leftover yeast from Bittman Bread
OK, the bread is great, it seems idiot proof (I'll let you know after this loaf) but what do I do with the leftover yeast. Not being a "real" baker, I know nothing about yeast. Can it be saved after it's opened? Pantry? Fridge? Thanks for the info.
I buy yeast in bulk so I always have "leftover yeast". I keep mine in the freezer for months or more, since it's a large amount (about a cup); refrigerator is probably fine for what I'm guessing you have, one of those foil packages. If you're going to make bread often, I definately recommend yeast in bulk; some health foods store carry it (though Mrs. Greens around me seems to have quit carrying it) or King Arthur online.
Since I homebrew, I've kept yeast for a while in my refrigerator. Before you use it again, feed it some to make sure it is alive and ready to grow. Also you might want to taste something with that yeast in it to make sure that it is not subject to contamination by other organisms.
In an airtight container it will last for weeks to months at room temperature, months to a year or more in the fridge, and years to who-knows-how-long in the freezer. When in doubt, prove it first by dissolving in warm water with a little sugar; foam is proof that the little beasties are still alive.
I recently found a jar of yeast in my deep freeze. It probably got put in there when the compressor on the kitchen fridge went out (2001?). The last of It made good bread earlier this week.