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How to Store Yeast

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Q.†Can you please tell me what is the proper way to store yeast? I do not like to keep any packaged goods on a pantry shelf because where we live weevils seem to thrive in anything in a package or box. I even keep my rice and Bisquick in the freezer. But I am not sure what is the best for keeping yeast.

A.†Frankly, we all need bigger freezers. One staff member complains that he canít find any food in his freezer, because his wife stuffs it full of unusual types of flour, nuts, and other dry staples — and this is in an area with relatively few critters. But the freezer is the best place for all types of yeast, and fortunately, yeast doesnít take up much space.

Compressed fresh yeast, which is the most perishable and lasts only two to four weeks in the refrigerator, will stay active for at least six months in the freezer. It needs to be defrosted before use. Instant and active dry yeasts will remain fresh for at least a year and can be used directly from the freezer. Even if you donít keep yeast in the freezer, the key to storing it is to keep it away from moisture, because once it comes in contact with moisture, it begins to activate and lose its punch.

If you keep your yeast in the freezer, you can save a little money by buying it in larger containers instead of the small packets — and put the savings towards a new and bigger freezer.

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