Introduction: How to Freeze Fresh Yeast
I find that fresh yeast works so very much better than the dried stuff. The problem is that it has a very short shelf life. It keeps in the fridge only a matter of days before it starts to go brown and die. Given that recipes call for only a small amount, and I bake bread only once or twice a week, it becomes very wasteful.
So now I freeze the yeast in loaf-sized portions and just take it out as I need it. Here's how.
First weigh your yeast. My bread machine needs about 11 or 12g (a scant half-ounce) per loaf, so I have enough here for ten loaves.
Crumble the yeast into a bowl and add about twice as much flour. It's not critical how much flour, but it helps to make it up to a convenient multiple of loaves. In this case I've made it up to 350g, so each one will be about 35g.
Rub the yeast into the flour as if you were making pastry. You should have a fine homogenous mixture with no lumps.
The idea is to coat all the particles of yeast with flour so they they don't stick together and will thaw very quickly.
Put a piece of cling film onto your scales and weigh out 35g of your mixture. Twist into a ball the size of a golf-ball. Keep it nice and loose so that it crumbles easily when you come to use it.
Put all the balls into a ziploc bag and freeze.
To use, take a ball out of the freezer and crumble it onto a plate. It will defrost almost immediately, so by the time you have weighed out your other ingredients for the loaf it will be ready. Just add it to the pan after everything else, sprinkling it over the top. You can set the machine going straight away.
Tadaaaa! Perfect results every time!