I like to use SAF instant yeast. It 's very reliable as long as you keep it airtight in the freezer and don't try to use it past the espiration date. I also like that you just mix it into your dry ingredients, add warm wet ingredients and boom, you have dough!
I'm surprised you keep your yeast in the freezer FF, I recall a discussion a few months ago when I was having yeast problems I was advice not to keep it in the fridge despite the fact that many books recommand the practice.
I like Fermipan, but also use SAF instant and a new yeast that King arthur has out for sweet dough.
I keep all of my yeast, once it is opened, in the freezer in sealed glass jars. Yeast that is kept non refridgerated/frozen will lose it's potency I have found, over time. Every book I have recommends keeping it cool. I have not found that the cold affects the yeast in any way. In fact, I just checked a new package that is unopened, and it recommends putting it in the fridge after opening.
In storing yeast, moisture is your enemy. If you keep the dried yeast frozen or refirgerated in a sealed and air-tight container, as Jill described, you should have no problems. The freezer is generally a drier environment with a more constant temperature than a refrigerator where the door opens and closes, the temp flucuates and the humidity (again, your enemy) rises and falls with the moisture evaporation of fruits, veggies, juices, soups and the like.
Jill, I have not tried Fermipan. Where do you buy it? I get the SAF from Whole Foods in NJ but they don't always have it.
I order all my yeast from King Arthur. I can't find the variety here that they have. I have been using the gold instant for my sweet breads and have been very pleased with the quality. Right now I keep three kinds in the freezer, right in front of the spare spices from Penzeys....just don't tell the family.
Me too, on the SAF instant - no mess, no proofing, very reliable. I keep it in the freezer. I bought some Red Star Instant Yeast from King Arthur, and like it - but it's been discontinued. Does anyone think there's any noticeable flavor difference in yeasts? I can't - but maybe that's me.
For the serious bread bakers out there - have you seen the website The Artisan?
I use both SAF Insta and Fermipan depending on the type of results I need to get. For a no time dough I use the Insta, for an over nite rest and bake use Fermipan as it gives you a better flavor and ahearty crust plus will handle the acids produced with an over nite rest in the retarder. Having said that, I still prefer Fresh Yeast (Fleshmans),for any and all donuts and pastries as it imparts the rich yeasty flavor people like.