Can You Freeze Yeast?

Last updated on August 22nd, 2022 at 12:34 am

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Occurring naturally, yeast is an ingredient for baking and brewing used for leavening and fermentation. It is used in alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic drinks, biofuels, probiotics, yeast extract, scientific research, and most commonly in making bread. 

Yeast reacts with oxygen to leaven bread causing it to rise. If you don’t have yeast in bread then it will be flat. 

If you are a baker and make bread often, chances are you have yeast waiting to be put into a delicious loaf of fluffy, warm bread. Kept in a pantry, yeast will only last for a couple months and eventually it will go bad. 

You don’t want this to happen because you want the yeast to last as long as possible so you can use it in baking later on. This can cause you to wonder, can you freeze yeast?

You can freeze yeast! Yeast is an important ingredient in baking which causes bread to rise and you may want to save it long-term. It is actually recommended to freeze yeast since this helps to preserve it and keep it good for multiple years.

Over time, food goes bad. To help to preserve it for later many times you can freeze the food. Yeast is a food that can be frozen. 

Whether dry or fresh, you can freeze this baking ingredient to make bread later. It is recommended to store yeast in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer. 

In the pantry, yeast will last for just a couple months. 

Refrigerated yeast will last for a few months. 

When stored in the freezer, yeast will last for years. 

Unopened yeast can be stored in a pantry but once you have opened then yeast, you should store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Freezing yeast will help it to remain usable for months to even years. 

Now, you can save yeast and keep it on hand for whoever you are waiting to bake a loaf of bread.

Does Freezing Yeast Ruin It?

Many foods are preserved by freezing them. This is especially helpful when you don’t want something to go bad and want to keep it to use later on. 

You can freeze yeast and save it for later. But does freezing it ruin the yeast?

Freezing yeast does not ruin it as long as you store it properly. It will still be good even after it has been frozen for months or years. 

Yeast that has been frozen is still good to use in baking.

In an article from FoodsGuy on How To Store Yeast – The Ultimate Storage Guide, they state, There has been some question as to whether freezing the yeast kills it. Freezing it does not hurt it BUT you must let it return to room temperature before activating it or using it. Yeast actually goes dormant when it is stored at below 50 degrees…Some experts would tell you that yeast can last indefinitely in the freezer…It is possible but…not guaranteed.” 

Freezing yeast doesn’t affect it at all. When you use it in upcoming weeks or months it will still have good texture and will not be ruined. To test to see if yeast is still good, you can add some warm water and a pinch of sugar to it and if it starts to bubble in a few minutes then it is still good. 

Unopened yeast will last for longer than opened. If the yeast is unopened it will last for up to 2 years in the freezer and if it is opened it will last for about 6 months frozen. 

Tightly package the yeast when you are freezing it. Use freezer bags or airtight containers to seal it so it stays good. 

Wrapping fresh yeast is important. You should use several layers of plastic wrap followed by foil to help keep yeast good.

What Is The Best Way To Freeze Yeast?

So, yeast can be stored for quite some time especially if it is unopened. This is great for bakers who like to have some on hand for wherever they are going to be making a warm and fluffy loaf of bread. 

But what is the best way to freeze yeast?

The best way to freeze yeast is to seal in an airtight container or a freezer bag. Or you can freeze it in the package it comes in as well as in an airtight wrapping. 

Unopened, the yeast will stay good in the freezer for up to 2 years and opened it will last for about 6 months.

Whether the yeast is dry or fresh, it can be frozen. Dry yeast can be frozen in its packaging, in a freezer bag, or in an airtight container for 6 months. 

Fresh yeast should be stored in an airtight way by being wrapped in layers of plastic wrap and foil and stored for 6 months as well. It is a good idea to portion out the yeast before you freeze it. 

Be sure to label the packages of yeast with the current date so you know when you put them in the freezer and when they should be used up by. Yeast should be thawed in the refrigerator overnight and it is best if you only thaw the amount you need. 

Before you use the yeast, let it return to room temperature and then use it for your recipe.

Another way to thaw the frozen yeast is mentioned in the article, Longer-Lasting Yeast: Store Dry Yeast in the Freezer from TheKitchn. They recommend that, 

You can use the yeast straight from the freezer. Sprinkling it into room temperature liquid wakes them right back up again. I’ve kept dry yeast in the freezer for months past its expiration date with no discernible change in how well the yeast works in my baked goods. I’m currently still working through a bulk bag I picked up over two years ago!…

Final Thoughts

You can freeze yeast (dry or fresh) to save it for later. It is recommended that you refrigerate or freeze yeast especially after it has been opened. By freezing the baking ingredient, you can keep it good for longer. 

Make sure you properly seal the yeast before freezing. You don’t have to worry about whether freezing yeast will ruin it because freezing helps to preserve it. Enjoy baking bread week, months and even yeast later by freezing the yeast.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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