How to Tell if Fresh Yeast Has Gone Bad
Fresh yeast is a basic ingredient in many recipes, especially when baking. These include pizzas, breads, cakes and much more. The yeast makes dough rise, important if you want a light and fluffy texture instead of a brick of dough. Dried yeast is a convenient alternative, but many bakers prefer fresh yeast as it acts for a longer time and many believe it provides better quality results. Dried yeast can be stored much longer, but fresh yeast has a shorter shelf life.
How long fresh yeast lasts will depend on the product. However, there are ways we can tell if the fresh yeast is still good to eat. oneHOWTO tells you how it's done in our guide on how to tell if fresh yeast has gone bad.
Hydrating the yeast
There are many different types of yeast which can be used for baking and cooking. While all work to a very similar principle, they have many different uses. For example, they are not only used as a leavening agent in bread, but they are used to make different alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine. They are all microorganisms and technically classified as unicellular fungi.
Although this article focuses on how to tell if fresh yeast has gone bad, the process also works for dried yeast. If you want to know if fresh yeast is still good, you will need to add it to water using the following method:
- Place 10 grams of yeast in a medium-size glass.
- Add a little sugar (about half a tablespoon).
- Fill the glass with lukewarm water halfway up the glass.
- Stir the mixture.
- Let stand 10 minutes.
Before we show you how to check if the yeast is bad, you may be interested to know how to make your own brewer's yeast.
Checking if yeast has gone bad
After 10 minutes, you will be able to check if the yeast is still good or not. If you find that the yeast has bloomed into a rubbery texture with milky water, it is a good sign. If the liquid has filled with bubbles, then you can use the yeast without any problem. As long as the yeast creates the rubbery substance we describe here, it should be good to use even if it is past its expiration date.
If the yeast has gone bad, then nothing will happen. No bubbles will be created and the yeast will be the same texture as when you added it to the water. If this happens, you should discard it completely. If you were to use this yeast is a recipe, not only will it be ineffective, but it could be harmful to your health.
If you don't have any other yeast, you might enjoy making this alternative recipe for naan bread without any yeast.
How to keep yeast fresh
Fresh yeast will keep good condition in the refrigerator for about a month if the package has not been opened. If you've already opened the container, it usually holds up well in the refrigerator for about two weeks. From this moment on, it may lose the leavening power it contains. To check that it is in good condition, follow the steps above.
To keep yeast fresh in the fridge once the package is opened, follow these steps:
- Separate the amount of yeast into different portions or blocks.
- Store yeast servings in a freezer bag or container. If it is a container, it must have a lid.
- Close the container or bag tightly.
- Label the container noting the expiration date of the ingredient (indicated on the original package), the name of the product and the date of packaging.
- Store the container in the fridge, but do not place it somewhere cluttered with a lot of other containers. Make sure that air circulates around it and it is as isolated as possible.
The ideal temperature to keep the yeast fresh in the fridge is between 4-8 ºC/39.2-46.4 ºF. We should also prevent the ingredient from experiencing sudden changes in temperature. Finally, use the fresh yeast as soon as possible so that it does not lose its leavening effect. The more time that passes, the less effective it will be in the recipe you want to make. If you are not going to use it soon, it is best to freeze it.
How to freeze fresh yeast
Taking into account that fresh yeast must be used in a short period of time, it is would be convenient if we could freeze it. Can fresh yeast be frozen? Yes, in fact, keeping it in the freezer, you can use it for a period of up to two months. Of course, you should check the use-by date and, if it is past this date, it is no longer recommended to freeze the yeast.
To freeze fresh yeast, follow these steps:
- Separate the yeast into several portions or blocks. Each portion should be how much you need for certain recipes. Doing it this way, you avoid continuous changes in temperature to the fresh yeast.
- Wrap each portion of yeast in plastic wrap so as not to expose it to moisture or cold. Thus, it will be completely isolated.
- Store the blocks in a specific freezer container with a lid. It is important that the container has a hermetic closure for the protection of the fresh yeast.
- Label the container to identify the name of the product (yeast), the expiration date and the packaging date.
- Put the container in the freezer ensuring that air circulates around it.
You already know how to know if fresh yeast is good and how to make it last longer. Now you just have to enjoy the kitchen and the delicious dishes that you can make with it, always taking into account the best before and packaging dates.
If you want to know whether other foodstuffs are still good to eat, we have some helpful articles we share below:
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