Can You Freeze Fresh Yeast?
Do you love baking bread at home? If you do, then you are probably using fresh yeast. Fresh yeast – or baker’s yeast – is one of the most important ingredients in baking bread. It is also much better to use than dried yeast. But what if you’d like to store the yeast in freezer? Can you freeze fresh yeast?
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Although fresh yeast is highly perishable, it is safe for freezing. The thing about yeast is that it is a living thing. The product contains living yeast cells so storing the product properly is critical prior to freezing. When it comes to fresh yeast, exposure to air and moisture are the enemy.
When kept in the fridge, fresh yeast should keep for 2 weeks. But when kept in the freezer, fresh yeast will last for 3 months or more. If you are freezing the yeast, do not stick it in the freezer right away. Just place the yeast in the fridge for at least 12 hours. Let’s take a look at the step by step guide on how can you freeze fresh yeast:
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Fresh yeast is often sold in large blocks and if 1) the product is unopened and 2) you have enough room in your freezer, there is no need to repack the product prior to freezing. The original packaging of the fresh yeast offers enough protection to ward off frost or freezer burn.
On the other hand, if you’d like to divide the blocks of fresh yeast into smaller portions, just cut the block into thick slices. Then, wrap each slice of yeast in cling wrap then again in aluminum foil. Get a resealable plastic bag and put all the cut blocks of yeast inside then squeeze the air out. Seal, write the storage date then stick in the freezer.
You could also proof the fresh yeast before freezing. To do this, add the right amount of warm water into the yeast, mixing the ingredients well. Add sugar into the mix and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly and expanding otherwise, the yeast has gone bad.
Once the yeast is ready, wrap the product in cling wrap, making sure to wrap the product well. Then, add another wrapping of aluminum foil. Write the storage date with a marker and stick in the freezer.
The reason why the fresh yeast needs a couple of layers of wrapping is that the product must never dry out. Once the fresh yeast has dried out, you cannot use it anymore.
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Defrosting frozen yeast is easy, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the yeast to thaw for several hours to overnight. Thawed yeast tends to lose its vigor compared to fresh and unfrozen yeast. That’s because the fungus die gradually due to the freezing temps. This is the reason why the thawing process must be gradual.
Once the yeast has thawed completely, check if dried out. If it’s still moist, it’s ready to use. But if the yeast has dried out, you have to discard it.
Although fresh yeast is tricky to freeze and even trickier to thaw, you can definitely extend its shelf life by keeping fresh yeast in the freezer. Now that you know how can you freeze fresh yeast, there’s no need to worry about wasting what’s left of the product after baking!