I posted a poll on my instagram account #EasternKitchn (see poll results below), on how people store their yeast and if there was any significant difference between the two - pantry and fridge.
After doing some research, I was really curious as to how instant yeast should be properly stored and used. After many conversations, a few people told me they keep their ‘dry yeast’ in their pantry and others keep it in the fridge, some even swear it’s best in the freezer.
I keep mine in the fridge.
So, what is the correct way to store and use yeast and why is this important?
You see, yeast is a living organism and eventually will lose activity. If your yeast is very active, it is ready to work in your dough. There is different kinds of yeasts, but I will focus primarily on active dry yeast and instant yeast.
Active dry yeast has a larger grain and is dissolved in warm water before using.
Instant yeast has a finer texture and is mixed directly into dry ingredients.
The proper way to store active dry yeast is mainly in the fridge once it is open. I buy yeast in bulk packages and I found out that exposure to heat, air, and moisture kills yeast, which in turn won’t do anything for your baking goods.
Once yeast in a manufactured bag is open, transfer it to an airtight container such as a Ziploc bag (air removed) or an airtight container, such as a glass jar and into the fridge or freezer. This protects the yeast from oxygen and humidity.
You can use the yeast straight from the F R E E Z E R like right away (yeast lasts so much longer in the freezer). Sprinkling it into warm water wakes them right back up again. If you keep active dry yeast in the freezer for months, even past its expiration date, you will notice no evident change in how well the yeast works.
However, if you’re like me and you throw everything out as soon as it hits the expiration date and If you're anxious that the yeast may no longer be good, you can test it out in a little warm water with a pinch of sugar. If it starts bubbling after a few minutes, then it is all set to go.
Instant yeast can be stored in the pantry if the package is closed.
Active Dry Yeast or Instant? Which one to use?
Well, this is really up to you as both bake goods with similar results. My recommendation, is pick one yeast, become familiar with it and use it for everything unless recipe states otherwise.
Hope this helps you in the kitchen, as much as it helped me! Feel free to email me or drop a comment.
All my love,
Founder of EasternKitchn
The Storage of Yeast Research Study https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/j.2050-0416.1955.tb06256.x
The Shelf Life of Yeast