Can You Freeze Fresh Yeast? How?

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Quick Answer: Can You Freeze Fresh Yeast?

Yes, fresh yeast is one of those products that can be preserved beautifully in the freezer for up to even 2 years! This is an extremely great option for people who bake and would like to use fresh yeast over a period of time. Freezing it makes sure you do not have to waste anything, and also saves a lot of time, energy and even money in the long run as its quality and freshness are preserved perfectly when kept in the freezer properly and correctly.

This comprehensive, detailed step-by-step guide has been put together to ensure you are armed with everything you need to know about freezing fresh yeast!

Taking from time-tested experience and hours’ worth of intensive research, this guide covers how to-s, dos and don’ts, and more so you can successfully freeze fresh yeast at home! 

Let’s get right into it! For the first method we will discuss freezing fresh yeast in its original packaging.

How to Freeze Fresh Yeast

How to Freeze Fresh Yeast

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Fresh yeast can be frozen and preserved very nicely in the form of nice, large blocks, as they are most commonly sold, and in their original packaging itself.

However, this method can only be used if your yeast was unopened, and if you have enough room to hold all of it in your freezer. The next method is for you if you don’t meet either of these criteria.

The original packaging in most cases for fresh yeast, is good enough to protect the yeast against freezer airs and burns, however, follow the instructions described here carefully to make sure your yeast makes it in the freezer for longer periods, i.e., for more than a year to two.

Materials

  • Tin foil / cling film / plastic wrap

Notes

Wrap the fresh yeast in its package tightly with aluminum foil, plastic wrap or cling film – Do as described. While the original packaging indeed, most of the time, offers enough protection to the fresh yeast, this is an added layer or protection.

It is to help make sure your fresh yeast survives well in the freezer for beyond a year, and up till even two years.

Label and freeze – Label the fresh yeast on the wrapping with the storage date, to make sure that you do not forget about it and end up keeping it in the freezer indefinitely.

Your fresh yeast is ready to freeze! Be sure to keep it in a suitable part of your freezer where the temperature would remain constant.

Freezing Fresh Yeast in Smaller Portions

Time Taken: 20-30 minutes 

What You Need:

  • Cling film / plastic wrap
  • Aluminum foil
  • Sharp knife
  • Airtight resealable freezer bag or rigid freezer-safe container with tight-fitting lid

This is usually the most highly recommended method. It is also more convenient: and not just when you are freezing fresh yeast from a batch that you have already used from.

Remember that in that case, you cannot freeze the yeast in its original packaging, once already opened. This method is also good to use for when you have made fresh yeast yourself from scratch.

Cut the fresh yeast into smaller chunks

Cut the fresh yeast, whether already in blocks or in one rigid block, into smaller chunks. I recommend cutting the yeast into a size that you should be able to use in, say, a standard bread mix.

This allows you to be able to thaw and use the right amount at a time.

Wrap each block with plastic or cling film and then double wrap with tin foil

Make sure no part of it is exposed; wrap very tightly using plastic wrap or cling film, whichever is available. Re-wrap using aluminum foil.

Pack into airtight freezer bag

Once each block has been wrapped and re-wrapped carefully and tightly, pack it all in into an airtight heavy-duty resealable bag or container.

Seal carefully, label and freeze

Squeeze out all the air from the bag and seal it tightly. A vacuum sealer works great in this regard, it helps get all the air out, making it totally airtight and most ideal for freezing for extended periods of time.

If you are using containers, make sure the lid is snapped on tightly and securely.Label them. Your fresh yeast is ready to freeze!

Freezing Proofed Fresh Yeast

Time Taken: 15-20 minutes 

What You Need:

  • Warm water
  • Sugar
  • Cling film 
  • Aluminum foil
  • Airtight heavy-duty resealable freezer bag

Proofing the fresh yeast before freezing it is an excellent way of making sure the yeast is preserved well. The process is also quite simple – and I explain it entirely and in detail in the following instructions.

Proof the fresh yeast

To do this, simply add warm water to the fresh yeast. The amount depends on the amount of yeast you are planning to freeze. Mix the ingredients well.

Then, add a small amount of sugar to this mixture, and allow it to be for around 5 to 10 minutes. If the mixture is expanding and looks bubbly, you know your yeast is alive and in good shape! If not, chances are that it has gone bad.

