How to Store Fresh Yeast: Your Beginners Guide

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A Helpful Hand when Dealing With Fresh Yeast

how to store fresh yeast

If you love baking bread or pizza at home, you probably know about fresh yeast, a.k.a. baker’s yeast. It is a vital ingredient in baking bread or other baking goods. However, it is a huge debate whether fresh or dry yeast is better to produce baking goods.

Most people believe that it works better than dried yeast. But it is fair to say that it is better than dry yeast in many aspects except shelf life. It goes bad with 15 days since it contains fresh cells of yeast that contain around 70% of water content.

So, you might be wondering: how to store fresh yeast? Savvy bakers consider fresh yeast as the best for baking bread over its dry counterpart. But its short shelf life is seen as a huge problem, but you can store it to extend its life for weeks or even months.

How to store fresh yeast Short term & Long term?

Fresh yeast

How to store fresh yeast for the short term

If you want to use your fresh yeast more quickly, you might not worry about storing fresh yeast. Using fresh yeast within 7 days means you need to store it well in your fridge. You can keep it nice for a few more days or even more weeks; you can keep it in your fridge.

Just keep in mind that correct storage is the key to keep your fresh yeast in good condition for weeks. You need an airtight container and some parchment paper to keep it in good condition for about 4 weeks. Follow the below steps for storing fresh yeast for the short term:

  • Wrap your fresh yeast in the parchment paper to protect it from moisture and air, and keep it in a tightly sealed container. Now put this container in your fridge.
  • Once the parchment paper gets damped, transfer the yeast to another parchment papered tightly sealed container to keep it in good condition.


Storing Fresh Yeast for the Long Term

If you are looking for storing fresh yeast for the long term or more than 4 weeks, store it in the freezer. The majority of fresh yeast will last at least 3 months in the freezer. Freezer can dramatically increase its life. If you don’t want to use your fresh yeast within a few days or weeks, so you should store it for the long term.

Cut your fresh yeast into pieces; wrap them tightly in cling film and aluminium foil, keep them in a zip bag and put them into the freezer.

Can you freeze fresh yeast?

This is a common question that most people ask: can you freeze fresh yeast. As you know, fresh yeast contains living cells, and they should not be exposed to moisture or air. So, keep it in an airtight container and protect it from outside. Since it is made up of living yeast cells, that’s why storing it properly is critical before freezing.

Here are some simple steps to freeze fresh yeast:

  • If you have not opened your pack of fresh yeast in the fridge overnight. If you have opened your pack, keep it in a tightly sealed container in your fridge.
  • Now cut it into even and portion-sized blocks—all you need to measure the quantity in each portion-sized block.
  • Now wrap each block in cling plastic wrap and then double wrap it in the aluminium foil.
  • Now, put all these blocks into the freezer bag or airtight tub. Don’t forget to squeeze all of the air out.
  • Write the quantity of fresh yeast in each block, best by date or a label on your tightly sealed container.

This is the best way to freeze your fresh yeast. However, keep in mind that if you don’t warp your yeast properly or cold air hits it, it will dry out, and you can’t use it when you activate it.

How long it lasts

If you are finding the answer for how long does fresh yeast last, the simple answer is 3 months or more. However, it is better to use your yeast sooner to get its better quality.

Your bread will turn out best when you use it fairly quickly. Use your fresh yeast within two to three days after thawing. Or defrost as much as you need.

dough using fresh yeast

How to Defrost Fresh Yeast?

Defrosting fresh yeast is so easy- all you need to transfer your airtight container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave it to thaw for some hours to overnight. Thawed yeast is likely to lose its vigour in contrast to fresh yeast.

The reason behind losing its vigour is that fungus dies gradually due to freezing temperature. This is why the thawing process of fresh yeast must be gradual.

Once the yeast has thawed, check if there is no moisture. If it is still moist, you can use it. But if your yeast has dried out, it is useless; you need to discard it.

Fresh vs Dry yeast

The main difference between fresh yeast and its counterpart dry yeast is the moisture level. As the name suggests, dry yeast has not water content, whereas fresh yeast has approximately 70% water.

That’s the main reason for the long shelf life of dry stuff. In the ongoing fresh vs dry yeast debate, dry yeast wins by a long shot.

Moreover, fresh yeast is available from selected bakeries and delis and sold by weight rather than in packaging. You need to activate the fresh yeast first before adding it to the dry ingredients in baking.

On the other hand, you can add dry stuff directly to the other baking ingredients without activating it. Fresh yeast can be stored for up to 3 months, while you can keep died yeast in good condition for a year.

using fresh yeast

Bottom line

It’s true that storing fresh yeast in the fridge is not easy, and thawing it also tricky, but you can store it in the freezer for weeks or even months and extend its shelf life.

Now that you know how to store fresh yeast for the short term and long term, you have no need to worry about what is left of the product after baking bread or pizza.

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Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!