Fresh yeast, also known as Baker’s yeast or compressed yeast, is a great alternative to dry yeast when baking bread.
However, fresh yeast does go bad within 2 weeks, since it contains fresh yeast cells that contain approximately 70% water.
Therefore, you might be wondering: is it a good idea to freeze fresh yeast?
The answer is yes! Fresh yeast will still work after freezing and thawing. Just be sure to follow our detailed instructions below.
We’ll go through everything you need in this article, but here’s the quick rundown if you need it: Fresh yeasts lasts for a little over 3 months in the freezer. The key when freezing is to protect your fresh yeast from the blistering cold air of the freezer.
Should You Freeze Fresh Yeast?
First up, let’s go through whether you should freeze your fresh yeast or not.
The answer is yes. Fresh yeast goes off within 2 weeks in the refrigerator, so freezing is a great way to extend its storage life.
Although thawed fresh yeast may take slightly longer to active, you’ll still get an equally delicious loaf of bread in the end!
How To Freeze Fresh Yeast: The Instructions
We already said that fresh yeast is made up of living cells. Now, these cells shouldn’t be exposed to air or moisture, so it’s important you keep your yeast in a tightly sealed container and do everything you can to protect it from the outside.
With that in mind, here are the super simple steps you need to freeze your fresh yeast:
- Put your unopened pack of fresh yeast in the refrigerator overnight. If you’ve already opened your fresh yeast, keep it in an airtight container in your fridge.
- Now your fresh yeast is cooler and easier to cut, divide it into even, portion-sized blocks. It’s a good idea to measure the quantity in each block and make a note of it.
- Wrap each block in cling film/plastic wrap, then double wrap in aluminum foil.
- The last step is to put all these double-wrapped fresh yeast blocks into an airtight tub or freezer bag. If the latter, make sure you squeeze all of the air out.
- Write the best by date (scroll down for that) and the quantity of fresh yeast in each block on your freezer bag, or a label on your airtight container. Pop the freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer.
This is the best way to seal your fresh yeast. If you don’t wrap it properly and the cold air hits your yeast, it will dry out and be completely useless when it comes to activating.
How To Defrost Yeast
It’s come time to thaw your yeast and use it. Yay!
Defrost big chunks of fresh yeast in the refrigerator overnight. This is the benefit of freezing smaller blocks – they’ll thaw faster and more evenly. With bigger chunks, it may take up to a whole day.
Once your fresh yeast is fully defrosted, allow it to warm up to room temperature on the counter for half an hour. This will help it work faster.
Then, mix your yeast with water and a small pinch of sugar, as you usually do, and set it aside to start working. According to the manufacturers, thawed yeast may take slightly longer than usual to work – but still only around 5-10 minutes.
How Long Frozen Fresh Yeast Lasts
Frozen fresh yeast lasts 3 months or more. However, the sooner you use your yeast, the better quality it will be, and the better your bread will turn out.
After thawing, try to use your fresh yeast within 2-3 days. Or better yet, only defrost as much as you need that day!
Other Methods For Storing Fresh Yeast
If you don’t freeze your fresh yeast, the other option is storing your fresh yeast in the refrigerator. Either keep your fresh yeast unopened in its original packaging or transfer it into an airtight container. Opened or unopened, your fresh yeast will last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
The Summary On Freezing Fresh Yeast
Fresh yeast doesn’t last a huge length of time in the refrigerator, which means that freezing is a good shout. Here’s the quick rundown if you need it:
- Fresh yeast will last over 3 months in your freezer.
- Use thawed fresh yeast within 2-3 days.
- Fresh yeast only lasts 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- The most important thing to remember when freezing your fresh yeast is to wrap it properly, so no cold air can dry your yeast out.