I love to use yeast, but I am fully aware that not everyone does and that the different kinds can be confusing. I personally use Red Star Yeast, but you can choose what you prefer. Here is some helpful information on the difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast. I like to stick with instant yeast in my recipes because I feel like it has a better success rate, in my personal opinion.
*Active dry yeast should be put in lukewarm water before using. This will release the yeast and help it to work. This is called proofing.
*When proofing yeast make sure that the water is warm, not hot, and I always add a little sprinkle of sugar. The sugar is energy for the yeast. You can think of it like the yeast eats up the sugar and makes it grow. Make sense?
*Instant yeast can be applied directly into the other recipe ingredients (providing they aren’t too hot) and will do just fine.
*Instant Yeast is a little more fine than active yeast and cells don’t die in the packaging process like active dry yeast does so make sure to use 25% less if you are using instant when the recipe calls for active.
So, yes you can use them interchangeably, but I tend to have both so I just use whatever the recipe calls for. And to be perfectly honest, I generally use instant and proof it anyway. It works for me. Not sure if it’s proper, but I like that it shows me if the yeast is still good, and I swear it makes my recipes perfect.