Carolyn Bell, RDN, CSSD
Although yeast comes with the following storage instructions, don’t give up on an ‘outdated’ packet or jar of yeast; use the ‘yeast freshness test’ to find out if your yeast is going to perform. Newly purchased yeast (with good purchase-by date), can be stored in a cool location (pantry or cabinet), refrigerated, or frozen for up to two years. Once the yeast is opened, it’s best kept in the refrigerator to use within four months, and six months – if kept in the freezer.
If you need yeast right away and yours is outdated, don’t give up quite yet! Try this Red Star Yeast Freshness Test to see if your yeast is still active:
- Using a one-cup liquid measuring cup, dissolve 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar in ½ cup warm tap water at 110°-115° (If you don’t have a thermometer, the tap water should be warm, but not hot to the touch.
- Stir in one ¼ oz. packet (7g) or 2 ¼ teaspoons of dry yeast until there are no more dry yeast granules on top. Yeast should be at room temperature before using.
- In 3-4 minutes, the yeast will have absorbed enough liquid to activate and start to rise.
- After 10 minutes, the foamy yeast mixture should have risen to the 1-cup mark and have a rounded top.
- If this happens, your yeast is very active and should be used in your recipe immediately.
- Remember to deduct ½ cup liquid from the recipe to adjust for the water used in this test.
- If the yeast did not rise to the 1-cup mark, your yeast has little or no activity. Discard this yeast.