Be wary of freezing it in that case. For a more visual guide into proofing fresh yeast to make sure you do it right, be sure to refer to this video which explains it all quite well:

Wrap in cling film and re-wrap in aluminum foil

Once the yeast is ready, wrap it very carefully in cling film, or some plastic wrap. Then add the second layer of protection by re-wrapping it in aluminum foil.

Place inside an airtight heavy-duty resealable freezer bag

Put the carefully wrapped fresh yeast inside an airtight freezer bag.

Seal carefully

Squeeze out all the air possible from the bag, and then seal it tightly and carefully, making sure it is totally air- and watertight.

Label and freeze

Label the fresh yeast with the storage date to be safe. Stick it in the freezer. The proofed fresh yeast is good to freeze for a long time!

How to Freeze Yeast Bread

Time Taken: 15-20 minutes 

What You Need:

  • Tin foil 
  • Cling film / plastic wrap
  • Airtight resealable heavy-duty freezer bag

Suppose you have already made your bread with your fresh yeast and are now looking for options to freeze the yeast bread. Look no further! Follow these instructions carefully for the best, most effective way to freeze bread made from yeast. 

Most yeast breads and rolls freeze quite well, so you don’t have anything to worry about. 

Wait for the bread to cool down

This applies to any and all food. Never freeze when it is still hot or even warm. If you are freezing the bread that you just freshly baked from yeast, give it a good few minutes to cool down entirely.

This step can obviously be skipped if you are freezing leftover yeast bread.

Wrap tightly in cling film or plastic wrap

You can use whichever that is more easily available and accessible. Just be sure to wrap very tightly and securely, so that no part remains exposed to air.

Re-wrap with aluminum foil

This second layer of protection should not be underestimated: it is important in protecting your yeast breads from freezer burns and airs.

Place inside an airtight freezer bag

Put the carefully wrapped yeast bread inside an airtight freezer bag.

Seal carefully

Squeeze out all the air possible from the bag, and then seal it tightly and carefully, making sure it is totally air- and watertight.

Label and freeze

Label the yeast bread with the storage date to be safe. Stick it in the freezer.

Your yeast bread can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months! If you follow the instructions carefully and freeze the bread correctly using good quality materials, there should be no changes in the flavor or texture of your yeast bread.

How Long Can You Freeze Fresh Yeast?

If frozen following the right method and technique with all the steps having been followed properly and if made sure that the bags or containers have been sealed carefully and made totally airtight and watertight, your fresh yeast can freeze for up to two years.

Please note, however, that it is strongly recommended that for optimal results, you use up fresh yeast, however frozen, within three to six months of freezing.

Freezing it beyond that is safe, but for optimal results, try your best to finish up the fresh yeast within a year of freezing.

It also heavily depends on how the yeast has been frozen. For example, if you have followed the first method and frozen unopened fresh yeast in its original packaging, it can last up to 2 years with the packaging already done professionally by a baker.

In addition, make sure you seal the containers or freezer bags really well before putting them in the freezer. A vacuum sealer or straw could help with that. Also ensure that the temperature in the freezer remains constant.

How to Store Frozen Fresh Yeast?

Fresh yeast can be kept in freezer storage in airtight freezer bags or in airtight containers, as has been discussed earlier. They can also be frozen with or without being proofed first, as described.

Whichever method you go with, the sealing and freezing needs to be done very carefully; good quality airtight and watertight freezer bags or containers need to be used.

It needs to be ensured that the yeast stays frozen at the same consistent temperature in the freezer.

Remember that your yeast may not hold up well in the freezer even beyond a couple of weeks if the storage is not done properly, following all the instructions correctly and meticulously and making sure you use the best quality materials.

How to Defrost Frozen Fresh Yeast?

The trickiest part of freezing fresh yeast is when it comes to thawing it, which can also be done with no worries as long as you do it gradually and carefully. I recommend transferring it from the freezer to the fridge and letting it defrost overnight.

If not overnight, the fresh yeast needs to at least be thawed for several hours at a stretch. If your yeast is not thawed properly or carefully, there can be major changes to its texture and flavor and in extreme cases, may even render the yeast unusable.

Do be mindful of the fact that thawed yeast will anyway lose at least a little bit of its vigor when compared to fresh yeast that has not been frozen.

