I succumbed to temporary insanity and bought a 2 lb. package of SAF instant yeast the other day. (It was just so exciting to see yeast on the shelf.) Now I have enough to last me forever probably, but I know yeast has a shelf life.
First, can I freeze portions of it? If so, for how long? Second, how do I portion it out? It’s in a hard block, and I’ve only used yeast from a jar or in little envelopes in the past. Do I chip it off or what? I haven’t opened it yet, and I’m kind of nervous about it. Obviously I’m not a volume baker. In the past I’ve made the occasional loaf, but, in these SIP times, it’s been fun making bread.
I know I could have googled my questions, but I feel the need for some HO advice. Thanks so much.
My partner is the baker and generally uses fresh yeast, rather than an instant variety. She’s recently had to order online and the packet was more than she was going to be able to use. Google suggested it could be frozen. So she did. And yesterday, baked bread using it. She had been concerned as to whether it would be affected by freezing. It wasnt . The loaf was delicious.
I suppose as yours in a block, you’d need to cut it into portions before freezing.
Maybe you could portion some out and offer to the neighbors? Barter with it? That’s really so much more than you could ever use.
I’m thinking about doing that. I have a Little Free Library and I could put the portions in there.
Thanks. Good to know that freezing doesn’t affect it.
Once opened, the SAF yeast “brick” is no longer solid. It’s just the airtight packaging that keeps the brick shape. After opening, it’s like sand- pour the contents into an airtight canister and store in your freezer (precious real estate, I know )… but it’ll keep for years this way.
Or as others mentioned- divvy it out, barter, or share
When I bought the 2 lb bags in the past I would fill up a 1/2 cup jar to use for baking then vacuum seal the rest and store both in the freezer. Not sure how long dry yeast will actually last in the freezer but I was using the same bag for 3 or 4 years with no issues.
@susieQ, @Coogles - Thanks for your answers. I now feel like I didn’t make a wasteful purchase!
It’s not a hard block. That’s just the packaging.
I found that out today when I opened it. I put some in a jar in the refrig and froze the rest. Made some excellent buttermilk bread and focaccia!
Mine has moved between the freezer and the fridge depending on space, and is fine.
I’m with family at the moment and theirs was in the pantry for the past 2 years - still good, but I’ve moved it to the freezer.
I do test every time, though - start just the yeast and a bit of sugar in some warm water before adding any flour. Give it 10-15 mins, and you’ll know whether it’s alive without any flour being wasted.
I used to bake once or twice a week (poverty), but slowed down when I got a better job. When I pulled out my bread notebook last week to make a loaf, I realized that I hadn’t “slowed down” - I hadn’t baked a loaf in six years. And the expiration date on my refrigerated jar of yeast was five years ago. I went ahead and used it.
I did use a pinch of sugar, and upped the yeast by about 50%. I won’t do that next time - my bread ended up proofing too fast.
Kept dry and cold, granulated yeast can last a very long time.
But sharing is certainly a nice thing to do right now.