I had enough yeast left to make my per normal five loaves of bread.
But I got to thinking, that today, I guess I love my teenagers, so I will make them some cinnamon buns.
I had to open a new package of yeast. I had purchased this package of yeast in November 2009 The whole time it was sitting in my fridge. I noticed the expiry date was for back in May. I thought what the heck, it should be still good. Well, my buns didn't rise like they should have. Now, it could have been the yeast or the lack of warmth in the house today. It was -28 Celsius earlier today. And I think it was cooler in here than out there! (We heat with wood)
So this is what I have discovered.
Instant and active dry yeast will remain fresh for at least a year, and can be used directly from freezer or fridge.
Once the yeast is opened it has a 'life span' for about two weeks at room temperature, six months in the freezer. (However, I stored mine opened, in the original package, on the fridge door for thirteen months.)
Once opened however, the yeast should be stored in another container. It has been suggested that the yeast, depending on the quantity you purchase, should be put into two different containers. One with the bulk of the yeast in it, and stored in the freezer. The other, with a smaller amount to be stored in the fridge for immediate use-to be filled up once empty from the container in the freezer.
Keep in mind that moisture is the 'arch enemy' of yeast. Your containers must be moisture proof.
To test your yeast for "proof":
~add one teaspoon of sugar to 1/4 cup warm water (100°-110° F), stir in 2 1/4 tsp yeast.
~let stand 10 minutes
~if the yeast foams to the 1/2 cup mark, it is active and still usable
Okay, so my yeast is still good. The house is just to darn cold.