This happens because the fungus gradually starts dying out while in the freezer. However, it can still be used just fine.

Once the fresh yeast has thawed completely, check once to see whether or not it has dried out yet. In case it is still moist, it is good to use! However, if the yeast has dried out, chances are that you will have to discard it as it is no longer fit to be used.

Can You Refreeze Frozen Fresh Yeast?

Refreezing frozen yeast is not a good idea at all and I strongly recommend against it.

This is because there are very high chances of the yeast drying out instantly when frozen a second time.

This is why freezing in portions is the most recommended method as it lets you defrost and use only as much of it as you need, at a time, without having to go into the hassle of refreezing.

Try your best to use up the entire amount of fresh yeast that you have thawed at one go without having any leftovers. In case you do end up with some, it is best to discard them as the chances are that they are simply not fit or safe for consumption anymore.

However, the good news here is that you can freeze the bread you make from frozen and thawed fresh yeast! This means that you can
essentially freeze fresh yeast twice: once when raw and again in the form of bread. Scroll up for the detailed method and instructions!

Does Fresh Yeast Freeze Well?

While freshly thawed frozen yeast does tend to lose some vigor and properties, these can usually be minimized if you thaw it correctly, properly and gradually. Otherwise, fresh yeast freezes quite well, and can be kept in freezer storage for up to even 2 years.

The elasticity of the fresh yeast changes the cells just a little bit during the process of freezing. They essentially go to sleep.

Some of the cells can also die the longer they are the freezer, so, it is critical to carefully keep the yeast wrapped securely, and gradually thaw it back to life.

However, note that as long as the yeast does not totally dry out and remains moist by the end of the whole process, and is thawed properly, carefully and slowly, its taste and flavour will be the same as fresh, unfrozen yeast, and would be completely safe to use.

FAQs

How can I check if thawed yeast is still good enough to use?

As mentioned, the first step is simply check whether or not it is dry or moist: if the former, it is better to discard the yeast. If still moist, you can use the yeast with no worries.

You can also proof the defrosted fresh yeast to make sure it is still usable. The method has already been discussed in detail under Method #2.

Can I freeze instant yeast?

Unlike fresh yeast, instant yeast actually has a significantly long shelf life. Hence, it makes no sense to freeze it as it simply has no benefit.

However, you can still freeze it, definitely. However, freezing will damage some of its properties. So, carefully consider before you do it, especially because you can simply store it in the cupboard or your pantry for ages.

How long can I keep fresh yeast in the refrigerator without it going bad?

When kept in the refrigerator, fresh yeast has an okay shelf life; it should be fine for up to 2 weeks. So, if you will be using it up by that time, there is no need to freeze.

However, if you are looking to freeze the fresh yeast for longer, you should definitely consider freezing it as your next best alternative. 

Is it necessary to double-wrap fresh yeast before freezing?

Absolutely! In fact, if you want you can even go beyond double-wrapping and wrap the yeast securely and tightly in multiple layers before you freeze it. 

It is the best bet when it comes to making sure your yeast survives in the freezer against freezer airs and burns, and to prevent it from drying out. The key to freezing fresh yeast successfully is to make sure it retains its moisture.

What can I use frozen and thawed fresh yeast in?

Frozen and thawed fresh yeast, provided it is still in good condition, can be used in a variety of ways and in a number of different recipes, starting from different kinds of bread and other variants.

Can I use fresh yeast that has gone dry?

No, I would not recommend using yeast that has dried out. This means that the cells are no longer alive or active, and in this case, it is best to discard the yeast.

Bottom Line

We hope this comprehensive, step-by-step guide covering the best methods to freeze fresh yeast as well as yeast bread successfully at the safety and ease of your home has helped you!

For any further questions you may have regarding freezing fresh yeast, please do let us know by reaching out to us!

If you have any other tips and tricks that you have discovered that you would like other people to also know, feel free to reach out and let us know; we will add them to this guide so they can help more people!

If this guide has helped you, please do share it with your friends and family so that they can also use it.

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About Nancy Miller

Nancy is a foodie by heart and loves experimenting with food. She likes to experiment not only as part of academics but also as a cook at home, sometimes she does not get the desired outcome of these experiments though! But that doesn't stop her from trying more out-of-the-box things. When Nancy entered college, it became clear to her that food was going to be an important part of her life.

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