This post is sponsored by Red Star. The opinions and text are all mine.

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend an event in Chicago with Red Star for the launch of their new Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast. It was a jam-packed two days with a fabulous group of other bloggers (and so much fun)!

A group of bloggers in aprons.

We attended the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy where we learned all about making pizza from scratch, ate a ton of delicious food, and we also had the opportunity to go to La Fournette in Chicago.

A picture of different assortments of bread.

The first stop on our trip was at the North American Pizza and Culinary Academy in Lisle, IL where we tried tons of different breakfast options made with Red Star’s Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast. Their new sourdough yeast is literally sourdough made easy, no finicky starters to have to maintain or worry about. 

You could really taste the flavor of the sourdough in the baked goods and their sourdough yeast packets are an easy 1:1 substitute for their 7-gram yeast packets. I loved all of the different items I tried with their new product, but I think my personal favorite was the soft pretzels!

A picture of a person holding a packet of yeast over a bowl of flour.

After breakfast, we learned about all things pizza from Leo Spizzirri. We also learned how to make pizza dough from scratch using the Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast.

One of my biggest takeaways from the class was the difference that certain ingredients can make with homemade pizza dough. Leo said he always uses the following in his dough:

  • 00 Flour  (very finely ground flour)
  • Water with a PH level between 6.5-6.8
  • High quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • A high-quality yeast like Red Star 

A picture of a chef showing how to stretch pizza dough.

We also learned how to stretch the pizza dough by hand without a rolling pin. I’ll be honest, it was definitely not as easy as I thought it would be to do this by hand! A few tips I learned when it comes to stretching homemade pizza dough:

  • Never use a rolling pin because it rolls out all of the bubbles that give you a light and airy pizza crust
  • Your work surface should be completely dry
  • Never use too much flour since excess flour will just burn in the oven. You should only use the amount of flour that will fit between your index and middle finger each time.

A picture of different pizzas lined up in a row.

After we stretched out our pizza dough we had a pizza challenge where we created our own pizzas. I love classic pizzas with cheese, pepperoni, or sausage so I went with all of the meat and cheese toppings I could find.

Once all of the pizzas were baked, we sampled some of each one and they were all so delicious, it was incredibly hard to narrow down my favorite pizzas!

A picture of a woman rolling and shaping French baguettes.

After enjoying some delicious pizza for lunch, our next stop was at La Fournette. We were able to go inside of their bakery where they make all of the bread that goes out to their store-fronts. Chef Pierre Zimmermann gave us a tour of the facility and we had the chance to watch Deborah Ott (a world baking champion!) roll out and shape baguettes and croissants.

Afterward, we taste-tested some of the bread and Pierre even sent us home with a freshly baked loaf of French baguette. Talk about amazing, right?!

A picture of a loaf of bread in a basket with Red Star Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast around it.

More About Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast From Red Star

Overall the trip was absolutely fantastic and it was wonderful to have the chance to meet other bloggers! Here’s a little breakdown of Red Star’s new product:

  • Foolproof yeast & real sourdough flavor all-in-one packet
  • You can use it in any yeast recipe to add authentic sourdough flavor
  • One 18-gram packet of Platinum Instant Sourdough replaces one 7-gram packet of dry yeast
  • One packet will raise up to 4 cups of flour (about 1 pound)

Different Ways To Use It

I also came home with so many ideas for how to use their new Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast. I’m planning to try it out in some of these recipes:

Sourdough It Up Sweepstakes

Red Star is also hosting their own “Sourdough It Up” Sweepstakes where you can win one of five $500 baking prize packages. How amazing is that?! Here are the details about that if you’re interested in entering:

  • Use Platinum Instant Sourdough from Red Star to “sourdough up” your favorite yeast recipe 
  • Take a photo of your final baked product that includes a packet of Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast 
  • Share your photo on Instagram using the hashtags #SourdoughItUp and tag @RedStarYeast in the picture 
  • The photo must be shared on a public Instagram account.
  • Entry Dates: September 16 – October 31, 2019
  • Maximum of five (5) entries per person. Each entry must be a unique photo meeting the above requirements
  • Only open to US residents

You can learn more about their Platinum Instant Sourdough Yeast here and request a free sample too. I’d love to hear if you try their new product and how you used it too!