How many tablespoons are in a packet of yeast? (+7 types)

In this article, we will answer the question “How many tablespoons are in a packet of yeast?”, and how to tell if the yeast is fresh or not?

How many tablespoons are in a packet of yeast?

A typical packet of instant yeast contains about 2 ¼ tsp of yeast. A packet of bread yeast weighs approximately 7-8 grams and typically contains 2.25 tsp of yeast. A packet of Flesichmann’s yeast and Red Star Yeast contain approximately 0.25 ounces of yeast which is about 7 grams.

A packet may have varying weights depending upon its manufacturer. Some packets of yeast may also be 8 or 11 grams. Rapid Rise Yeast, Fast Rising Yeast, or Bread Machine Yeast contains 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast that equals 7 grams, or 1/4 ounce.

According to research, the global yeast market was valued at around USD 3,230 million in the year of 2016 and it is expected to reach approximately USD 5,417 million by 2022. This market is expected to exhibit a compound annual growth rate, CAGR of around 9% between 2017 until 2022. From the year of 2016, the global yeast market will increase steadily until 2022 (1).

Read on if you want to know the types and functions of yeast.

The function of Yeast in baking

Yeast is a fungus that consists of a single cell. As the baking powder, it also acts as a leavening agent in baking. But the process through which it produces carbon-di-oxide is biological. The biological reaction, called fermentation, uses the starch in bread and ferments it to gas, alcohol, and water.

Baker’s yeast produces the CO2 that results in dough leavening and contributes to the flavor and crumb structure of bread. Yeast cells are also partly responsible for bread flavor and may affect dough rheology. Baker’s yeast is a biotype of S. cerevisiae that can metabolize sugars both aerobically, producing the end products carbon dioxide and water, and anaerobically, producing ethanol and carbon dioxide (1).

The alcohol evaporates during baking but helps develop gluten and add a lot of flavor to the bread, unlike baking powder. The gas produced helps raise the bread.

Different types of Yeast used in baking

The yeast is produced industrially by aerobic cultivation on various available and inexpensive carbon sources such as molasses. The yeast cells in the wort are then centrifuged and filtered to obtain “wet yeast” with 65–70% moisture, or further dried to obtain “dry yeast” with a moisture as low as 4–6%. The yeast can be granulated and then dried to obtain “instant active dry yeast”. Drying processes are usually based on removal of water by evaporation (2).

Instant yeast

It has a smaller grain size and a greater number of live yeast cells per unit volume than active dry yeast. As the name suggests, this yeast needs no time for rehydration and is directly poured into the dough mixture. As the yeast is dry it generally does not require refrigeration as the low water content reduces the risk of microbial contamination (3).

Osmotolerant yeast

High salt and sugar concentration hinder yeast growth. Hence, in bread with higher sugar content, osmotolerant yeast comes to the rescue. During the fermentation processes, yeasts are subjected to variations of concentration of solutes in the medium and osmotolerant yeast may be subjected to high glucose concentrations (6).

Cream yeast

Cream yeast is just compressed yeast in a liquid state. This compressed yeast slurry is widely used by bread industries. Cream yeast is basically the liquid product and can therefore be transferred into sterile tanks/containers and distributed to bakeries, where it is used to produce yeast based products. The advantage of cream yeast is that it excludes any human handling thus reducing the risk of contamination by handling (3).

Active dry yeast

It is relatively stable than other forms of yeast and has bigger grains than instant yeast. It is sold in its dormant form and requires proofing before adding to the dough. With a solids content of 92-96%, it is shipped as such or in vacuum-packed or nitrogen-flushed pouches. It does not require  refrigerated shipment or storage (4).

Brewer’s yeast

As the name suggests, it is used by breweries to make alcohol. Brewer’s yeast is also used for its nutritional benefits. It keeps the digestive system healthy and has considerable amounts of chromium. The fundamental physiological characteristic of Brewer’s yeast is their ability to degrade carbohydrates, usually six-carbon molecules and some disaccharides such as sucrose and maltose into two-carbon components such as ethanol without completely oxidizing them to carbon dioxide, even in the presence of oxygen (6).

Rapid-rise yeast

It is a type of instant yeast but with a smaller grain size and a greater dissolution rate. It provides a pronounced carbon-dioxide yield.

Compressed yeast

It is basically dry cream yeast shaped into small or large blocks wrapped with foil. Despite being very perishable, it is still used in bakeries. It contains about 30% water.

Other FAQs about Yeast which you may be interested in.

Does yeast go bad?

Can you substitute instant yeast for active dry yeast?

Can you add yeast after the dough is mixed?

How to perform a freshness test for yeast?

You cannot tell by looking at the yeast if it is dead or not. Perform the test below to check if the yeast is active.

  1. In a cup, take ¼ cup lukewarm water. It is best to check the temperature of the water using a thermometer and make sure it lies between 110-115°F. A temperature higher than 120°F will destroy your yeast. A temperature lower than 110°F will not be able to activate the yeast to its full potential. To the water, add 1 ¼ tsp of yeast and 1 tsp of granulated sugar.
  2. Give it a stir until yeast is dissolved completely. Wait for 10-15 minutes.
  3. If the yeast forms bubbles or foam on the surface and you smell a strong yeasty aroma, the yeast is active. If not, the yeast is dead.

This proofing test can also be performed with a small amount(walnut-sized) dough. 

How to store yeast?

There are two types of yeast that are used frequently by home bakers and commercial bakeries namely:

  • Dry yeast
  • Fresh yeast

Dry yeast is quite shelf-stable due to which an unopened packet of dry yeast will be good in the pantry if kept away from stove heat, direct sunlight, and moisture. As soon as you open the packet, the dormant yeast granules become vulnerable to spoilage. Therefore, it needs to be refrigerated. Active dry yeast loses some activity upon storage when exposed to the oxygen of the air. For storage under nitrogen, or when vacuum packed, the loss is about 1 % per month and generally less than 10% per year (4).

You cannot refrigerate dry yeast in an open packet. The humid environment of the fridge will destroy the quality of yeast. To overcome this, transfer the yeast to a zip-locked freezer bag and store it. Dry yeasts have a shelf life of about 1 (active dry yeast) or 2 years (instant active dry yeast) when packed under vacuum or nitrogen  (5).

Fresh yeast, also called, cake or compressed yeast is more susceptible to spoilage. It is sold in refrigerated form and must be stored in the refrigerator t keep it alive. The shelf life of the yeast may also be limited by mold growth after 3-4 weeks of storage (4)


In this article, we answered the question “How many tablespoons are in a packet of yeast?”, and how to tell if the yeast is fresh or not?


  1. Yusof, Abdul Halim, et al. Potential application of pineapple waste as a fermentation substrate in yeast production. Int. J. Sci. Technol. Res, 2020, 9, 1933-1937. 
  2. Akbari, Hamidreza, et al. Optimization of baker’s yeast drying in industrial continuous fluidized bed dryer. Food Bioprod process, 2012, 90, 52-57.
  3. Ali, Akbar, et al. Yeast, its types and role in fermentation during bread making process-A. Pakist J Food Sci, 2012, 22, 171-179.  
  4. Reed, G., Nagodawithana, T.W. 1991. Baker’s Yeast Production. In: Yeast Technology. Springer, Dordrecht. 
  5. Hidalgo, A., and A. Brandolini. Bread—Bread from Wheat Flour. Encyclopedia of Food Microbiology; Batt, CA, Tortorello, ML, Eds. 2014, 303-308.
  6. Jimoh, Simiat O., et al. Osmotolerance and fermentative pattern of brewer’s yeast. World J Life Sci Med Res, 2012, 2, 59.