Savvy bakers regard fresh yeast as the best over its dry counterpart. There is, however, a high chance that it will go bad if it is not stored correctly.
While freezing the yeast will make it last longer, if it is not stored under the right conditions before that, it may turn bad or dry out.
So first and foremost, it is essential to note the right way to store fresh yeast. Believe it or not, yeast is made up of living cells, and the key to preserving it is making sure that you never expose it to air and moisture.
So, always make sure that your yeast is sealed tightly in a container. Afterward, you can choose to keep it in the fridge or freezer.
When kept in the fridge, fresh yeast typically keeps for two weeks. When stored in the freezer, it keeps for much longer – 3 months or more.
If you chose the freezer, here's a step-by-step guide on the best way to:
First, don't just stick the yeast in the freezer right away. Place it in the fridge for at least 12 hours. If you are yet to open the yeast, leave it in its original package. This is the best protector. If you prefer to divide the blocks of fresh yeast into smaller portions, cut them as you want then, wrap each part in cling film then again in aluminum foil. Get a resealable plastic bag and put all the cut blocks of yeast inside. Squeeze the air out; remember that fresh yeast should never be exposed to air! Finally, seal the bag and place it in the freezer.
A crucial thing to note is that the way you seal your yeast determines whether it dries out or not. It should never dry out!
This is why you are prompted to keep the fresh yeast in many layers of covering. This makes sure that it remains moist for use no matter when you take it out.
If it does dry out, it becomes utterly useless!
If you want, you can proof your fresh yeast before freezing; here's how to:
Add the perfect amount of warm water into the yeast, mix them. Add sugar into the mix and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. The mixture should be bubbly and expanding; otherwise, the yeast has gone bad.
To defrost fresh yeast:
This is quite easy to do; transfer it to the fridge so that it gradually thaws. After it has thawed, make sure to check if it has dried out. If it's still moist, it's ready to use; if it's otherwise i.e., it has dried out, you have to discard.