I was curious about yeast, so did a little bit of research, here is what I discovered about yeast.
Active Dry: milled finer so it does not have to be dissolved, will also
give 2 rises. Can be used interchangeably with regular active dry,
just skip the water activation.
Rapid Rise: Milled smaller so
it does not have to be dissolved and also has additives, so you skip the
first rise. It does affect the bread texture. Rapid rise can not be
substituted for bread machine yeast.
Bread Machine Yeast: is milled finer so it does not have to be dissolved, is an instant yeast, but not a rapid rise. *It is also drier and hydrates more quickly than rapid rise. (*could not confirm this).
Compressed: solid block that commercial bakers tend to use and is more
reliable and dissolves easily. It has a 2 week shelf life compared to a
1 year shelf life of the granular yeasts. Use 2x the amount of fresh
yeast as granular yeast.
This is crazy...but it makes sense tip from King Arthur's web page:
"Keep in mind, also, the characteristics of your own kitchen. If you bake
bread all the time, your kitchen is full of wild yeast, and any dough
you make there will rise vigorously. If you seldom bake bread, or are
just beginning, your kitchen will be quite “sterile;” your dough won't
be aided by wild yeast, and will rise more slowly than it would in a
more “active” kitchen."
I bake bread every day, so my kitchen is a wild thing, and I also use lots of yeast, which means it's always fresh.
I use my oven as a proof box on really
cold days. Happy baking!
This page was helpful for how much yeast to use and rising:
This page is very helpful explaining the different types of yeast:
And this page for bread machine yeast: