By now we should be familiar with the concept and the main leavening techniques and know the types of yeast well, but there is perhaps still some tricks and some clever procedures that we can learn about the use of brewer’s yeast, which is our faithful ally to make the dough grow! So here are some practical tips to keep this product well and also to use it little by little, so as to avoid “waste” or nasty surprises like unleavened dough!
What to know about brewer’s yeast
Let’s start immediately with the best techniques to preserve brewer’s yeast, with a necessary premise: a lot (or all) depends on the type of product we have and we want to use in the dough because if the dehydrated one does not generate particular problems, the fresh one is much more complex. to manage.
How to store dry yeast
And therefore, dry yeast storage is simple because this product is designed and built to last longer and be ready to use at all times. Its expiration date is generally prolonged and no special precautions are needed to keep it active and in “good health”: it is sufficient to cram the package at room temperature, without too many changes in temperature, and do not use the yeast beyond the expiration date.
Furthermore, reasoning theoretically we can say that it is safer than dehydrated yeast is effective than fresh yeast because the latter is very delicate and tends to “spoil” easily.
How to store fresh brewer’s yeast
The approach we must have to the classic dough that you buy at the supermarket or in food stores is very different: being a fresh product, it has a precise expiration date to be respected, but above all, we must take care to take care of the yeast, otherwise, it will have no effect on the preparations and will not make our dough rise.
Yeast is composed of very sensitive and delicate live microorganisms, and even a small interruption in the refrigeration chain (for example, in the delivery route between producer and supermarket) can potentially cause it to deteriorate and lose strength and vitality, with the result that it will not “work. ” as expected.
How long does open brewer’s yeast last
No less important is knowing the maximum use times of the open product, for an effective yield: if in general fresh yeast can be kept in its package for a few days in the fridge (after 20 days it loses its properties), if we have already open and used, the time window is even shorter. If we keep it in the refrigerator for too long, then, we will find a dark patina of mold on its surface: some argue that, by eliminating the mold with a knife, it is still possible to use the product, but given its cheapness, perhaps it is always better not to risk ( also because it may have lost vigor).
How to freeze brewer’s yeast
So, we have a problem: we know it’s rare to use a whole loaf of brewer’s yeast for a single recipe, but what to do with the leftover part? And how to get organized to avoid having to go back to shopping frequently to buy only the portion of yeast we need (especially in a complicated period like that of the Coronavirus emergency)?
Fortunately, fresh brewer’s yeast can freeze, both when freshly bought and once opened, and therefore we can also make moderate stocks to keep in the freezer and use at the appropriate time. If exposed to a drastic lowering of the temperature, the yeast does not lose its characteristics but it “puts them to sleep”, and we will then have to reactivate them with a particular procedure.
A simple process
The practical advice is therefore to portion the 25-gram block into smaller pieces, of the quantity that we can usually need for the most common preparations, already on returning from home after purchase, and freeze the individual portions wrapped in silver paper or transparent film for food, so as to avoid contamination inside the freezer.
We can also use the same technique with the advanced parts of the dough during a recipe, even small pieces, or possibly to extend the life of the entire fresh yeast dough (without dividing it in advance): it is always advisable to wrap it in cling film. and roll it up again in its unopened package.
A further step can give us a little extra security: just take our fresh yeast wrapped and protected and place it in a small airtight container, which will serve to protect it from ice.
How long does the yeast last in the freezer
Here are some other practical suggestions: first of all, it is not advisable to freeze a stick of brewer’s yeast that has already expired or is about to expire for a few days, because the risk that it won’t work is higher. It is always preferable to freeze fresh brewer’s yeast in order not to compromise the future recipe; moreover, it is also possible to use a frozen dough that, in the meantime, has expired.
However, it is always better not to let too much time pass between freezing and using the product: the idea is to consume all the yeast within a few weeks.
How to use thawed brewer’s yeast
The process of using frozen yeast is also very simple: we must never let the product defrost, never put it in the microwave, and never expose it to a heat source because in this way we “kill” it and there will be no leavening.
When we need brewer’s yeast in a recipe, just take the block or portion we have frozen from the freezer and add it to a warm liquid – water or milk, depending on the preparations and habits, the important thing is that it is not too hot. and above 25 degrees – adding the classic teaspoon of sugar to facilitate the recovery of microorganisms. If everything went well, a slight foam will appear on the surface of the bowl after a few minutes, a sign that the yeast has activated regularly.
The advantage of using little yeast and freezing it in pieces
Finally, we must remember that we cannot put a yeast that has already been defrosted back into the freezer, another reason why portioning before freezing is always preferable.
Beyond the economic savings – fresh brewer’s yeast is cheap, but wasting it is always a shame – dividing the dough into small pieces to be frozen individually allows you to extend its life: in practice, as soon as purchased we can use a fresh portion, and then on subsequent occasions the frozen parts, without having to throw a half-used dough left to perish for days in the fridge.