How to proof yeast

Article by: Allrecipes  |  Video by: Allrecipes
Proofing yeast is an important step when baking with yeast. It is done before adding the flour and other ingredients to ensure that the yeast is still active and properly leavens the dough. It only takes a few minutes and it should never be skipped. After all, who wants to go through the trouble and waste of mixing and kneading dough only to find out the dough did not rise because the yeast was stale?
Top tips

• Check the expiry date on your yeast packet. Because yeast is a live organism, the expiration date is a clear indicator that the yeast is no longer active.

• However, even if the expiry date has not been reached, yeast can turn stale when stored improperly, or when the packet has been left opened. Yeast in an open packet loses 10% of its leavening power every month. Opened packets of yeast should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

• Dried active yeast can also be stored in an airtight container in the freezer. The yeast granules do not freeze, but the yeast should be brought to room temperature before using.

Proofing yeast
Place warm water (or milk, depending on recipe) in a small bowl. It should be lukewarm at around 40 degrees C.
Stir in sugar (optional) and yeast until dissolved.
Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foamy.
If it does not foam, the yeast is no longer active. You need to discard it and start over with a new packet of yeast.
If it foams, the yeast is ready to use in your recipe.
For more advice...
Consult our Baking yeast breads article for top tips on types of yeast, kneading bread and more!
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  • I always have a tough time with this yeast -department help
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