extra sweetness. I personally like SAF Gold for this. For the rest, I use SAF Red. I get the larger pack, and keep it stashed in a mason jar in the freezer. They say it lasts a year, but I've never had the opportunity to put that to a test. I think it likely would last longer, though, as long as it was freezing cold and dry.
 
HalfPint August 1, 2019
Thank you!
 
Lori T. August 1, 2019
So will you let me know how it went? It's kind of dangerous to bake babka you know. You will start off with a chocolate one, and then discover all the other possible filling combos. I had to go to meetings there for a while to help me curb the urge. Now I just restrict myself to months with "r" in them, though occasionally I include the ones with a "u" as well. You have to draw a line somewhere after all.
 
HalfPint August 1, 2019
Hahahaha. Not this weekend. We're supposed to be getting a heatwave :(
 
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