When yeast is mixed with water and sugar, it begins to consume the sugar and release carbon dioxide gas, which causes the dough to rise.
What are the types of yeast used
1. Active dry yeast: This type of yeast is sold in granules or flakes and is typically mixed with warm water (around 110°F) before being added to the dough. It is shelf-stable and can be stored in a cool, dry place for several months.
2. Instant yeast: Also known as rapid-rise or quick-rise yeast, this type of yeast is more finely ground than active dry yeast and can be mixed directly into the dry ingredients. It works faster than active dry yeast and may require less rising time.
3. Fresh yeast: This type of yeast is sold in blocks or cakes and must be stored in the refrigerator. It is highly perishable and has a shorter shelf life than dry yeast.
How is yeast used in baking
To use yeast in baking, it is important to follow the recipe carefully and pay attention to the temperature of the water and the dough. Water that is too hot can kill the yeast, while dough that is too cold will not rise properly.
It is also important to give the dough enough time to rise before baking, as this allows the yeast to fully do its work and gives the baked goods a light, fluffy texture.
In addition to its use in baking, yeast is also used in the production of alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine. It is also used in the production of certain foods, such as soy sauce and fermented vegetables.
How to tell if your yeast has gone bad
There are a few ways to tell if yeast has gone bad for baking:
1. Visual inspection: Fresh yeast should be a uniform, pale yellow color and should not have any dark or hard spots. If the yeast is clumpy, dark, or has a strong, unpleasant odor, it is likely no longer good for baking.
2. Foam test: To test the viability of yeast, dissolve it in warm water (around 110°F) with a pinch of sugar. If the yeast is still active, it will start to foam within 10-15 minutes. If there is no foam, the yeast is likely no longer viable.
3. Expired date: Yeast has a shelf life of about two years if stored in a cool, dry place. If the yeast you are using is past its expiration date, it may not be viable for baking.
It's always a good idea to test your yeast before using it in a recipe, as using inactive yeast can result in baked goods that do not rise properly.
What are the proper ways to store yeast
To store yeast for baking, follow these tips:
1. Keep it cool: Yeast should be stored in a cool, dry place. A pantry or cupboard that is not near a heat source is ideal.
2. Keep it sealed: Yeast should be stored in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out. If you are using a jar of yeast that has a screw-top lid, make sure to close the lid tightly after each use.
3. Keep it fresh: Yeast has a shelf life of about two years when stored in a cool, dry place. If you are not sure how long the yeast you are using has been stored, it's a good idea to test it before using it in a recipe.
4. Keep it frozen: If you don't use yeast very often, you can store it in the freezer to extend its shelf life. To freeze yeast, simply transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the freezer. Make sure to label the container with the date that the yeast was frozen. Frozen yeast can be used directly from the freezer without thawing.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your yeast stays fresh and viable for baking.