How to Store Yeast for Optimal Freshness

Tim Parry


Find out how to store yeast so it stays fresh and usable for as long as possible.

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Yeast is a vital ingredient in baking, and ensuring that it is fresh is essential to the success of your recipes. Here are some tips on how to store yeast so that it stays fresh and potent.

What is yeast?

In baking, yeast is a living microorganism that is used as a leavening agent. When mixed with flour and liquid, yeast emits carbon dioxide gas, causing bread and other baked goods to rise. There are several types of yeast available for baking, including active dry yeast, instant (or rapid-rise) yeast, and bread machine yeast. Active dry yeast and instant yeast are the most commonly available types of yeast for home baking.

The importance of fresh yeast

Bakers often swear by fresh yeast, and with good reason. Unlike dry yeast, which has a longer shelf life, fresh yeast is highly perishable and should be used within a few weeks of purchase. The good news is that it’s easy to store fresh yeast so that it stays fresh for as long as possible.

Here are a few tips for storing fresh yeast:

-Store in a cool, dry place. Fresh yeast should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. A good option is to store it in the refrigerator, although you should allow the yeast to come to room temperature before using it.
-Wrap tightly. Be sure to wrap the yeast tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
-Use within a few weeks. For best results, use the yeast within a few weeks of purchase.

How to store yeast for optimal freshness

Yeast is a key ingredient in baking, and it’s important to store it properly to ensure that it stays fresh and active. Here are a few tips on how to store yeast for optimal freshness.

Yeast should be stored in a cool, dry place. We recommend storing your yeast in the fridge, as this will keep it fresh for the longest time possible.

If you’re not using your yeast immediately, be sure to seal it in an airtight container. This will prevent the yeast from drying out or coming into contact with moisture, which can render it inactive.

Assuming proper storage, dry yeast can last for up to two years, while liquid yeast can last for six to eight months. However, we recommend using your yeast within a year of purchase for the best results.

The difference between active dry yeast and fresh yeast

Active dry yeast and fresh yeast are different strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the most common type of yeast in baking. Active dry yeast is a more recent invention and is the form of yeast most often sold in supermarkets. It’s made by first culturing fresh yeast cells in a glucose solution and then dehydrating them.

Fresh yeast, also known as cake yeast or wet yeast, is less perishable than active dry yeast but has a shorter shelf life once it’s opened. It’s about 80% water and 20% live yeast cells by weight. It’s used to leaven breads and other baked goods.

While active dry yeast and fresh yeast are both forms of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, they are not interchangeable in recipes. In general, you can substitute one for the other by using about 25% more fresh yeast or 25% less active dry yeast than the recipe calls for. However, because of the difference in their moisture content, it’s best to weigh them if you can.

How to tell if yeast is still good

There are a few simple ways to tell if your yeast is still good and can be used for baking. One is to check the packaging date; most brands will have a “best if used by” date stamped on the bottom or side of the package. Another way is to do a “smell test”; good yeast should have a slightly yeasty, almost sweet smell. Finally, you can do a “floating test”; simply drop a teaspoon of dry yeast in a cup of warm water (around 110 degrees F). If the yeast is good, it will dissolve and start to foam within 5-10 minutes.

Tips for using fresh yeast

Fresh yeast is a key ingredient in baking, and it’s important to use it when it’s at its peak freshness. Here are some tips for storing yeast so you can always have fresh yeast on hand:

– Store yeast in a cool, dry place. Yeast can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, but it’s best to store it in a cool, dry place like a pantry.

– When storing yeast in the refrigerator or freezer, be sure to tightly seal the container to keep out moisture.

– If you’re not using all of the yeast you have on hand, consider storing it in small portions so you can use it before it goes bad.

– Always check the expiration date on your yeast before using it, and don’t use yeast that has expired.

Recipes using fresh yeast

Fresh yeast, also called compressed yeast or cake yeast, is a perishable product. It must be kept cold to maintain its potency and should be used within four to six weeks of purchase. Fresh yeast is available in small cakes or packets and should be stored in the refrigerator. Once opened, a cake of fresh yeast should be used within a week, and a packet within two weeks.

If you don’t plan to use all of your fresh yeast within that time frame, it can be frozen for later use. To freeze fresh yeast, break off the amount you need and store it in a airtight freezer container. When ready to use, thaw the yeast in the refrigerator overnight before using it in your recipe.

FAQs about fresh yeast

Is fresh yeast the same as active dry yeast?

No, fresh yeast and active dry yeast are not the same. Active dry yeast is a type of dried yeast that has been treated to make it more shelf-stable. Fresh yeast, on the other hand, is a live yeast that has not been dried or treated. Because of this, fresh yeast is more perishable than active dry yeast.

How long does fresh yeast last?

Fresh yeast can last for several weeks if it is stored properly in a cool, dry place. However, over time, it will lose its viability and won’t be able to leaven bread as well. For best results, use fresh yeast within two weeks of purchase.


There are a few key things to remember when storing yeast for optimal freshness: keep it cool and dry, use an airtight container, and don’t store it for more than a few months. With proper storage, yeast can last for years.

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Tim Parry

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