Loretta Sorensen

Since failed yeast action is often the cause of poorly raised bread, master your understanding of how yeast works, and your home-made bread will always be outstanding! And understanding yeast is really quite simple.

Photo by Loretta Sorensen

Fact #1: Yeast is a living organism. Freezing temperatures don’t harm dry yeast, which is why it remains fresh in your freezer for a long time. Fresh yeast, usually found in the form of a refrigerated bar, is very uncommon anymore, has a very short life and doesn’t improve bread quality or flavor (as bread baking experts will attest).

Fact #2: Temperatures over 115 degrees (Fahrenheit) will kill yeast.

Fact #3: Yeast thrives – is most active – in a temperature range between 105- and 110-degrees (Fahrenheit).

Fact #4: If yeast is “old,” or has been exposed to high ambient temperatures or moisture, its ability to break down sugar and produce carbon dioxide will be diminished or lost. Dry yeast left a room temperature loses its vitality within a couple of days. If refrigerated, dry yeast typically maintains its quality for 3 months. Dry yeast will stay fresh in a freezer for up to one year.

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