Trying to figure out if your dry yeast is still good for baking? It’s really simple to learn how to test yeast for viability in about 10 minutes.Trying to figure out if your dry yeast is still good for baking? It's really simple to learn how to test yeast for viability in about 10 minutes.

Well… here it is April 2020, and most grocery stores have been cleaned out of toilet paper… and YEAST. Whaaat? Apparently every living human being in the country has taken up baking while staying at home due to the big ol’ virus. Go figure!

I was surprised and totally bummed last month to see that my half-full jar of yeast in the refrigerator had expired. I tested it to see if it was still “good”, but it was really good and DEAD. Really dead, which is a total bummer. My husband said he would pick up a new package of yeast when he went to get our groceries (he’s been a good helper!). Well… that was 6 weeks ago, and we still cannot find yeast at the grocery store, or online, etc.

A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE… In April!

Well, guess what? Last week I discovered a plastic container that had fallen over in the very back of our pantry. Apparently at some point in the past year and a half, I had purchased a large bag of active dry yeast, opened it, and stored it in a sealed plastic container in our pantry. I couldn’t believe my eyes, since I normally buy small jars and keep them in our fridge. I don’t even remember buying it, so it was a Christmas miracle… in April! But was the yeast still GOOD???? I couldn’t tell because it was out of the original packaging that had the expiration date on it (face-palm).

I was so excited, and could hardly wait to test the yeast to see if it could still be used. WOW… it was! My day was made, cinnamon rolls were made, and all was good again in the world! So I thought I would show you how to test yeast to see if it is still good. Maybe you will find this tip as valuable as I did if you have yeast that has recently expired or is on the verge of expiring! Here’s a simple way that shows how to test yeast for viability (it’s EASY):

How To Test Yeast To Make Sure It Is Still “Good”

It’s simple to test yeast for viability, and see if it can still be used for baking. Measure out 2¼ teaspoons of dry yeast (active, quick rise, etc.) into a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar, and combine the two ingredients.

Dry yeast and sugar are mixed together in a small bowl.

Add Warm Water (At Just The Right Temperature!)

Now you will need to add warm water to the yeast and sugar, BUT there is a catch! The water needs to be at 110°F. to activate the yeast. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. Think of the story of the Three Bears. The water needs to be JUST RIGHT.

The way I do it is to bring some water to almost a boil, then pour out ¼ cup of it into a measuring cup. Let let the water slowly drop in temperature until it registers 110°F. on a digital thermometer. As soon as it hits 110 degrees, pour the water into the yeast mixture and stir well, to combine.

It is important to heat the water to 110 degrees F. before adding it to yeast and sugar.the heated water is added to the bowl of yeast and granulated sugar.

When you first mix the water, yeast and sugar, there will be some air bubbles that pop up while stirring. Once combined, set the bowl aside for 10 minutes.

Yeast, sugar, and heated water are stirred together, and then let sit for 10 minutes.

Check For Bubbles And A “Yeasty” Smell

After 10 minutes, check on your yeast experiment. You should have a bubbly mixture that smells very “yeasty”. If the bubbles are non-existent, the yeast is unfortunately dead as a doorknob.

IF the yeast is still quite bubbly, kind of frothy, and has a yeasty aroma, then it can still be used for recipes that call for yeast. Discard your little yeast experiment, and bake away! See how easy it was to learn how to test yeast? Trust me, I was giddy with excitement to see those bubbles after 10 minutes! As it sat, the liquid even began to rise just a little bit… whoo hoo!

It's bubbly and smells yeasty after 10 minutes... now you know how to test yeast!

I proceeded to make some homemade cinnamon rolls using the yeast I found. YUM! Now I can hardly wait to use this yeast to make New York style blueberry bagels, miracle bread, and even homemade pita bread!

The successfully tested yeast was used to make homemade cinnamon rolls.

Thanks for reading, friends. I hope this tip helps you, if you ever find yourself in the same situation with a jar of yeast you’re not sure about! Take care of yourself and those you love. Come back again for another visit! You can also find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page.

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How To Test Yeast For Viability
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Total Time
10 mins
 

Trying to figure out if your dry yeast is still good for baking? It's really simple to learn how to test yeast for viability in about 10 minutes.

Category: Tip
Cuisine: All Cuisines
Keyword: how to test yeast
Servings: 1
Calories Per Serving: 103 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Ingredients
  • teaspoons dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water (heated to 110°F)
Instructions
  1. Measure out 2¼ teaspoons of dry yeast (active, quick rise, etc.) into a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar, and combine the two ingredients.

  2. Now you will need to add warm water to the yeast and sugar, BUT there is a catch! The water needs to be at 110°F. to activate the yeast. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. The way I do it is to bring some water to almost a boil, then pour out ¼ cup of it into a measuring cup. Let let the water slowly drop in temperature until it registers 110°F. on a digital thermometer. As soon as it hits 110 degrees, pour the water into the yeast mixture and stir well, to combine. Once combined, set the bowl aside for 10 minutes.

  3. After 10 minutes, check on yeast. You should have a bubbly mixture that smells very "yeasty". If bubbles are non-existent, the yeast is unfortunately dead as a doorknob. IF the yeast is bubbly and has a yeasty aroma, then it can still be used for recipes that call for yeast. Discard your yeast experiment, and use unused yeast to bake away!

Nutrition Facts
How To Test Yeast For Viability
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 103 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 17mg1%
Potassium 258mg7%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 11g22%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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How To Test Yeast For Viability

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