Yeast, the smell is intoxicating and reminds us of freshly baked bread at grandma’s house. But the actual substance is slightly unappetizing and downright a little mysterious.

What is Yeast?

Yeast is a single-cell organism, also known as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which needs food, warmth, and moisture to live. This is why we combine it with warm water and sugar to bloom.

It converts the sugars and starch through fermentation, into carbon dioxide at a much faster rate than say, alcohol. This is when it “blooms”.

Use too hot of water and the yeast will die. Too cool and it won’t activate.

What Does Yeast Do?

Yeast helps baked goods get all fluffy and light. It is the main difference in breads that makes them dense or light. The carbon dioxide makes baked goods rise by creating pockets of air. Pair that with other leaveners and you’ll got one fluffy, soft loaf.

What is Yeast Used In?

Most commonly, bread, but yeast is used in other things as well. Such as:

  • Brewing beer
  • Fermenting wine
  • For nutritional purposes

Why Isn’t My Yeast Bubbling?

There are two primary reasons why yeast doesn’t bloom.

  1. Water temperature- the water was too cold to activate it or too hot and killed it.
  2. Yeast was bad and expired.

How Long is Yeast Good For?

Unopened yeast can stay good to up to 2 years if kept in a cool, dry place, like the pantry. However, once opened, yeast can go bad within 4 months. It won’t all go bad at once, but its potency will slowly start to fade.

Yeast can be store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

If you don’t bake often, buy the little packets of yeast. If you do bake often, purchase the jar, but write the date opened on the top with a permanent marker or on freezer tape.

What is Quick Rise Yeast?

Quick Rise Yeast or Instant Yeast just means that you can skip part of the rising process or even go right to kneading. Most recipes use regular yeast or quick rise interchangeably.

Recipes That Use Yeast:

Close up of Danish Pastry Wreath
Danish Pastry Wreath made with Scalded Milk
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