All yeast have a best before date imprinted with them which signifies the best time to use the product in order to always hit that perfect yeasty aroma and well risen dough.
But apart from the best before date, is there a certain period of time after which pizza yeast becomes completely inactive?
Let’s find out in this article.
What is pizza yeast?
Pizza yeast is a type of yeast that is very similar to the active dry yeast in terms of structure (though it has smaller granules when compared to it) but differs in the sense that it doesn’t require activation and also contains dough relaxers that helps make dough softer, pliable, easy to work with and have a better consistency.
In other words, pizza yeast is simply another type of instant yeast, but a much aggressive one.
Does pizza yeast have an expiry date?
The expiry date on anything implies that after that date, the product’s useful life has come to an end and that it can no longer be used for the same purpose it was originally meant for (in the case of pizza yeast, to rise pizza doughs and add flavor to it).
Based on the above definition, we can say that pizza yeast, from conclusive evidence, if stored properly, does have an expiry date of 2 years after purchase, provided the manufacturing date wasn’t a year or 6 months before the date of purchase.
Within these 2 years, the pizza yeast would remain active and very functional, but after the passing of these 2 years, you can no longer rely on the pizza yeast to serve its intended purpose, although yeast is actually quite durable and can still be very much functional even after its expiry date.
Everything really depends on how well you store the yeast to begin with.
How long does unopened pizza yeast last?
Unopened sachet or container of pizza yeast would last the longest because no air or moisture has come into contact with it.
So long as you keep the container or the sachet in a cool dry place away from sunlight, unopened yeast should be good for 1 year.
The yeast would even store for much longer when refrigerated or frozen.
How long does opened package of pizza yeast last?
When you have a container of yeast that you regularly fall back to for your baking project, which means that it is opened, such yeast when sealed and stored in a cool place away from sunlight (like the pantry shelf) would last for at least 4 months.
If you put it in the refrigerator, then it will last you even longer, and if you put it in the freezer, it will stay fresh for many years.
Can you use pizza yeast after expiry?
The expiry date for pizza yeast is about 2 years, but even after the passing of 2 years from purchase, you can still use it for baking projects (because it doesn’t turn poisonous) and might be able to get decent results. Everything all depends on the way you stored the yeast.
Yeast that has aged that much though, might not be as effective as you might have expected, and you might need to use about 1.5 times the amount recommended in the recipe and also have to leave the dough to rise for some extra hours to achieve a proper end result.
Think of the degradation of yeast as ageing in humans.
When man is young and therefore energetic, he is able to make things happen quickly and really fast, but as he gets older and older, he becomes slower and slower, which is what happens with yeast too.
When you buy yeast fresh, it’s full of energy and would rise your dough pretty decently, quickly and nicely, but as the yeast ages, it loses some of this potency and is not able to rise your bread as it should many months or years back.
Can you use pizza yeast many years out of date?
There are many experiments out there of people using yeast that have really aged.
In one experiment, the baker used yeast that was unopened and stored for a minimum of 10 years and they managed to rise their dough with it, although it wasn’t the best risen dough they’d ever made.
The baker found out that they had to use more than the actual amount of yeast (around 1.5 times or so) as dictated by the recipe, and had to allow the dough to rise for an extra hour.
The flavor associated with yeast too was absent from the baked product.
So yes, you can use pizza yeast that has aged for so long. Just bear at the back of your mind that it may not work as perfectly as you might expect.
The best way to go about using an aged yeast is to first of all try to activate the yeast to find out whether or not it’s still active. We’ll discuss exactly how to do that at the end of this article.
How do you store opened package of pizza yeast?
We have discussed how to store an open package of yeast where which is to place it in a lidded container and store in the pantry shelf (which is cool and shielded from sunlight).
The procedure for storing an opened package of pizza yeast is similar.
Lid the yeast container (or transfer the opened sachet into a lidded container and close the lid) then store it in the pantry shelf preferably at the back.
The best way to store an opened package of yeast, though, is in the refrigerator or in the freezer.
To store pizza yeast in the refrigerator, simply close the lid of the container and put it in the coolest spot of the fridge which is at the back of the middle shelf.
To freeze a pizza yeast, transfer the yeast to a plastic container, lid it, put it in a plastic bag and put it in the freezer.
How can you tell if pizza yeast is bad?
So this is one important aspect with working with pizza yeast and nailing it would save you the distress of having to deal with a ruined batch of pizza dough.
So what’s that?
It is being able to tell when your pizza yeast has expired and is no longer active.
How can you tell if your pizza yeast is no longer active then?
Proof the yeast. That’s how.
By proofing, you’ll be able to confirm whether or not the yeast is still active.
To proof a pizza yeast, get a measuring cup that measures 8 fluid ounces (1 cup), then add 1/2 cups of warm water which is between the temperatures of 110°F to 115°F.
Falling within the temperature range is critical as going any higher would destroy the yeast, and so you will not be able to get any results.
Now to the 1/2 cups of warm water, add 1 teaspoon of sugar which is what the yeast would feast on if they are alive and then add one sachet of pizza yeast which is about 2 1/4 teaspoon.
If you’re using pizza yeast directly from the freezer or refrigerator, make sure to allow it to come to room temperature first by letting it sit on the counter.
Now stir the mixture continuously until there are no more granules of yeast at the top of the water.
Then, allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes and you should have a bubbly mixture that has risen all the way to the 1 cup mark and exudes a yeasty aroma when you bring your nose closer to it.
If you have this, it means that you can use the foamy yeast mixture in your pizza recipe but make sure to subtract 1/2 cups of water from the total water required to make the dough in order to better manage consistency.
If yours didn’t rise up, then it means that the yeast is no longer active and you should discard it.